On the 4th of May, an opening ceremony was held to kick off this year’s Spring Sunshine Week. Attendees at the event included the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the TKU Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Po-yuan Kao, the Director of the TKU Office of Military Education and Training, Chen Guo-Liang, and the entire staff of the Office of Military Education and Training. Spring Sunshine Week is organized by the TKU Spring Sunshine Club. It involves activities that encourage students to quit smoking, or, at the very least, to head to the designated smoking areas, set up around TKU, before ‘lighting up’. Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Chang pointed out that currently, 1 out of every 10 deaths around the world is caused by the effects of cigarette smoking; quit-smoking campaigns have become major social movements worldwide. Given TKU’s status as a recognized international safe school, she added, it is imperative that TKU faculty and students find a way to quit smoking. President Chang also conferred awards on members of the TKU Spring Sunshine Club and TKU reporters for their work over the past year in promoting the need to quit smoking and taking part in numerous related campus activities. “Their efforts have contributed to the sharp reduction in smoking seen at the Tamsui Campus”, she asserted. The opening ceremony also featured special guest speaker and long-time ‘quit-smoking’ campaigner, Chen Shu-li. Ms. Chen, apart from presenting awards to ‘quit smoking’ volunteers, also expressed that she was touched by TKU’s enthusiasm in promoting student health. The event concluded as members of the Spring Sunshine Club handed flower bouquets to TKU teachers and staff.
A display showcasing the work of over 100 Chinese calligraphy masters is currently being held at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Taipei. The exhibition was organized by Tamkang University. It began on the 23rd of April, and will continue until May 16. On May 1, the official opening ceremony for the exhibition was held, and was attended by a host of dignitaries, including the president of the Republic of China, Mr. Ma Ying-jeou, the president of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, and the TKU vice president for administrative affairs, Dr. Po-yuan Kao. As an art form, Chinese calligraphy in Taiwan has been influenced by a myriad of cultures and traditions. From the Ming and Ching dynasties to the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, and then again to the period of KMT rule; each phase in history has helped to shape Taiwan’s unique and vibrant style of calligraphy. The exhibition will display the works of 155 calligraphy masters, including Li Chi Mao, Chang Guang Bin, and Zhong Gao Du.
On the 2nd of May, the President of Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies (NUFS), Prof. Akihito Ishikawa, and NUFS professor, Dr. Sumino Niida, visited the TKU Tamsui Campus. It was President Ishikawa’s first visit to TKU since recently being appointed to the top position at NUFS, and his third visit since TKU and NUFS became partner universities in May, 2004. From 2004, TKU and NUFS have signed a number of joint academic initiatives. Apart from a mutual student exchange program, the two universities also offer students a joint 2+2 dual bachelor degree program. During their recent trip to Tamkang, the NUFS delegates took part in an informal discussion hosted by TKU President, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang. Attendees at the informal discussion included several TKU faculty and staff members, such as the TKU Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-chin Tai, the Chairman of the TKU Department of English, Dr. Huang Yi-ming, the Chairman of the TKU Department of Japanese, Dr. Maa Yaw Huei, the Chairman of the TKU French Department, Dr. Yang Shu-chuen, the Director of the TKU Alumni Office, Dr. Perng Chun Yang, the Section Chief of the TKU Office of Academic Affairs Registration Section, Chiang Kuo-fang, and two NUFS exchange students who are currently studying at TKU. After the discussion, the guests were treated to a banquet at the TKU Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall.
Living in today’s modern and diverse society, we are continually flooded by information from a variety of sources. Although this wealth of data helps to inform and amuse us, without a sense of cohesion, it can often leave us feeling confused and empty. With this phenomenon in mind, TKU Department of Information and Communication students chose the theme of “Originating” for their current graduate work exhibition held at TKU’s Black Swan Exhibition Hall. The theme ‘originating’ refers to the need to go back to basics. The exhibition will showcase dissertations, videos, and games created by graduating Information and Communication students. It will continue until the 6th of May.
