According to estimates released by the World Health Organization on Sept 27, 2016, 92% of the world's population live in conditions that fall below international standards for air quality. In 2012, 6.5 million people died due to air pollution, with 3 million of these deaths related to ambient air pollution, and two-thirds of deaths occurring in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific Region. In such regions, polluted air - characterized usually as 'haze' - carries particulates that enter the respiratory tract and lungs, and cause respiratory illnesses and cardiovascular diseases. On June 24, 2017, the TKU College of Science hosted a special lecture by the President of the City University of Hong Kong, Dr. Way Kuo, who spoke about various issues surrounding air pollution and its effects on the global population. The purpose of the lecture was to discuss the current direction of government policy as it relates to energy resources and the environment, as well as underlining the need to find alternative forms of sustainable energy sources. The event was attended by numerous TKU senior staff members, including the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang.
In the 2016-17 academic year, 49 students from Fujian University, Mainland China, attended Tamkang University as part of a unique collaboration between the two universities, which has seen the implementation of the Fujian and Taiwan Culture and Creative Study Program. While at Tamkang, this group of Mainland Chinese students gained a better grasp on the culture and creative industry, as well as experiencing life in Taiwan firsthand. The students compiled their year-long stay in Taiwan into a book, entitled "My Year as a Junior Studying in Taiwan", which was then published. Sinn-Cheng Lin, the Dean of the TKU College of Liberal Arts, noted that the College is actively promoting study programs in the culture and creative industry and in various fields encompassed in the culture and creative industry.
As globalization brings the world closer together, students in Taiwan are encouraged to open their minds, broaden their knowledge base, and show a sense of respect and curiosity toward customs and cultures around the globe. It is in this spirit of support for global adventure and exploration that, on June 20, TKU held the 2017 Flag Presentation Ceremony. The ceremony is an annual event attended by faculty, staff, and students, and is in essence a farewell celebration for TKU students set to venture overseas on exchange study programs. Among those in attendance at the event were the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, who personally hosted the event and conducted the flag presentation herself, as well as the Deputy Director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Ms. Charmaine Stanley, and a member of the French Office in Taipei, Ms. Anne-Laure Vincent, both of whom delivered speeches. Various other dignitaries also attended the event. President Chang noted that, from the outset, when Tamkang University was first established, it was built on a set of clearly-stated principles: globalization, as well as information and future-oriented education. In 1993, it became the first university in Taiwan to set up a Junior Abroad study program, which has to date enabled over 7,000 students to study abroad.
For many years, bamboo has served as a source of inspiration for Taiwanese architects and designers. As well as being easy to prepare, bamboo is also low-cost and environmentally-friendly, and therefore has various applications, including being used as building material for homes, in lookout points at scenic spots, a common material in interior home designs, and often fashioned into handicrafts or used to make everyday necessities. To promote green building materials, the TKU Department of Architecture recently opened a bamboo-themed exhibition located at the well-known tourist site, the "Customs Wharf", in Tamsui. As part of the exhibition, students helped to mold strips of bamboo into numerous shapes and designs, including a moon, a globe, a flower, a fish basket, and a series of wave formations. The aquatic theme behind the designs correlates to the exhibition's surrounds, which includes a river and a wharf. The Chair of the TKU Department of Architecture, Dr. Mii, Fu-Kuo, explained that, before creating this artistic space by the river, the department first examined and took close note of the handiwork and culture of bamboo constructions internationally, and particularly in Southeast Asia. The exhibition will run for three months.
At 10 am on June 10, 2017, the TKU graduation ceremony for 2016-17 academic year kicked off at the Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium, Tamsui Campus. In attendance were graduating TKU students and their families, as well as the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, along with various dignitaries from Taiwan and overseas, including the President of the TKU World Alumni Association, Ding-chuan Chen, TKU Board of Trustees member, Lin Chia-Cheng, and the Marshall Islands Ambassador to the ROC, Frederick Muller. During the ceremony, Li Jia-Hang, a student from Mainland China delivered remarks on behalf of all graduating students, in which he quoted from a famous Taiwanese rock and roll band, Mayday, to wish his fellow students a bright future and offer his hope that each and every student will find their true life purpose. Given TKU's focus on future studies, President Chang, in her speech at the graduation ceremony, encouraged students to pursue research in cutting-edge technology and fields of study that display vast potential for the future, such as robotic automation, internet safety, and big data, and to explore significant issues and questions, such as how to use artificial intelligence to solve challenges related to public health and the need to find alternative energy sources. The ceremony finished with a celebration of the students' time at Tamkang, as teary-eyed graduates huddled together to sing the TKU college song for perhaps the last time.
