As the first installment of a series of special lectures on future global trends, the TKU Graduate Institute of Future Studies recently invited Mainland Chinese public activist Dr. Wang Dan to deliver a lecture on “China’s Present and Future”. The lecture was held on the afternoon of October 23 at the TKU Tamsui Campus. During the speech, Dr. Wang explained that modern Chinese society can be characterized by three primary features: the primacy of the economy, the cynicism of intellectuals and a sense of hopelessness, as well as an overall lack of general knowledge. He stated that the development of these three characteristics can be linked to the Tiananmen incident in 1989. He posed several questions to elicit thought on the future of Mainland China: “Will economic development bring about democracy? Will democracy lead to social unrest? Where is the hope for the future of Mainland China?” He also offered his own beliefs on these issues. Dr. Wang believes that the purpose of economic growth should be to allow all members of society to enjoy the fruits of such growth. The apportionment of such resources should be free and fair, and this process should involve ordinary everyday citizens.
On October 22, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, led a delegation of senior staff to visit Tongji University in Shanghai, Mainland China. During the visit, President Chang met with the President of Tongji University, Dr. Pei Gang. The two concluded agreements to make Tongji and Tamkang sister universities and to initiate mutual student exchange programs. Tongji University is one of the more prestigious universities in Mainland China. It is particularly renowned for civil engineering and architecture. The TKU delegation consisted of the former Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Feng Chao-Kang and the current Vice President of International Affairs, Dr. Wan-chin Tai. On arriving, the TKU delegates took part in an informal discussion and then attended a banquet held in their honor. Before visiting Tongji University, TKU’s President Chang attended the 60th anniversary of the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA). TKU and NUAA are currently set to increase the scope of their student exchange agreement.
At 1pm on Sat Oct 20, Tamkang University held a fair at the local Tamsui MRT Station to promote moral conduct and good behavior. The event was made up of two activities: a parade along the Tamsui riverside and a fair that featured fun games and activities intended to teach children about the importance of good conduct. The event was held by the Office of Student Affairs as part of TKU’s compulsory service learning program. A total of 30 students took part. They wore volunteer vests and were accompanied by a well-known mascot for good behavior, the “good behavior egg”. The games organized for the fair each related to the “seven core attitudes of good conduct”. These include honesty, respect, responsibility, cooperation, tolerance, empathy, and filial piety. For example, in one of the games participants had to carry baskets filled with balloons on their backs without letting any of the balloons fall out. This game corresponded to the theme of “responsibility”. The TKU Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Ko Chih-en, explained that “the purpose of holding the fair was to try to create more awareness of the importance of moral conduct in our everyday interactions”.
On Sat. Oct 13, the 2012 TKU Conference on International and Administrative Reform was held from 9:20 am to 5:20 pm at the Lanyang Campus. It was attended by close to 200 senior staff members, included the TKU president, vice presidents, college deans, department chairs, as well as directors and section chiefs of all TKU administrative departments. The Conference on International and Administrative Reform is an annual tradition that stretches back almost half a century. Each year, the theme of the conference is decided on jointly by the founder of TKU and the president at the time based on the educational environment and prevailing trends in that year. This year’s theme corresponded to the Ministry of Education’s current push to promote “moral character in education”. The theme was “Inspiring Unlimited Potential; Creating Outstanding Moral Character”. To provide a detailed view of this topic, TKU invited two guest speakers: Daisy Lan Hung, the Chair Person and Chair Professor of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University; and Ovid Tseng, an Academician at Taiwan Academia Sinica. The conference also featured opening remarks by TKU President, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, a speech by the Dean of Student Affairs, Ko Chih-en, and group discussions hosted by senior TKU staff.