From April 26 – June 7, TKU’s Lanyang Campus will be home to a special photography exhibition. The exhibition will showcase 60 photographic works that capture the beauty of Taiwan’s wild birds in their natural habitat. The pieces were generously donated to TKU by well-known photographers and husband and wife, Mr. Kuo Keng-Kuang and Mrs. Huang Mei-e. In honor of the couples’ generosity, on April 26 the Lanyang Campus Office of the Director held an official ceremony to inaugurate the donated photographic works. Apart from the husband and wife donors themselves, a host of high-profile local dignitaries attended the ceremony, including the Deputy Director of the Yilan County Cultural Affairs Bureau, Sung Lung-Chuan. The Director of Lanyang Campus, Dr. Lin Jyh-horng, said he hopes that through the exhibition, TKU can spread information on the ecology of bird species to the broader community, that it can nurture in visitors an appreciation of art and nature, increase the public’s knowledge of bird species, and promote the need to protect Taiwan’s natural ecology.
Taiwan’s Global View Monthly and 104 Job Bank recently released the results of their joint annual survey, the 2011 Assessment of Enterprises’ Favorite College Graduates. This year, out of all Taiwanese universities (both public and private), Tamkang placed second. In the categories ‘Improvement in the quality of graduates’ and ‘Actively pursuing improvement in personal ability and skills, Tamkang was ranked first. The study listed the five characteristics of new employees that Taiwanese enterprises value most highly. In order of importance, they are: 1. an ability to learn and adapt; 2. a positive, proactive attitude; 3. professional knowledge and skills; 4. willingness to accommodate and stability on the job; and 5. a sense of responsibility and self-management. These five qualities perfectly correlate with Tamkang’s educational philosophy: its “Three Circles and Five Disciplines of Education”. Moreover, TKU’s triple objectives of education (internationalization, information-oriented education, and future- oriented education) precisely correspond with the extra-curricular expertise sought after by Taiwanese enterprises. Add to this TKU’s implementation of the Teaching Excellence Project, which aims to nurture exceptional students who possess an international outlook and an all-round education, and it is little wonder TKU performed so well in the recent survey.
On April 20, a TKU delegation led by TKU President, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, visited two of TKU’s partner universities in Mainland China: Peking University and the Beijing Institute of Technology. Apart from President Chang, the TKU contingent comprised TKU Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-Chin Tai, Dean of the College of Science, Dr. Wang Bo-Cheng , Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Hu Yi-jen, Dean of the College of Foreign Language and Literature, Dr. Sung Mei-Hwa, the Director of the TKU Department of Mathematics, Dr. Whei-ching Chan, and Nastia Lin of the TKU Office of International Exchange and International Education. At Peking University, TKU faculty and staff were given a warm reception by the President, Dr. Zhou Qifeng, and Secretary Guo Dacheng. The two universities held an informal discussion at which they explored options for mutual cooperation in the future. The TKU delegation also received an amiable reception at the Beijing Institute of Technology, where they were greeted by BIT president, Dr. Hu Hai yan, as well as a number of BIT deans and directors. The group then headed to Tianjin, where they will today (April 21) visit another sister university, Nankai University. Their trip has been very productive, and has tightened the already close relationship that TKU enjoys with these three Mainland Chinese universities.
On the afternoon of April 15, TKU’s Tamsui Campus was the site for the ‘Gender Equity Education Appraisal’ and the ‘Campus Environment and Safety Management Performance Evaluation’. The latter event got under way at 1:20 pm in the College of Business and Management building, where the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, delivered an opening speech to welcome the commissioners to the Tamsui Campus. This was followed by a brief report by the TKU Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Po-yuan Kao. After the report, the commissioners split into two groups and inspected numerous facilities around the Tamsui Campus, including the energy saving devices installed in the bathrooms of the Business and Management building; the electrical monitoring system installed by the TKU Construction and Repairs Section; the arrangement and management of vehicle and pedestrian lanes at the campus; and the implementation of energy saving initiatives, among others. The commissioners then reviewed information provided by each TKU department, and discussed their respective findings. At 2pm in the Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall, the Gender Equity Education Conference was held. During the conference, TKU President and Chairperson of the Gender Equity Education Committee, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, detailed the current status of TKU’s policies on gender equality. Then, at 3:30pm, the commissioners interviewed staff members from TKU’s Tamsui and Lanyang campuses and then held an informal discussion. For many years now, TKU has been promoting the use of energy saving facilities, student safety, hygiene, and environment-related education, a smoke-free campus, transport safety education, and a disability-friendly campus. As a result, in 2008 TKU became the first university in the world to be recognized as an International Safe School by the World Health Organization (WHO). TKU’s policies on gender equality encourage male teachers to play a more active part in activities related to gender equality; reward teachers who incorporate gender equality issues into their course curriculum; and enlist experts to construct a gender equity education website, among other such measures.