From May 26-30, the 2017 Cross-Strait Foreign Language and Literature Research Summit was held at Xiamen University, Mainland China. The Summit was organized jointly by the TKU College of Foreign Languages and Literature and the School of Foreign Languages, Peking University. During the Summit, a total of 82 experts and scholars in the area of foreign languages and literature from around Mainland China, and from TKU, presented 65 research papers related to the subject of languages and literature. Led by the TKU Dean of the College of Languages and Literature, Dr. Lucia Hsiao Chuan Chen, the Tamkang delegation, which included 14 teachers from within the college, visited Xiamen University College of Foreign Languages and Cultures to discuss opportunities for sustained and closer future collaboration between the respective colleges.
The 2017 Graduation Ceremony of Lanyang Campus kicked off at 10 am on June 3 at the Shao-Mo Memorial Activity Center, Lanyang Campus. This year, the Lanyang Campus produced 190 new graduates. Among them were a total of 15 international and cross-strait students, from São Tomé and Príncipe, Haiti, Solomon Islands, Paraguay, Honduras, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, and Mainland China. The graduation ceremony was conducted entirely in English, and was hosted personally by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang. The day involved various activities, including the presentation of awards to outstanding students, as well as a long-time TKU tradition of circling the campus for the very last time.
From May 23-27, the Chinese Excellent Management Association (CEMA) held the 2017 Thai Excellent Management Conference. The President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, who is also the President of CEMA, led a group of Taiwanese delegates to attend the conference, with delegates coming from various Taiwanese institutes and corporations, including E Sun Bank and Yuan Ze University. The purpose of the visit was to observe and learn from successful organizations with outstanding quality management procedures in place. The delegation visited a number of innovative businesses during their visit, including several banks, hospitals, and museums. Also part of the tour was a gathering with the TKU alumni association in Thailand. The Secretary General of TKU, Dr. Ho,Chii-Dong, stated that the Chinese Excellent Management Association consists of various distinguished members, including recipients of the National Quality Management Award.
The TKU College of Liberal Arts along with Fujian Normal University jointly held a two-day Cross-Strait Culture and Creative Arts Forum on May 25 and 26. Held at the TKU Chueh-Sheng International Conference Hall, the Forum was based on the theme "The Landscape of Cross-Strait Culture and Creativity". During the Forum, apart from discussing the current direction of Cross-Strait culture and creativity, attendees also examined the study results and achievements of the new Fujian-Taiwan Study Course, which is a joint collaboration between the two universities. The opening ceremony of the Forum was held at 8:40 on the morning of May 25, and was attended by various senior-level TKU staff, including the Vice-President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-Chin Tai.
The pursuit of "future-oriented education" is one of TKU's 'Three Objectives of Education', and is unique among Taiwanese universities. Tamkang is also a global leader in the development and real-life practice of future studies. Indeed, in the 2016 Ministry of Education's university evaluation, TKU was praised highly for its pioneering role in promoting future studies and advancing knowledge of future studies through creating platforms for discourse and designing related application modules. To continue pushing forward the frontiers of future studies, TKU is currently holding several related activities, including a future studies teaching contest, a future studies writing competition, and a future studies student exhibition, all of which are part of Future Studies Week at TKU. The activities kicked off on the morning of May 23 at TKU's Tamsui Campus.
As we make our way through the 21st century, human society is developing in leaps and bounds. Some of these developments far exceed our expectations, and serve to highlight the importance of sustainable development. The question of how to equip students with the ability to adapt to an ever-changing society, and to instil in students the need to care for others, is a prodigious challenge currently facing institutions of higher education. To produce graduates with the qualities needed to be upstanding citizens of the 21st century, Stanford University has launched the Stanford 2025 initiative, which works like a learning blueprint for the future. Tamkang University is also currently holding an exhibition that focuses on future innovation in learning and teaching. Located at the TKU Black Swan Exhibition Hall and held from May 22-26, the event features theme-based displays and related student work projects, and is an important event in TKU's continued push to advance the state of teaching and learning in Taiwan.
On May 19, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, led a delegation of senior TKU staff to attend the 2017 Cross-Strait and Australia Forum held in Suzhou, Mainland China. Tamkang University recently signed a sister university and student exchange memorandum of understanding with Suzhou University. The event was attended by the presidents of various universities, including the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Western Sydney, Barney Glover, among others.
When faced with hardship, many people get mired in depression and negativity, and find it difficult to turn their situation around. Artist Chang Jin-Lien, however, managed to escape the grasp of depression, and now uses her past experiences to help others. Along with 8 fellow artists, Chang set out to film a documentary that would inspire artists to continue along their path of innovation, and spent 9 months filming it and compiling a series of interviews with aspiring artists. On the afternoon of May 20, the TKU Department of Mass Communication held a preview screening of the documentary at the local Tamsui District Government performance center.
