This year, the 21st FIRA Robot World Cup was held in Beijing, China (Dec 14-18). The TKU Robot research team, made up of several students from the TKU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was led by department professor Ching-Chang Wong, assistant professor Shih-An Li, and post-doctoral candidate Chi-Cheng Liu. As in previous years, the TKU contingent sealed several top spots, clinching a total of four gold medals, one silver, and three bronze. Since 2003, the TKU team has performed particularly well in the RoboSot and HuroCup categories. To date, in the RoboSot category alone, it has amassed 12 championship titles, with 11 of them coming consecutively. In the HuroCup category, it has claimed a total of nine All Round championship titles, three of them in successive years. This year, entrants banded together to overcome various obstacles, such as uneven surfaces, differing interpretations of competition rules, and wireless interference caused by Wi-Fi devices on or near the competition grounds. In addition to the regular proceedings, this year, to recognize the contributions made to the annual FIRA contest by recently deceased TKU assistant professor Chi-Tai Cheng, a new scholarship program was officially established, known as the "Professor Chi-Tai Cheng Memorial Scholarship".
On December 9 and 10, 2016, the 2016 Camp on Innovation and 2017 Cannes Future Lions Competition was held at the Chung-ling Memorial Hall, Tamsui Campus. The Camp was a collaborative effort between the TKU Department of Information and Communication, and the official Taiwanese representative of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The final results of the competition trials were announced on December 12, with several TKU Department of Information and Communication students earning top spot, including third and fourth year students Peng Ke Chi and He Chia Xing respectively, who took first place in the Future Young Lions student category. Also among the winners were master's student Ting Ren Lin and alumna Fan Meng Ching, who claimed first place in the professional entrants category. Moreover, the team of above-mentioned students received a subsidy from the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs to represent Taiwan in the final stage of the Cannes Young Lions competition from 17-24 June next year in Cannes.
With Christmas arriving soon, the festive spirit can be seen throughout the TKU Tamsui Campus. The leisure and culture area of the Tamsui Campus is often featured as the setting of popular movies and TV drama series, and is considered by many to be a romantic and artistic spot. In recent days, the trees here have been adorned with wonderful sparkling lights of all colors in preparation for this year's Christmas Lights Celebration. The theme of this year's celebration, held by the TKU Office of Academic Affairs, was “Shine Brightly; Light Up the Lives of those Around You”. Festivities commenced at 5:30 on 14th December, with various special guests in attendance, including the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, as well as faculty and staff from every TKU college and department. The Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Chun-Hung Lin, stated that “in December each year, the spirit of festive celebration fills every street, every lane; and the Tamkang Campus is no exception. Thanks to the thoughtful design of the of this area by the Office of Academic Affairs, it is very different to previous years.”
Eight years is a considerable period of time. In eight years, a new-born baby has already grown into an elementary school student; a high school student has already matured into a fully-fledged member of society. For the past eight years, without exception, a group of enthusiastic TKU students have flown to Cambodia, to serve as local volunteers, teaching and mentoring Cambodian children in the hope that these children will gain the skills necessary for success. Over several days, the TKU volunteer service group teaches students Chinese language and technical computer skills, as well as interacting and creating bonds with the local kids. To share their experiences, the group this week is holding a Cambodia Volunteer Service Exhibition at the Black Swan Memorial Hall, Tamsui Campus. Chen Rih-E, the Section Chief of the Extracurricular Activities Guidance Section, said that “the Cambodia Volunteer Service Group was established based on the TKU triple objectives of ‘Globalization, Information-oriented Education, and Future-oriented Education’.
The TKU Department of Diplomacy and International Relations has set up a new course, named the Professional Knowledge Service Learning Program. The program is designed to complement the Ministry of Education's newly launched program ‘Today's Youth – Changing the World’, and aims to expand the horizons of participating high school students, to instil in these students the belief that they can make a global difference, and to use the latest technology to bridge the educational resource gap between city and remote rural areas. As part of the course, students from the Department of Diplomacy and International Relations will use webcam technology to interact with students from National Jhuo-Lar Experimental Senior High School, and provide this group of high school students with the chance to practice and improve their English. Cheng Chin-Mo, a TKU associate professor, noted that when he previously visited the participating high school, located in remote Miaoli County, he found the students had good basic English conversation, and thus were suited to this new English-learning program.
