On May 26, the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, led a group of senior Tamkang staff to visit several sister universities in Central and Latin America. The TKU delegation consisted of the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-chin Tai, the Dean of the College of Foreign Languages and Literature, Dr. Wu Hsi-Deh, the Executive Director of the Office of Alumni Services and Resources Development, Dr. Chun-young Perng, and the Director of the Graduate Institute of the Americas, Dr Lucy Chen. The group’s visit to Latin America will end on June 2, by which time group members will have been to four universities: Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, the University of Panama, the Technological University of Panama, and Universidad Latina de Panama. On arrival, the TKU delegation was greeted by Andrea Lee, Taiwan’s Representative to Mexico. The day after arriving (May 27), an official welcome banquet was held in their honor. Subsequently, on May 28, the group visited the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, where they received a warm welcome from the university president, Eduardo Gasco Pliego, along with 40 faculty and staff members. The visit gave both parties the chance to renew their mutual partnership agreement and discuss opportunities for further academic cooperation. UAEM is one of Mexico’s more prestigious institutions of higher learning. Established in 1828, it now comprises of 21 academic colleges, 60 departments, 33 master’s programs and 12 PhD programs; and is home to 57,000 students. TKU and UAEM became sister universities in 1992. Since then, not only have several UAEM faculty members come to TKU to serve as exchange professors, but numerous Tamkang students have also travelled to UAEM for a year of overseas study.
The TKU Department of Industrial Economics invited Prof. Lai In-Jaw to deliver a special lecture at Chung-ling Chemistry Hall, May 29. Prof. Lai is the former President of the Judicial Yuan. He obtained a PhD from Harvard University and has previously served as the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the R.O.C and the Vice-Governor of Taiwan. Prof. Lai’s lecture described numerous trends that can currently be observed globally. This includes the Occupy Wall Street Movement, which affected people’s views of capitalism and other such social paradigms. He noted that one of the factors triggering the Movement was the extreme disparity in global distribution of wealth, wherein 1% of the world’s population owns 40% of the world’s resources. Prof. Lai also talked about the immense pressure that this situation places on world governments. Such governments often have to decide whether to cater to the interests of big business at the expense of the rest of the population; or to fight for the 99% even at the risk of losing the support of the 1%. Prof. Lai, however, believes that social responsibility among enterprises does not in fact lead to a drop in profits, and that social responsibility and company profits are inextricably linked.
On May 27 and 28, the Department of Information and Communication held an end-of-semester exhibition. The exhibition showcased the hard work of 27 second year students, who formed groups and filmed an extended documentary called “No Ice”. No Ice consists of three separate themes: “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 this cultural heritage has shaped the Tamsui we know today. The documentary, which was the students’ final assignment for the course “Storytelling and Storyboarding”, was screened at the Tamsui Cultural Park. The film incorporates several settings, including the Tamsui Shell Warehouse, a port, an airport, and railway tracks”. Chen Yu-hsuan, the organizer of the exhibition, said: “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”.
This week, The College of Liberal Arts will be home to an exhibit organized as part of the 31st Tamkang University Liberal Arts Week. Liberal Arts week celebrates literature and the arts. This year, its theme is based on Beijing Opera masks and the symbolic meaning behind the masks’ various colors. The exhibition is a “wall collection” of classical Beijing Opera Masks. It is an assortment of colors and countenances, both frightening & friendly. In traditional Peking Opera, the color red corresponds to devotion, loyalty, righteousness, and bravery. Purple depicts wisdom, resourcefulness, and justice; while yellow symbolizes cruelty and ferocity. At the Liberal Arts Week opening ceremony, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, praised the event, saying that it was the perfect combination of tradition & innovation.
Starting from May 15 and extending until June 28, the Tamkang Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center is holding an exhibition that showcases the best of Taiwanese and Korean art. The exhibition consists of paintings produced by artists from Taiwan’s Alliance of Modern Artists (21 artists) and 21 artists from universities throughout Korea. The exhibition opening ceremony was on May 15 at the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center and was attended by the Representative from the Korean Mission in Taipei, Mr. Sang-ki Chung, as well as distinguished professors from Sunmoon University and SangMyung University in Korea. During the opening ceremony, the TKU President, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, delivered an opening address. She commented that Taiwan can learn from Korea in a number of areas, including sports, art, and TV dramas, and concluded her speech with the Korean word for thank you, “kamsahamnida”. Mr. Sangki-Chung also delivered an opening speech. He expressed gratitude for being invited to the event, and noted that the exhibition, apart from promoting art to the general public and local students, also reflects the friendly mutual relationship enjoyed by Taiwan and Korea. Second year Department of Mass Communication student, Li You-ru, said that the painting by Taiwanese artist Lu Hsien Ming brought the subject to life. “It really captured my imagination!”