The 8th General Meeting for TKU Alumni was held on the afternoon of October 6 at Kinmen Island (金門). It was attended by over 140 representatives from TKU alumni associations from each region around Taiwan, as well as the representatives’ families. Special guests included the current President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang; former TKU President, Dr. Lin Yun-Shan; the President of the TKU Alumni Association Headquaters, Dr. Loo Soon; the President of the TKU World Alumni Association, Dr. Chen Ching Nan; the President of the Golden Eagle Alumni Association, Mr. Kenneth Hou (also Founder and President of Kojen English Centers); and the Executive Director of the TKU Office of Alumni Resources, Dr. Chun-Young Perng. On the morning of the 6th, President Chang along with Mr. Loo Soon and Mr. Chen Ching Nan visited the Magistrate of Kinmen County, Li Wo-Shi. Together, they discussed opportunities for developing higher education in Kinmen. Magistrate Li encouraged President Chang to consider setting up a campus at Kinmen, or to hold more frequent international symposiums on the island. Then, in the afternoon, the General Meeting for TKU Alumni consisted of an award presentation for outstanding TKU alumni, as well as the review and amendment of various TKU regulations related to alumni and the election of high-level alumni personnel.
On the afternoon of October 6, students from the TKU Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering went to various locations around Taipei City collecting receipts to help support burn victims. In Taiwan, receipts collected from everyday purchases have numbers printed on them. If the number of a particular receipt matches that of the official “winning receipt numbers”, then the lucky receipt holder could win a government-granted cash reward of anything from NT $200 to $40,000. The students – 62 in total – organized the fundraising activity as part of their compulsory service learning course, in which TKU students go into the community to help those in need. The recent fundraising effort was held for people who have suffered from severe burns and who face the aftereffects of such burns, which include self-consciousness and low self-esteem. The activity carries on from a previous TKU exercise, in which students walked around the Tamsui Campus with burn bandages that covered their heads to experience what it feels like to be different and to be stared at by strangers. This time, the students went to several areas around downtown Taipei with receipt collection baskets and wearing supportive bandages typically worn by burn victims. They headed to Vieshow Cinemas in the central Hsin Yi District, the Mitsukoshi Department Store near Taipei Main Station, to the major Eslite Bookstore in Hsin Yi, and other areas with large crowds of people. The organizer of the event, Yeh Hui-ru, commented that “students should not only just focus on working to make money for themselves. They should also learn the importance of volunteer work and how a bit of selfless effort can make such a big difference to someone else’s life.
TKU’s Mobile Chemistry Lab recently stopped at two junior high schools located on the Western most tip of Taiwan. It brought with it intriguing science experiments to show local students the fun involved in chemistry. Last year, as part of a prolonged tribute to Marie Sklodowska-Curie – who broke a host of records by being the first person to receive two Nobel prizes –the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) together with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held a range of Chemistry-related activities in numerous countries around the world. The Dean of the TKU College of Science, Dr. Wang Bo-Cheng, explained that by carrying out the Chemistry Lab journey, TKU hopes to show students in remote parts of Taiwan that chemistry can be fun, too. He said that chemistry lab volunteers went to great lengths to design a range of interesting and educational experiments that would engage students in the wonderful world of chemistry.
The current state of global economics has caused experts to be deeply concerned: the European debt crisis is getting worse; American economic growth is slow; and the vast majority of global economies are on the decline, even in developing Asian countries which previously showed signs of positive growth. The global economy is worse now than it was four years ago at the height of the global financial crisis. In order to better understand the current dynamics of the global economy, on Oct 2 the TKU College of Economics held a day-long Conference on Global Economic Development. Due to the large numbers of attendees, the conference was held simultaneously at the Ching Sheng International Conference Hall and the Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall, both on the Tamsui Campus. The event features special guest speaker, Kuan Chung min, the Minister without Portfolio in the Executive Yuan and Academician at Taiwan’s prestigious Academia Sinica. The Chair of the TKU Department of Economics, Dr. Cheng Tun-kung, said that “given the uncertain global trends of economic development in recent years, many countries are thinking of ways to address their economic problems. We hope that through this conference, we can provide a forum for practical ways in which to change the situation”. Many attending scholars forecasted that in the next 10 to 20 years, the economy will not recover, explaining that “there will be little if any economic growth and investments will in general reap very little return”. Attendees did, however, provide possible solutions and countermeasures to the current negative trends, including strengthening national infrastructure, expanding exports, encouraging people to change industries, enticing talented professionals to stay in Taiwan, and increasing government efficiency.