From 2016 to 2019, the ROC Ministry of Education is launching a series of government schemes to promote youths and their ability to make a global difference. As part of this ongoing initiative, the Ministry has collaborated with Tamkang University, which held a total of fifteen workshops from April - May, 2016 centered on the topic ‘Today's Youth – Changing the World’. In the second half of 2016, TKU also held several other related events, including a micro film contest, in which entrants were asked for submissions, and a photo exhibition. Subsequently, on Nov 26, 2016, a ‘Today's Youth – Changing the World’ presentation and award ceremony was held at the Tamsui MRT Station, which featured various dignified guests, including members of the Ministry of Education and the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang.
In the current age of mobile technology, the Internet of Things, and big data, higher education must adapt to the changing environment, and upgrade the way it provides information-based education and service learning opportunities to create a ‘smart campus’. How do we deal with the challenges and opportunities inherent in technological development? In recent years, this question has commanded widespread attention from scholars, researchers, and experts alike. To discuss such queries, and expand the discourse in this area, on Nov 23 Tamkang University held the International Conference on Smart Campuses and an Exhibition (abbreviated as ICSC&E). Participants at the conference included the TKU U9 League, the ROC Association of E-Learning, and the Taiwan Association for Institutional Research. The conference agenda involved presentations and discussions related to institutional research, as well as analyses of various new methods of study. The purpose of the conference was to try and achieve the perfect coalescence of technology and education. As former Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nelson Mandela put it: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
In recent years, China has pushed the ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy, hoping to expand their influence throughout the region. The US, on the other hand, has espoused a rebalancing strategy in Asia Pacific, trying to bolster its position, and contain the scope of China's ever-widening reach. Japan, for their part, has also strived to enhance its sway over the political-economic environment of East Asia. Aside from the usual competition displayed between powerful nations, bickering over territorial disputes in East Asia has increased, and renewed controversy over the 1992 Consensus has left Cross-Strait relations in uncertain waters. The backdrop for East Asian nations in the 21st century is fraught with challenges, but also opportunities. To discuss these challenges and opportunities, On Nov 4 and 9, the TKU College of International Studies held the International Conference on East Asian Regional Security and Development in the 21st Century, and the Tamkang International Forum respectively. Both events explored issues regarding East Asian security and future development trends.
To usher in the TKU 66th anniversary and help create a truly global college environment, the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center, located on the Tamsui Campus, recently held a special event named the Carrie Chang International Art Exhibition. Guests from various countries came to view the artwork on display, including staff from TKU's sister universities in Mexico, as well as Taiwanese diplomats to El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and Nicaragua. Among the dignitaries to visit the display were also previous directors of the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center, and 76 local and international artists, including some from Japan, South Korea, Canada, and America. The display comprised 79 works of art of various styles, including oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, prints, and colored ink. The artwork showcased a diversity of nationalities, religions, environments, and ethnicities. On Nov 9, the Center held its opening ceremony, at which the President of TKU, Dr Flora Chia-I Chang, delivered an opening speech in front of numerous distinguished guests.
Information technology progresses at a startling speed: from the huge and clunky computer processors of the past, to the subsequent personal computers, and the current age of iPads and smart phones. Looking to the future, the nascent era of the Internet of Things promises to change our lives even more. On Oct 27 and Oct 28, The TKU Department of Computer Science and Information and the TKU Department of Innovative Information and Technology held the 2016 Future Forecast Forum at the Tamsui Campus (Oct 27) and the Lanyang Campus (Oct 28) respectively. Present at the forum were around 200 scholars and experts in the field of information technology in academia. During the Forum, attendees shared their views on the future development of information technology, as well as their vision for potential growth in this field, which touched on various topics, including the IoT, robots, and big data.
To celebrate the upcoming milestone of Tamkang University's 66th anniversary, and to reflect this year's anniversary theme of “Tamkang 66, Forever Splendid”, the TKU Department of Architecture invited internationally-renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. On the afternoon of Nov 8, Mr. Koolhaas arrived at the at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum to deliver a keynote speech in front of an audience of TKU students faculty, and alumni. Following his speech was a follow-up discussion panel and forum, where audience members were able to pose questions and interact with the master architect. Mr. Koolhaas is an architect and Harvard professor who is a previous recipient of the highest honor in the field of architecture, the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
To mark the TKU 66th anniversary, on Nov 10 and 11, 2016, an international symposium was held at TKU Tamsui Campus. The event was called ‘Gaming the Future(s): Pedagogies for Emergent Futures’ and was jointly organized by Tamkang University along with Kyung Hee University, the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, and the Futures Division of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with help from the TKU Graduate Institute of Futures Studies and the TKU Center for Future Intelligences and Research (C-FAR). The purpose of the symposium was to discuss future trends and developments in online gaming. It featured esteemed delegates from over ten countries, including Sohail Inayatullah, a futures studies expert and former UNESCO Chair at the Centre for European Studies, University of Trier; Cindy Frewen, an urban futurist and architect from America, who serves as Chairperson on the Board of the Association of Professional Futurists; and James Dator, emeritus professor at the University of Hawaii.