Every five years, the Ministry of Education undertakes a comprehensive evaluation of universities around Taiwan. During the evaluation, assessment officers known as “commissioners” visit the school and appraise all aspects of school performance and operation, including the quality of instruction, the administrative structures and quality assurance mechanisms in place, the school's self-defined position in the marketplace, the educational resources it offers, and the systems of governance and management it possesses. Today (April 13th), assessment “commissioners” arrived at the TKU Tamsui Campus as part of the 2011 On-site Institutional Evaluation. The evaluation will extend over two days, during which the commissioners will inspect the TKU library, various classrooms and laboratories, and other key locations around the campus. They will also review information prepared by each TKU department, and interview several members of TKU faculty and staff. The feedback offered by the commissioners serves as an essential guideline for future TKU policy directions and related initiatives. It is hoped that through the evaluation, TKU will not only receive recognition for its status as a leading private university, but will also gain insight on how to enhance its competitiveness and attain true sustainable development.
Last week, on Thursday April 7, the Tamkang University soccer team trounced a local Taiwanese college team to win the grand final of the University Football League. During the game, in recognition of TKU’s 60th anniversary, the team donned bright red uniforms, which not only symbolized ‘good fortune’, but also successfully drew the crowd’s attention. The coach of the TKU team, Associate Professor Chen Yi-Cheng, said that “the use of sound strategies and improved training methods was the key to victory”. At the conclusion of the match, the team captain, Ricardo B. Abrego Abrego, let out a euphoric scream “I can’t believe it!” He explained how he and his fellow teammates sacrificed their spring holidays to train for the game, and how at lunchtime everyday, team members took time out of their schedule to train and increase their physical strength. He noted: “we’ve got a really close team; we’re not just players on a soccer team, we’re like family”. The man of the match, Chen Zhi-yan, described how in the semi-final match, they entered a penalty shoot-out after a drawn result at full-time: I cried after missing my penalty shot. Fortunately, the others converted successfully and we made it into the grand final”. This year, the entire grand final match was televised. Yet that didn’t stop fellow TKU international and exchange students from coming to cheer on their team. When the full time whistle was blown, the TKU fans pulled out flags from their home countries and began waving them wildly while cheering at the top of their lungs. The team captain said that “the support of our fans and classmates made all the difference and helped to create what was by far our best memory in Taiwan!”
On the 9th of April, the Office of Academic Affairs held the 2011 University Placement Exposition. The exposition was designed to help serve the 5,000 plus students who arrived at the Tamsui Campus to take entrance examinations and to introduce to such students the unique features of each academic department. As part of the event, 35 departments and department associations each set up stalls, with at least one faculty member assigned to each stall, where they provided students with information on department features, course structures, future employment opportunities, and other such services. Tours of the campus were organized by numerous TKU representatives, which afforded future TKU students and their families a more in-depth understanding of TKU features and familiarity with the TKU Tamsui campus.
Last week, TKU participated in a national event held by the ROC Ministry of Education. The 2011 Evaluation of University Clubs and Societies saw the participation of 370 university clubs from around the nation. Amid fierce competition, TKU’s Recreation and Counseling Club and its Social Service Club shone brightly, claiming prizes for the respective categories “excellence in physical abilities and recreational value” and “outstanding self-governance and comprehensive service provision”. TKU’s Recreation and Counseling Club is not just one of the premier clubs within TKU, but also often receives accolades from external organizations. The head of the club, Chen Wan Ling, explained that “the Recreation and Counseling Club is made up of a group of passionate members with ideals and aspirations, and it’s thanks to everyone’s concerted effort that we’ve been able to achieve such accomplishments”. The Recreation and Counseling Club emphasizes the training of stage-based and general life skills, and often gives counseling-style lectures and goes into the community to provide service and care. The Social Service Club, on the other hand, received this award in its first entry into a major university club competition. The head of the club, Chen Yun Zhu, expressed gratitude toward all members of the club who participated in the activity.