Today (Sept 27) at noon, the Office of Military Education and Training held a National Teacher’s Day activity at the Fu Yuan Garden, Tamsui Campus. National Teacher’s Day is an annual event that gives students the opportunity to express gratitude for the instruction and guidance they receive from their teachers throughout the year. The event began with a Lion Dance performance by the Overseas Chinese Student Club, followed by a martial arts demonstration staged by the Tae Kwon Do Club and a number of touching song and dance performances. To support the “Echinacea Movement” currently being promoted by the Ministry of Education, the TKU Office of Military Education and Training has recently also launched a series of anti-drug activities characterized by the slogan “clean, healthy, drug-free”. Wei Yu-wen, a staff member in the Office of Military Education and Training, said that teachers from the Office have helped to promote drug-free living through classroom education and by teaming up with the TKU Long-Distance Education Section to produce a “Quit Drugs” educational video. The video involves clips of TKU members talking about the hazards of drugs. Participants filmed include student club members, campus security officers, foreign students, and even owners of nearby shops and restaurants. The Echinacea plant boasts a number of beneficial properties. Most notably, it is known for its ability to boost the immune system. Many Western companies process Echinacea and offer it to consumers as a health product. The plant’s healthful qualities have led it to be used as the symbol of drug-free living by the Taiwanese government. To coincide with the series of drug-free activities, the Office of Military Education and Training recently set up an official “Echinacea Movement” Facebook fan site. To support the movement, please refer to the website http://facebook.com/tkunodrug.
On the afternoon of September 24, the President of the Latin University of Panama, Prof. Modaldo Tunon, arrived at the TKU Tamsui Campus. The first stop on his TKU itinerary was a meeting with the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang. This was followed by a tour of the Tamsui Campus and an informal discussion hosted by the TKU Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-Chin Tai. The Latin University of Panama was established in 1991. Its main campus is located in Panama City and it has a total of four school campuses, with a student enrollment of over 10,000. Today, it is one of the leading institutes of higher education in Panama. In May this year, TKU’s President Chang led a delegation of senior TKU staff on a visit to the Latin University of Panama. The visiting TKU staff were received personally by President Modaldo Tunon, with whom they discussed prospects for future academic collaboration. After arriving at the TKU Tamsui Campus, President Modaldo Tunon visited TKU’s President Chang. During their meeting, President Chang provided a brief introduction of TKU. She explained that TKU currently has around 28,000 students, which is the largest enrollment among all private universities in Taiwan. She also noted that TKU graduates are known for their outstanding performance in the public sector, with a large number of TKU alumni involved in foreign diplomacy work in Latin America. President Modaldo Tunon proposed the signing of an academic partnership agreement that would see the two universities become sister universities, with prospects for student exchange, joint research, and frequent mutual visits. During his tour of the campus, President Modaldo Tunon visited various campus facilities, including the Chueh Sheng Memorial Library and the TKU Maritime Museum.