On Thurs, 17th May, an internationally-renowned expert in the field of quality management delivered a lecture at Tamkang’s Tamsui Campus. The guest speaker, Noriaki Kano, is a Japanese professor – now retired – who has published numerous academic papers (over 300) relating to quality management; many seminal QM books and textbooks; and received countless international awards, including the Quality Control Literature Prize (six times), the Deming Lecturer Award (1997), and the E. Jack Lancaster Medal (2002). Prof. Kano’s lecture took the theme “Kano Model and Attractive Quality Creation”. During the lecture, which Kano delivered in his unique humorous style, he extrapolated on his own model of quality creation. He explained that the process of “dealing with quality” had undergone three separate evolutionary phases: from “Quality Control” in the 50s and “Quality Management” in the 70s, to the more proactive policy of “Quality Creation” seen today. Prof. Kano divided “quality “into four distinct elements: indifferent quality, attractive quality, one-dimensional quality, and must-be quality. He gave an example of the four types of quality, citing people’s attitudes to color television in the early 1980s. According to Kano, the energy consumption of color television belongs to one-dimensional quality: when it is ideal, people are very satisfied; when less than ideal, people become easily dissatisfied. The safety of a television set is “must-be quality”, in that a high level of safety is viewed as a given or a must. The remote control represents “attractive quality”– a high quality remote control makes the user very satisfied; while stereo sound was an “indifferent quality”, as users at the time generally did not care whether the sound was stereo or mono. Kano offered another example, pointing to a male-female relationship between a couple known as John and Mary. As children, John and Mary would play together and have fun, but had no special feelings toward each other (indifferent quality). Then, at around the age of 17 or 18, they suddenly started to see each other differently, and a deep attraction developed (attraction quality). They eventually got married. When Mary was around to keep John company or do the house work, John felt blessed. However, when Mary was not around or did not want to clean up the house, John got unhappy (one-dimension quality). As time went by and John got used to Mary’s presence, he began to take her for granted. Now, no matter how hard Mary works to clean up the house, John no longer sees it as something special (must-be quality). The lecture, which was attended by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, and all senior TKU faculty and staff, taught attendees to strive for quality creation and to always exceed the expectations of one’s customers and managers.
Starting from the second semester of the 2011 academic year, freshmen have been required to take the course “Learning and Practice of Clubs”. Since implementing the compulsory course, much has been achieved. To display the achievements made in the course over the last semester, TKU is currently holding a “Learning and Practice of Clubs” Course Exhibition. Held from May 14-17 on the 1st floor of the Shao-Mo Memorial gymnasium, the event will involve a number of activities, such as an opening ceremony, a still exhibition, various fun games, a teacher assistant (TA) party, and a closing ceremony. The themes displayed in the still exhibition include the ‘development of the course’ (Learning and Practice of Clubs), as well as students’ diverse forms of learning; clubs’ strengthening of general operation; and TA’s consultative role in the course.
On the afternoon of May 10, Dr. Yang Chih-liang, the former Minister for Health of the Republic of China (Taiwan), came to the TKU Lanyang Campus to deliver a lecture. Held at the Clement C.P. Chang International Conference Hall, the lecture explored the topic "Taiwan's collapse: "Challenging Taiwan's Impossible Future". During his tenure as health minister, Yang criticized the direction of social development, which he claimed led to "no marriage, no children, no growth, no life, and no future". He believes a society that single-mindedly pursues economic objectives inevitably ends up damaging the environment and the ecology, and hindering social justice. During the speech, he referred to examples of development in the West, which he says involves objectives for the environment, one's personal health and mental health, and not simply the economy. Yang also suggested a number of social reforms, such as more efficient social governance, equitable raising of taxes, reasonable price increases, more extensive care of the underprivileged, and a better social welfare system. He called on the students to help in taking on the "impossible challenge" of transforming the "five no" slogan into the following, life-sustaining slogan: "willingness to marry, joy in birth, peace of mind, happiness in living, and a bright future!"