Nov 6: On a sun-drenched November day, the TKU 66th anniversary celebrations commenced with an assortment of commemorative events. Numerous dignitaries attended the event, including 67 representatives and 10 presidents from 30 of Tamkang's sister universities across the globe, with several delegates from Mainland China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Australia, France, the Czech Republic, Spain, and America. The celebration kicked off with the main ceremony at Tamsui Campus, with an opening speech from Ms. Noriko Mizuta, a trustee of Josai University Educational Corporation. Ms. Mizuta stated that she had been to Tamkang on several occasions in the past, and what most impressed her were Tamkang's Chinese Palace-Style Classrooms, built in 1954. That these classrooms were in such good condition over six decades later symbolized, for her, that Tamkang has maintained its original vision of creating an exceptional university. In the afternoon, Tamkang University made a series of historical signings to formalize its relationship with several overseas universities. This included a memorandum of collaboration to initiate a dual degree program with the Florida Institute of Technology; a research exchange initiative with the University of Electro-communications, Japan, among others. The afternoon program also involved the “Presidents' Forum”, which featured a keynote speech from the President of the Institute of Technology, T. Dwayne McCay.
The celebration of the 66th founding anniversary of Tamkang University was held on the 6th of November on the 7th floor of Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium Building. An opening address was given by the President Flora Cha-I Chang. Chancellor Noriko Mizuta, from Josai University Educational Corporation, gave a speech on behalf of the honorable guests of the partner universities. Chancellor Mizuta also presented a certificate of special variety of rose that was a championship winner bred by a renowned Japanese cultivator. The rose is name after Dr. Flora Cha-I Chang. The founding anniversary celebration was an exciting moment with TKU’s executives and distinguished guests from overseas. The attendees included the Chairperson of the Board Dr. Shi-I Chang, Board of directors Chia-jin Lin Hong-Shang Hong, Ching-Nan Chen, Supervisor Mei-Lang Wang, former presidents Ya-Hong Chen, Ron-Yao Chao, Yun-Shan Lin, and Hong-Ju Chang. The honorable guests from abroad consisted of presidents and 67 delegates from 30 sister universities, as well as alumni from all over the world, including the Chairperson of the World Alumni United Association Din-Chuan Chen, Honorary President of Elite Alumni Associate Dun-Jang Ho, Honorary President of the World Alumni United Associated Shan-Draw Duan, Honorary President of the United Alumni of Under Graduate and Graduate Ray-Long Sun, and the Honorable Head Consultant of Malaysian-Taiwanese Tzu-Sung Lee. The Eagle Awards of the 30th Anniversary were distributed to seven outstanding alumni. They were Guang-Hua Shao, Junn-Bin Ke, Wei-Bin Yu, Shin Wang, Yen-Nien, Juan-Lu Fann, and Michael J.K. Chen. The appreciation certificates were presented to TKU donors and fund raisers. After the World Alumni United Association Simeon D.C. Chen gave his speech to address this event, the grand celebration was concluded with the singing of TKU School Anthem. President Chang gave a Chinese speech followed by an English address. She emphasized that we selected “Tamkang 66, forever splendid” as our theme for this year, which was to not only hope for the continued prosperous development of TKU but also that TKU’s Birthday celebration would be as smooth as the number “66” suggested. President Chang expressed her deep gratitude towards our overseas friends and alumni. She also thanked the former president for laying a solid foundation of development, the President of Yuan-Pei University of Technology, and all the staff members and students from TKU for participating in this celebration. President Chang also mentioned the school was established based on a triple concept: Globalization, Information-oriented Education, and Future-oriented Education. And via strict Total Management, TKU’s performance was recognized in Teaching, Researching, Administrating, and Service Learning. It had won the prize of “the most favorite school in the industries”, the Ministry’s Outstanding Internationalization Award, and National Quality award. In 66 years, TKU had gone through 4 waves of development. The completion of The Show-Chen International Conference Center will move us forward into the 5th wave. President Chang indicated that she expected our friends, both partner universities and alumni and TKU’s staff to work together to take the development of TKU to the next level. The celebration of TKU’s anniversary was kicked off with an event in March themed “Alumni Home-Coming Spring Feast” and followed by a series of research, exhibition and performance events in September and reached the climax with today’s celebration. The president encouraged everyone to come to participate in all the great events in the future. Chancellor Noriko Mizuta, from Josai University Educational