The Republic of China (ROC) and Latin America International Academic Conference is held by the TKU Graduate Institute of Latin American Studies once every two years. Now having been held for the 16th time, the Conference was this year hosted by the Dominican Republic – a country with close diplomatic ties to the ROC. As in previous years, it was organized primarily by the Graduate Institute of Latin American Studies, this time with the added help of the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo. The TKU delegation departed for Dominica on May 13, the team consisting of Kung Kwo-wei, the Dean of the Graduate Institute of Latin American Studies, and three other members of the same graduate institute. The schedule included tours of various campuses, pre-conference discussions and various related events.
On May 8, the 2017 Tamkang University United Nations Simulation was held at the TKU Tamsui Campus. The organizers of the event included the TKU Office of International and Cross-Strait Affairs, the Department of English, the Association of the Department of Diplomacy and International Relations, and the Alpha League student club. The theme of this year’s simulation was “Globalization vs Protectionism: Trade and Identities in an Ever-Changing World”. During the event, 22 TKU students assumed the role of international representatives from 15 countries around the world, including America, England, China, Japan, Bolivia, Malaysia, Singapore, and various others. Over 120 students attended. The purpose of the event is to allow students to emulate and thus familiarize themselves with how the United Nations operates and how it carries out international conferences, as well as gifting students the chance to practice their English-speaking skills. Indeed, apart from the students representing China, Malaysia, and Singapore – each of whom used Chinese to communicate – all other delegates conducted the discussion in English. The event featured opening remarks by the Dean of International Affairs and Cross-Strait Relations, Dr. Pei Wha Chi Lee.
The Taiwanese “Tree King”, Lai Bei-Yuan, has spent much of his NT $2 billion fortune planting 300,000 trees over the past 30 years. Wen Shou-yu, on the other hand, is a strong-willed artist who has dealt with the difficulties related her physical condition with courage and persistence. What would happen if these two figures met? The answer is a new picture book displaying the beauty of trees, titled “Building Dreams for a Millennium – Lai Bei-Yuan, the Legend of the Taiwanese ‘King of Trees’”. The book shares her happy world view and positive outlook with us and all future generations. Wen Shou-yu recently received a literary excellence award for her book from the Chou Ta-Kuan Foundation, which was presented to her at a ceremony held on May 10 at the TKU Chueh-sheng Memorial Library, Tamsui Campus. Wen Shou-yu is currently a junior studying in the TKU Department of German Studies.
From May 4-10, 2017, the National Intercollegiate Athletic Games were held at National Taiwan University, Taipei. After several days of intense competition, Tamkang University claimed first place among all Taiwanese private universities, with a total of 10 gold medals, five silver, and seven bronze. The accomplishment is all the more noteworthy given that, unlike many institutions of higher education, TKU does not have a department specifically dedicated to sports or physical education. The Athletic Games brings together 12,000 top athletes from 165 colleges around Taiwan. TKU was represented in the Games with 165 students in 10 separate events. Before the Games kicked off, the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, offered encouraging remarks during the flag-presentation ceremony.
This year marks an important milestone for the Tamkang University Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, which will celebrate its 35th anniversary. From May 6-7, the Institute held its annual conference, known as the "Tamkang School of Strategic Studies 2017 Annual Event". It was attended by over 200 participants both from academia and business, including the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang and the Dean of Strategic Studies, Li Da-jung. Dean Li noted that the School of Strategic Studies has held the annual conference for many years, wishing to maintain its standing as a leading institution of strategic studies in Taiwan, and regularly drawing dignitaries from around the world to partake in discussion and dialogue regarding international affairs and strategic studies. This year, it attracted esteemed members of academia and business from America, India, Japan, and Singapore, among others.
From May 5-7, the TKU Department of Mass Communication held an off-campus exhibition at the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, entitled "Blow Your Mind". Meanwhile, the second phase of the on-campus display of "Blow Your Mind" is scheduled to be held at the Black Swan Theater from May 10-13. The exhibition is centered around an important message: in the era of sensational media, don't lose sight of what's real. The exhibition will showcase graduation projects from ten separate groups of senior students, and feature special lectures by renowned Taiwanese speakers.
On May 1, 2017, the TKU Department of Business Administration held the 2017 Entrepreneurship and Business Management Conference, in which attendees had the chance to react to real-life business simulations, to practice handling a range of scenarios. Over 160 scholars and businesspeople from both Taiwan and Mainland China attended the event, which focused both on management and practical business operation skills. The Chair of the TKU Department of Business Administration, Dr. Yang Li Ren, noted that the scope of this year's conference has expanded to also include three academic forums, one practical hands-on forum, and two keynote speeches.