This year, the Department of Mass Communication’s graduation exhibition took the theme of “Opening a New Window”. This refers to a new way of thinking or approaching things when faced with challenges or difficulties. In such instances, people should “open a new window”, try a new path. The exhibition, held at the TKU Black Swan Exhibition Hall, began on May 8 and will extend to May 10. It will also be held at the Hsin Yi Branch (6th Floor) of the Eslite Bookstore, Taipei City, from May 12-13. The graduating students were divided into three separate groups based on the nature of the work they produced: an audio-visual group, a special feature group, and a marketing group. The first group (audio-visual) consisted of various teams, each of which made their own separate short film. Among them is a touching film, called “Hey, classmate!”, which recounts the story of a friendship between two boys that met thanks to a set of keys. Other films in the all-popular audio-visual group include “Break-up Inc.”, “Finding Your Courage”, and “K.O.”, a documentary on Taiwan’s future boxing hopefuls. Want to learn more about the graduation exhibition? Visit the official exhibition website at http://www.tamx.tku.edu.tw/26th_Breakthrough/index.html.
At 10am on May 2, 2012, Tamkang University entered into a unique cooperative relationship with the National Immigration Agency (NIA), Ministry of the Interior. The relationship was formalized in a signing ceremony held at the Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall, Tamsui Campus, which saw the signing of the ‘Strategic Alliance Cooperation Agreement’. The agreement was signed by the TKU Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-chin Tai, and the Director General of the NIA, Hsieh Li-kung, and will entail close and multi-faceted collaboration between TKU and NIA. It will provide TKU students with chances for internship at the NIA; enable both parties to promote speeches and lectures in the area of immigration; and give TKU students a better insight into the lives of new immigrants. From as early as 2009, employees from the NIA New Taipei City Service Station have been coming to the TKU Tamsui Campus to assist international and overseas Chinese students with visa applications, enquiries, and other general immigration services. Fourth year Tamkang student, Yang Hao-jie, noted that: “each year, about a month before the winter and summer holidays, members from the Immigration Agency come to Tamkang to collect ARC application documents, process such applications, handle visa extensions, among other services. It saves us the long commute to the NIA service station and makes our overall experience in Taiwan much more pleasant”.
Continuing on from 2011’s International Chemistry Year activities, TKU’s mobile chemistry lab last week visited a high school on the outskirts of Hsinchu City, Northern Taiwan. 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. This year, TKU’s Department of Chemistry once again launched the Mobile Chemistry Lab, a 3.5 ton wagon with a gull-wing door that opens on to a small-scale, fully-equipped chemistry lab. The purpose of the lab is to enhance access to the wonder of chemistry among children from rural areas around Taiwan. The first stop on the new journey was Nei Hu High School in Hsinchu, where local students got the chance to take part in numerous fun experiments. The person responsible for the lab, the Dean of the TKU College of Science, Dr. Bo-Cheng Wang, commented: “giving the local students access to chemistry is like giving plants a ray of sunlight. All these students need to grow into successful scientists or experts in the field is knowledge and the chance to become familiar with the amazing world of science”. During the activity, the Mayor of Hsinchu City, Hsu Ming-tsai, presented organizer and host, Dr. Wang, with a certificate of appreciation.
In order to allow disabled members of the community to personally experience the beauty of the Zhishan Cultural and Economic Garden, a group of 20 freshmen from the TKU Department of Banking and Finance woke up early on Saturday morning (April 28) to serve as “community volunteers”. They did so as part of the TKU service learning program, a prerequisite for all Tamkang freshmen. The activity was organized by Access for All in Taiwan, a charity organization set up to service the disabled. The day’s schedule involved a trip to the Cultural and Economic Garden in Zhishan, where the TKU students helped the disabled participants to tour the magnificent gardens, by assisting in pushing wheelchairs, guiding the visually impaired, and helping when participants required assistance. One of the participating freshmen, Liu Wei-chi, said that to ensure the students were able to fulfil their duties as volunteers and make the disabled feel comfortable in any of a number of surroundings or situations, Tamkang University especially organized for volunteer training classes prior to setting out. During the classes, students took turns in slowly wheeling fellow students up and down small hills in wheelchairs. The exercise was conducted to instil in students the need to care for fellow citizens and experience the joy of helping others.