The 4th floor of the Business and Management Building recently received a drastic makeover. Students who come to the new Office of Student Affairs can invariably be heard saying “Wow! It’s so nice and pleasant here!” The renovations were undertaken during the recent summer holidays in order to provide students with a comfortable space to study or just simply “hang out”. To celebrate the completion of the new “student affairs area”, on the afternoon of September 20 the Office of Student Affairs held an afternoon tea event and invited the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Po-yuan Kao, and senior management from various TKU first and second-level departments and colleges. In her opening remarks, President Chang noted that the new environment is not only more pleasant to be in, but is also more conducive to efficient study and work practices. She encouraged students to take part in TKU extracurricular activities and urged staff to focus on helping students develop not just academically, but also to help them grow into well-balanced individuals with a responsibility to the community and the broader society. The afternoon tea event also featured various contributions from various TKU student clubs. For example, the TKU Flower Arrangement Club helped to decorate the area with a beautiful display of color; the Bartender Club provided drinks; the Cuisine Club brought sumptuous snacks, while the TKU Choir offered a harmonious melody. Second year student Yang Hui-ci, commented: “This area has become brighter, nicer, and just more pleasant. It’s no wonder so many students come here now to just relax or do their homework”.
The new academic year has brought with it a number of new academic courses. There are four new credit programs being offered and a total of 93 new courses. Among these are two credit programs known as Green Technology (offered by the College of Engineering) and Culture and Travel (offered by the College of Global Entrepreneurial Development). These two programs recently received subsidies from the Ministry of Education for their unique and innovative formats. The credit program Green Technology was designed to accord with current social trends, emphasizing the development of green technology in a variety of industries. The course aims to develop technology professionals with an in-depth knowledge of environmentally-friendly resources and skills in research and development. The other credit program “Culture and Travel” provides students with expertise in the tourism industry coupled with mastery of a foreign language. To achieve this, the program incorporates industry internship programs, course instruction provided primarily in English, and a compulsory year of overseas study at one of TKU’s sister universities.
TKU has a wide variety of student clubs, including those in the area of arts and crafts, sports, volunteer and service, religion, social interaction, and music, as well as various student associations. In total, TKU has over 200 clubs, societies and associations. Over the past week, these clubs have been on display, setting up stalls in Poster Week, Tamsui Campus, as part of the 2012 Student Club Fair. The fair is an annual TKU ritual, in which Tamkang clubs host fun activities to attract new freshmen and promote club events. The TKU Equestrian Club, for example, set up a stall which allowed passers-by to pat a real live horse and a foal. After visiting some of the stalls, first year student, Lin Jing-kai, commented: "I really encourage new students to come and check out the stalls. Try to make most of your life at Tamkang".
From September 10 – 14, 27 Tamkang students from the Department of Information and Communication are holding a documentary film exhibition at the Black Swam Exhibition Hall, Tamsui Campus. The exhibition displays short documentary films about an historical site in Tamsui and the only remaining industrial relic in Taiwan, the Tamsui Shell Warehouse. The Warehouse was once a central hub for oil transportation in Asia. In order to highlight the intriguing history of the site – which includes Japanese occupation – the 27 Tamkang students produced an extended documentary called “No Ice”. “No Ice” consists of three separate shorter documentaries: “Sticky Memories”, “The Recollection of a Port”, and “The Year we Built Tamsui”. The documentary provides an in-depth look into the culture and history of Tamsui, and how the Warehouse has helped to shape the Tamsui we know today. “No Ice”, which was the students’ final assignment for the course “Storytelling and Storyboarding”, was first screened at the Tamsui Cultural Park. It incorporates several settings, including the Tamsui Shell Warehouse, a port, an airport, and railway tracks”. Chen Yu-hsuan, the organizer of the exhibition, commented: “Tamsui’s culture has always been very open to outside cultures. The purpose of this event is to get rid of people’s apathy toward history. We hope to stimulate people’s interest in the local history, art, and culture”.
Each year, at the start of the new academic year, senior staff lead newly arrived TKU freshmen through a unique Tamkang ritual. They lead them up the 132-step slope known as the “slope of overcoming difficulty”; a slope that connects Tamkang to Central Tamsui and was once the only path to TKU. The ritual has a deeper meaning. The steep slope symbolizes adversity. By scaling the slope together, TKU hopes to instill in students the importance of perseverance and teamwork. Therefore, on the mornings of September 6th and 7th, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, led new TKU students up the “slope of overcoming difficulty”. There were also orientation activities and lectures organized to help Tamkang freshmen feel more at home. During the orientation, President Chang delivered an opening speech in which she welcomed new freshmen to the large Tamkang family.