Cheers Magazine recently announced the results of its annual “1000 Enterprises Favorite College Graduates” survey. In 2011, for the 14th consecutive year, Tamkang University placed first among all private universities, reflecting the high esteem in which Taiwanese enterprises hold Tamkang University graduates. TKU graduates have always performed exceptionally in the areas of stress management and stability on the job. They have been assisted in finding workplace opportunities upon graduation by the TKU Alumni Office. Media reports have shown that Taiwanese companies recruiting new employees most highly value candidates who are open and willing to learn, and can be shaped and molded. The second most sought after quality is the ability to solve problems, followed by a comprehensive grasp of professional knowledge and skills. TKU President, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, noted that TKU is constantly working to improve itself. She pointed to new initiatives to be implemented next semester, such as compulsory club and society classes, as well as TKU’s push to strengthen ties with business in order to provide students with broader opportunities for internship and on-the-job learning.
The 2011 TKU Campus Recruitment Fair was held yesterday (March 24), from 10am to 3pm at TKU’s Tamsui Campus. It consisted of stalls from 60 major Taiwanese enterprises offering a total of 8,000 job opportunities. Participating companies included those in the fields of high technology, insurance, publishing, construction, food and beverage, and human resources. This year’s recruitment fair was unique in a number of ways. Not only was there a Chinese lion dance to get the fair under way, but the number of high technology companies participating in the event was also vastly greater than in previous years. Moreover, the fair included a ‘CV Diagnosis Station’, which provided students with free tips and suggestions on how to improve their CVs. The Dean of the TKU Office of Student Affairs, Ko Chih-en, said that in order to equip students with a competitive advantage on an international scale, TKU offers a range of career planning services, such as related lectures, visits to local Taiwanese companies, student internship programs, and guidance for professional license exams, among others.
The 2011 Total Quality Management (TQM) Seminar, held on the 25th of March, was a simultaneously-held seminar that brought together TKU faculty and staff, as well as external experts and scholars at four separate locations via webcam: the Ching Sheng and Chueh Sheng International Conference halls and the TKU Taipei and Lanyang Campuses. The focus of the event was on raising employees’ awareness of self-management principles and ensuring the smooth operation of quality management mechanisms. Attendees included the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the three TKU vice presidents, as well as directors and managers, secretaries, and administrative staff from all TKU first and second tier departments. In the morning session, President Chang got proceedings under way by hosting the opening ceremony and presenting awards to winners of the TKU quality management competition. The subsequent keynote speech was delivered by Peter Pu, the Vice President of the British Standards Institute. In the afternoon session, toward the end of the seminar, an informal discussion was held, in which business experts and scholars were invited to share their personal experiences in quality management. Participants included both the regional director and the technical manager of Systex (Asia’s no.1 IT services provider), Ms. Lin Gan Miao and Mr. Yuan Jin Hui respectively; Taipei Medical University professor, Dr. Chung Chien Huang; as well as TKU faculty and staff. The purpose of the informal discussion was to allow TKU faculty and staff to better understand the structure of TKU quality assurance mechanisms, and to promote a more in-depth knowledge of quality assurance standards, such as ISO and other such quality assurance institutions. Ultimately, such knowledge will help TKU faculty and staff to continually lift the quality of administrative service at TKU.
At lunchtime on the 23rd of March, a ‘Blessings for Japan’ Concert was held at the Fu Yuan Garden of TKU’s Tamsui Campus. Students planning to attend were encouraged to wear yellow clothes or bring yellow accessories as a sign of offering blessings to those affected by the recent disasters in Japan (In Chinese culture, yellow symbolizes positive blessings). 50 students from the TKU Department of Information and Library Science bordered the square patch of grass at the immaculately landscaped Fu Yuan Gardens, holding signs that read ‘‘Japan, We Send Our Love’’. In the middle of the grass field sat a student orchestra, with members that held violins, cellos, clarinets. A conductor stood in front of them, waving his hands emphatically, and led them in the performance of Satoshi Yagisawa’s inspirational classic, ‘‘Hymn to the Sun with the Beat of Mother Earth’’. By now, the streets surrounding the Fu Yuan Gardens thronged with students, many of whom stood on their tiptoes to get a better view. The symphony concert was followed by a minute’s silence for those in Japan who had lost loved ones. The TKU choir then sang ‘‘A Thousand Winds’’ by the Japanese singer-songwriter, Arai Man. As part of the concert program, TKU students also handed ‘blessings cards’ to ten students who represented the entire contingent of Japanese exchange and international students at TKU. One of the student representatives gave a speech. She expressed her gratitude for all the warmth and concerned care she and her fellow Japanese students had received from Tamkang students. After her speech, the emcee read aloud a poem that had been written by TKU’s Extracurricular Activity Section. The poem ended with the line “We are willing to stand silently by your side. We are one family!” The final performance saw a group of students clad in yellow sing the song ‘‘Love is Grand’’, with accompanying dance moves. The program concluded as the entire body of TKU students and teachers chorused the slogan ‘‘Japan, We Send Our Love!’’