On April 27, the TKU Graduate Institute of Educational Policy and Leadership held a symposium that explored the quality assurance mechanisms used in both local and overseas universities. The opening ceremony was hosted by the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, and featured opening remarks from Academician and Minister without Portfolio, Dr. Ovid Tseng. The morning session of the symposium was jointly hosted by President Chang, along with the Executive Director of the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET), Dr. George J. Jiang, and the Head of the ROC Bureau of Education, Tengjiao Lin. Subsequently, the afternoon session, which involved an open discussion, was hosted by the Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Department Director, He Zhuo-Fei, and was attended by Wang Bao Jin, from the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan, as well as Dr. Hsun-Fang Kao, the Dean of the TKU College of Education. In total, 180 scholars and students took part in the event. The Director of the Graduate Institute of Educational Policy and Leadership, Chan Yang Ying, explained: “We specially invited educational scholars from abroad as well as professors from local educational evaluation institutes. This way, we not only get a better insight into the quality assurance mechanisms employed by overseas universities, but also gain a better understanding of study evaluations in higher education”. The morning session consisted of special lectures by three foreign scholars, including Dr. Helka Kekäläinen, England’s Dr. Sue Law, and America’s Dr. James Earl Davis. Topics explored included “External Quality Assurance and Students’ Learning Outcomes: Example of FINHEEC”; “Exploring Changes in UK Higher Education”; and “Reconsidering Institutional Diversity and Learning Outcomes for Students in Higher Education”. The afternoon session consisted of six thesis presentations.
On April 25, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of China, Timothy Yang, came to the TKU Tamsui Campus to deliver a lecture on “New Opportunities and Strategies in ROC Foreign Diplomacy”. During his speech, he described in detail the evolution of the current foreign policy known as “flexible diplomacy”. He noted that “due to the mutual economic reliance of the US and China, as well as China’s push to further develop its economy, Taiwan must adopt a foreign policy that emphasizes peace and harmony”. In this vein, in recent years Taiwan has worked to improve its diplomatic relationship with all countries. Thanks to its efforts in promoting flexible diplomacy, the Taiwan-US relationship is closer than ever, with the US renewing its vow to ensure Taiwan’s security and listing it among the countries being considered for visa-exemptions to the US. Holders of the ROC passport can now land in 127 countries without requiring a visa; an increase of 135% since President Ma Ying-jeou came to office four years ago. The ROC Foreign Ministry is also working to gain formal status recognition from major international organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the World Health Organization (WHO). At the conclusion of Foreign Minister Yang’s speech, the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, noted the effect of such foreign policy achievements on higher education. “Foreign diplomacy is not just an extension of the defense force, but is inextricably linked with education. Advancements in foreign diplomacy enable us more flexibility in promoting international exchange and interaction among our overseas partner universities.
On the afternoon of April 24, distinguished National Taiwan University professor and Academia Sinica Academician, Dr. Chung-Ming Kuan, came to Tamkang to deliver a lecture on the topic “Major Trends in the International Economy”. The talk provided Tamkang students, faculty, and staff with an in-depth analysis of future global market trends. Dr. Kuan described a number of political and economic changes that have occurred between the 20th and 21st centuries. He also noted that shifts in the nature of production have affected consumer behavior and trade practices, a factor which will inevitably lead to the rise of a new global superpower. He also talked about the current financial crisis in Europe. He explained that if the countries currently burdened by massive debts remain in the EU, the global financial market will continue to display instability. He suggested that the EU consider reducing the number of member states to include only the countries that can maintain a healthy economy. The countries with fiscal problems (such as Greece and Portugal) should leave the EU and, with the help of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), work to reorganize their debts and restore financial order. Finally, Dr. Kuan explained the evolving role of Asia in the global financial market, noting that by 2030, Asia’s middle class will account for two-thirds of the world’s middle class population.