From Aug 23-25, graduating TKU students from the Department of Information Management took part in the 3rd Chinese University Service Innovation Contest, held in Jiangsu, China. The contest featured 246 teams from 158 universities throughout Mainland China and Taiwan, including prestigious institutions such as Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Harbin University of Science and Technology. Out of the 246 teams to enter, the TKU contingent received a first place Excellence Award. The winning TKU students include Chang Hsing-chun, Tsai Hui-yun, and Lin Han-ting. Together, the TKU students invented a product designed to entertain children while at the same time bringing families closer together. Called “Holding Family Close”, the product is a new type of online game that draws in the latest technology and appeals to not only children, but parents too. The purpose of the software is to try to bring families closer together by providing a product that be played by the entire family.
The FIRA 2012 RoboWorld Cup was recently held in Bristol, England. As in past years, the TKU Robot Research Team dominated, bringing home 5 gold, 3 silver, and 3 bronze medals. The Robot Research Team is supervised by three professors from the Department of Electrical Engineering: Dr. Wong Ching-Chang, Dr. Chi-Tai Cheng, and Dr. Shi-An Li. It consists of two separate smaller teams: the RoboSot Research Team (RoboSot refers to “Robot Soccer”) and the Huro Research Team (Huro refers to “Humanoid Robot”). This year, the world champion TKU team took part in two of the competition categories, known as RoboSot and HuroCup (Humanoid Robot Cup). The TKU RoboSot Research Team was made up of the team Captain He Cheng-Yao, as well as team members Yu Chia-ren, Chan Hsiang-min, Lin Yi Nu Yun, Yang Jing-yao, Hsieh Ming-hua, Tsao Che-wei, and Wu Yi-ting. The supervising professor for the RoboSot Team, Dr. Wong Ching-Chang, commented that the team’s focus this time was on creating powerful RoboSot equipment. Starting from 2003, he noted, the TKU RoboSot Team has been crowned RoboSot world champions a total of 8 times, in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Dr. Wong further explained that the robots created by the team are each equipped with a video camera, notebook computer, control hardware, and circuit boards. The Huro Research Team was made up of the team Captain Hu Yue Yang, as well as team members Chung Hao-chia, Chen Li-feng, Chung Yi-fan, Chou Min-wei, Lin Yi-chung, Chen Bo-yan, Wu Chien-hung, Shi Ming-chun, Liu De-chi, Wang Guan-deng, Chen Shi-kai, and Chen Chi-min. The team gained placings in a number of competition categories, including Lift and Carry, Rock Climbing, Basketball, Weight Lifting, Obstacle Run, Sprint, Penalty Kicks, and the Marathon event.