The TKU Department of Educational Technology’s 11th annual graduate exhibition is currently under way at the TKU Black Swan Exhibition Theater. The exhibit, entitled the ’11 Degrees of Space’ Graduate Exhibition, began on the 22nd of March and will continue until March 25. The event opening ceremony, held at lunchtime on the 22nd, was attended by the TKU Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Gwo-hsin Yu, the TKU Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Po-yuan Kao, the Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Kao Hsun-Fung, and the Associate Director of the Taipei Rapid Transport Human Resource Training Center, Mr. Qiu Xian Ming. The exhibition showcases the fruits of TKU Educational Technology students’ four years of undergraduate study. The display consisted mainly of educational training software and technology products suitable for the training of newly recruited employees. The training material includes problem-solving games that help inject fun into the process of staff training. The display also features high-tech learning materials designed to assist children with Asperger Syndrome and a range of other disorders.
Each year in March, an Alumni Spring Gathering activity is held in which alumni join TKU faculty and staff in celebrating the coming of spring. This year, the event was held on the morning of March 19, and was attended by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang. The gathering included performances from the TKU alumni choir, a lucky draw, and a flag-raising ceremony. In the afternoon, a series of sports activities were held to encourage closer interaction among TKU alumni and promote the importance of regular exercise. The event was held simultaneously at TKU’s Tamsui and Lanyang campuses.
In order to provide students with a more all-round learning environment that combines theory and practice, Tamkang University’s College of Business has joined forces with six of Taiwan’s leading enterprises. On the 17th of March at the Grand Hotel in Taipei City, a Signing Ceremony was held to formalize this partnership. In attendance at the ceremony were the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, as well as the CEOs and chairmen of the six partnering enterprises. The list of participating companies includes Cathay Life Insurance (one of Taiwan’s largest life insurance companies) and Fubon Financial (one of Taiwan’s largest property insurance companies). The partnership agreement includes initiatives such as regular visits and summer internship programs at the cooperating companies; specialized training sessions held by expert company personnel, and scholarship and career opportunities for outstanding students, to name just a few. At present, although Taiwanese universities offer specialized business courses instructed by business experts, there is still insufficient interaction between academia and business. This is one of the factors accounting for Taiwan’s high unemployment rate. The recently-signed partnership represents a remedy to such problems, and offers to enhance the prestige of the TKU College of Business – one of the better business institutes in Asia.
Culture Week has officially begun! Despite the chilly weather and drizzling rain, teachers and students have been out in number, sampling the delicacies on offer at the various stalls across the Tamsui Campus. The theme of Culture Week is ‘‘Take me Traveling’’. Appropriately, the white and red umbrella-covered stalls that line the campus’ ‘‘Poster Street’’ have been selling specialty foods from various regions around Taiwan. They include brown sugar cakes from Peng Hu, rice-flour noodles from Hsin Chu, cream pastries from Kaohsiung, dried bean curd from Taoyuan, sun cakes from Taichung, as well as pineapple cakes, malt cakes, and salted pork from Keelong. At this time every year, Poster Street is bathed in a delicious mix of aromas. In addition to the poster street stalls, an exhibition has been set up in the campus Black Swan Exhibition Theater. The exhibit displays cultural scenes and relics from across Taiwan. Each display was created by separate TKU regional alumni associations, such as the TKU Kaohsiung Alumni Association, the TKU Ping Dong Alumni Association, and so on. Cultural Week is designed to give students a deeper understanding of the unique cultures and regional characteristics found throughout Taiwan. Some alumni return to the Tamsui Campus annually specifically to attend the Culture Week festivities, as they say it gives them the feeling of coming home.