On the afternoon of April 23, one of the world’s leading scholars in the area of global tertiary education – Prof. Jamil Salmi – delivered a lecture at the TKU Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall, Tamsui Campus. Prof. Salmi is a Morrocan education economist and the former tertiary education coordinator of the World Bank, specializing in policies of global tertiary education, finance, governance, college world ranking, and benchmark learning. He is the author of various textbooks exploring the administrative systems of the world’s foremost universities. The lecture took the topic “Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century: Competition or Collaboration?” It involved three main topics, including ‘the importance of knowledge’, ‘requirements and methods for reforming the education system’, and ‘the meaning of the new economy: competition or collaboration?’ During the speech, he also outlined a number of possible future trends. Prof Salmi believes that in the future, a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) will eclipse the currently-popular MBA degree in importance, as more emphasis begins to be placed on fine arts and humanities. According to Prof. Salmi, the society of tomorrow will rely on innovation as the primary form of advancement. Therefore, colleges that encourage and inspire students to create and innovate will inevitably move forward. The lecture was followed by an informal discussion hosted jointed by Prof. Salmi, along with the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, and the Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Hsun-Fang Kao.
Application fever is gripping Tamkang, with two new i-phone apps recently designed to simplify the lives of students, faculty, and staff. One of the new apps, “Tamkang Traffic”, was designed and created by Tamkang first year student, Dai You-Hsuan, from the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering. Tamkang Traffic provides down-to-the-minute information on the whereabouts and ETA of buses traveling between the Tamsui MRT Station and Tamkang University. You-Hsuan explained: “I’m rather interested in public transportation. So, I wanted to write an App that would allow Tamkang students to access accurate information on local and Tamkang buses. It’s a very convenient application!” The other application is called TKU Wifi and was designed by first year Department of Information Management student, Yan Jun-an. TKU Wifi allows students to access Tamkang Wi-Fi without the complicated procedure previously required. In the future, Jun-an hopes to apply this technology to universities across Taiwan, to simplify the process of accessing college-based web servers.
After 18 years of ups & downs, this year mainland Chinese students were finally permitted to come to Taiwan as degree-seeking students. The current relationship between Taiwan & Mainland China can be described as “complicated” and “sensitive”. On April 14, this relationship formed the focus of a symposium held at the TKU Taipei Campus – the Symposium on Cross-Strait Relations in Higher Education. The symposium – the first of its kind held by Tamkang – featured both educational scholars and Cross-Strait experts, who together explored issues ranging from romantic relationships between Mainland and Taiwanese students to the enthusiasm of Mainland students to study in Taiwan. Ms. Lin, from the TKU office of International and Cross-Strait Affairs, explained that the symposium helped her to better understand the current direction of Cross-Strait policy in the area of higher education.
In order to better understand the achievements and features of the TKU Administrative Development Scheme, to discuss the content of work objectives proposed by faculty for the 2012 academic year, and to prepare for the assignment of funds and subsidies in the coming academic year, on 13th April TKU held the 2012 Academic Development Conference at the Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall. Hosted by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the conference featured a keynote speech by the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Gwo-hsing Yu, as well as progress reports from each of TKU’s first and second tier departments, including the colleges of Liberal Arts, Science, Engineering, Business, Management, Foreign Languages and Literature, Education, and Global Entrepreneurial Development, as well as the Cham Pion Incubation Center and the Office of International and Cross-Strait Affairs. During the keynote speech, Vice President Yu discussed some of the challenges facing Taiwanese private universities due to plummeting birth rates and constrained government funding. He also noted that under such conditions, an attitude of constant innovation is required. The speech was followed by reports by both academic and administrative departments, which outlined their recent accomplishments and objectives for the future.
At 3:10pm on Tues April 10, the Chung-Ling Chemistry Hall was the venue for a special lecture. The lecture was delivered by Dr. Zhou Yuashen, an Academia Sinica Academician and one of the most prominent mathematicians in Taiwan, having previously served as the Director-General of the Institute of Mathematics, Academia Sinica. The lecture explored the topic of Optimal Stopping, analyzing the optimal time for a person to stop betting in order to maximize their profits. Starting from 1961, Dr. Zhou teamed up with fellow scholar, Herbert Robbins, to publish a series of essays that analyze the conditions necessary to make an ‘optimal stop’. In 1971, Dr. Zhou worked with Robbins and Siegmund to write ‘Great Expectations: the Theory of Optimal Stopping’, which later came to be viewed as the “bible for statisticians”. Ms. Hsieh, from the TKU Department of Mathematics, commented: “we are so fortunate to have this opportunity”.