Held from August 23-25 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the TKU World Alumni Biennial Conference drew Tamkang alumni and prestigious guests from around the globe. Among the guests were Dr. Loo Soon, the President of the TKU Alumni Association Headquarters, along with alumni from each city, town, and county throughout Taiwan; Dr. Sun Jui-lung, the President of the TKU Academic Department Alumni Association, along with alumni from each TKU academic department; Kao Hsin-Ping, the President of the Association for Taiwanese Businessman in Mainland China; Feng Chi-feng and Chen Song, the President and Chairperson respectively of the TKU Alumni Association of North America. The conference was also attended by Malaysian alumni and local dignitaries from government and industry, with a total of over 600 guests. The three-day conference schedule included a Malaysian investment symposium, an evening banquet, and an alumni golf contest. The first item on the schedule was an informal dinner event held on the evening of Aug 24 by the President of the TKU World Alumni Association, Chen Ching-nan. During his opening speech, Chen thanked fellow alumni for their support in organizing the historic event. He encouraged all TKU alumni to give back to their alma mater in whatever form possible, whether it be financial support or personal volunteer work. Chen also urged TKU alumni associations to begin holding more frequent alumni gatherings and events, which he explained not only motivates and inspires alumni, but also helps to galvanize support for Tamkang. Finally, he expressed gratitude for the hard work and commitment displayed by Malaysian alumni over the past two years in preparing for the event. To follow was a speech by TKU President, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang. She explained that she was not only grateful for the arduous efforts of Malaysian alumni, but also extremely touched. President Chang noted that Tamkang’s achievement of producing graduates who have been voted as “enterprises favorite” for the past 15 years is largely due to the accomplishments achieved by alumni over the past several decades. On the morning of the 25th, 40 alumni from Taiwan and Malaysia took part in the alumni golf contest. In the end, the winner with the best gross score was the President of the TKU Paraguay Alumni Association, Hsu Liang-chuan. The net winner was Li Zi-song, the Chairman of the Federation of Alumni Association of Taiwan Universities, Malaysia. The net first runner up was the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang; and the net second runner up was the Dean of the Office of Physical Education, Dr. Hsiao Shu-fen. The Malaysian investment symposium was held in the afternoon of the 25th. Hosted by the Deputy Representative to Malaysia, Lin Ming Li, the symposium featured talks by leaders in Malaysian industry that informed guests of the myriad prospects for investing in Malaysia. The symposium was followed in the evening by the official Biennial Conference Banquet, which was not only a culinary feast, but also featured entertainment and touching speeches.
For Tamkang students, learning is not just about increasing your IQ in a classroom environment. Enhancing your EQ by taking part in student association activities is also an integral part of the Tamkang experience. That is why almost five decades ago TKU initiated a 5-day camp that is held just before the beginning of the new academic year. Known as the Seminar for Leaders of Student Associations, the event helps to train new student club leaders, nurture friendships among fellow club leaders and inject passion and enthusiasm into the operation of student clubs. The 2012 Seminar for Leaders of Student Associations was held from Aug 20 – 24 and was attended by 230 student club leaders. The theme of the seminar was “overcoming obstacles, innovative thinking, navigating a team, and fulfilling one’s dream”. It involved three main aspects of student club learning: operating student clubs, holding student activities, and inter-personal interaction. During the opening ceremony of the event, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, expressed that leadership is a quality that is learned, not just innate. She urged the new leaders of student clubs not to be nervous, but instead to manage their time with efficiency and recognize the importance of teamwork to the successful functioning of student associations. She explained that student clubs classes are now a compulsory aspect of learning at TKU, and that the compulsory student club course is one component of the Three Circles and Five Disciplines of Education practiced at TKU. Wu Pin-hsuan, a participant and PR leader of a TKU student society, noted that “the seminar featured a very full schedule and taught me a huge amount regarding inter-personal interaction and how to be a better leader”.
Over the last decade, the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has become an integral trend in the aviation industry. This trend had been driven by the relatively low cost involved in the production and maintenance of UAV; the fact that high risk missions can be carried out with minimal expenditure. In Taiwan, Tamkang University’s UAV Research Team, part of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, has contributed greatly to research in this area. Recently, it made an important breakthrough. The team created Taiwan’s first ever solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle. On August 18, the vehicle was taken for a test flight at an aviation facility in New Taipei City. The successful production and test flight of the UAV will result in advances in a number of related areas, such as UAV data reconnaissance, the monitoring of combat situations, and the collection of information regarding natural disasters, such as typhoons, forest fires, and others. The plane is two meters in length, with a wing span of 3.7m. It’s maximum speed is 34 km/h, and it weighs a mere 8.9 kgs. It is called the “Yue Zhuo”, which in Chinese refers to a mystical creature somewhat akin to a phoenix. The UAV research team explained that “the recent test flight proved that both the design of the plane and the solar-powered operation system are suitable for average flying conditions. In the future, we’ll continue to improve on and advance the current design”.