Corporation, said that she had visited TKU many times. She could still recall how she was impressed with TKU’s Palace Style architecture which was built in 1954 and how beautiful and well maintained it was even after more than sixty years. This truly represented TKU’s perseverance. She went on to say that the partnership between the two schools started in 1992. There have been active interactions in student-teacher exchanges ever since. She spoke highly of President Chang as an expert in Administrative Education, an insightful educator investing in Future studies, and a real planner in operational models with her unique, feminine-genteel and consistent leadership. She further described how President Chang’s excellent and effective communicating skills, along with her democratic rationale, had created outstanding results and performances. Chancellor Noriko Mizuta’s speech ended on a note of her admiration on President Chang never forgetting of the values of TKU’s foundation. She wished TKU a successful celebration and continued prosperity. In the speech by the Chairperson of the World Alumni United Association Simeon D.C. Chen, two outstanding alumni were introduced as example in their professional to stress that TKU had given so much to foster, develop and cultivate numerous talents for the country and the globe. He quoted from the article “Taiwan Top 50 colleges” in October issue of “Global Views Monthly” which had ratings in five aspects: teaching, researching, internationalization, industry-academic cooperation, and reputation and image. In the overall ranking, TKU was 21st. The ranking for “reputation and image”, TKU came in the 11th; and in Internationalization 4th. He credited all of these accomplishments to the leadership of President Chang under which the entire school staff and students willingly follow. He encouraged furthermore, due to the fast-changing globalization in all industries and the challenges of increasingly difficult environment, that we as younger generations, should focus on innovation, specialized knowledge, and net-working, and by doing the right thing and developing good spiritual talents to enrich our lives. Before the celebration in the conference hall took place, on the other side of the campus the sport races and competitions had launched their grand opening. President Chang led the distinguished guests in the opening ceremony where they observed the opening dances and other performances. After the events in the conference hall ended, a walk in the Lantern Avenue was arranged by the Alumni Services and Resource Development office. Six hundred and sixty-six TKU graduate couples were invited to celebrate the birthday of the school where their romance sparkled and grew into forever love. The theme “TKU sweet couples 666; Life-long romance 999” invited 666 couples and their classmates, and club members to have a red-carpet walk in the Gong-Don Avenue to reminisce about the old days when they were passionately pursuing their dreams. A dancing party was held in the Students Recreation Center. The Chief Executive of Alumni Services and Resources Development Chun-Young Perng stated that TKU had created more than two hundred and fifty thousand graduates. Conservatively speaking, a fifty-student class would produce one couple. That means, in the past 66 years, TKU has played matchmaker to at least five thousand couples. During the anniversary week, students had a charity fair on Poster Street, University Commons Square. The charity program themed Amazing Egg Roll Journey combined with “Trace of the Age” which was celebrating the Egg Roll Day with communities in the Tamsui area. The School Fair had a variety of food stands, hand-made gadgets, and creative products. Many charity groups were invited to give to disadvantaged groups. Many performances were held by the clubs to demonstrate the diversified talents of TKU students. They made the entire campus much more vibrant and fun. The decoration in the University Commons AKA Egg Roll Square also exerted the ambiance of celebration. The Student Council held a checkpoint game named “Campus Treasure Hunt” to welcome future TKU freshmen and alumni to play and enjoy. The ones who successfully made all the checkpoints were rewarded with a “Gong-Dunn Lantern Craft Kit”. Using the Robot receptionists, the prize winner of FIRA, to receive the visitors from 30 sister universities was amazing. This time, there were presidents and delegates from 30 universities for a total of 67 participants in TKU’s celebration, such as Waseda University of Japan; Hanyang University of Korea, and Queensland University of Technology in New Zealand. The “Dan-Jiang” Robot, prize winner of 10 consecutive years in FIRA and “Bumble Bee MIT” Robot, a three-time champion, were out receiving visitors under the slogan: “Tamkang 66; Forever Splendid” (99 in Mandarin pronunciation is identical to forever-lasting). The Ceremony of MOU signing and cooperation agreements exchanges was held in the afternoon in the Ching-sheng International Conference Hall. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Florida Institute of Technology; the exchange agreement of Internal research project of collaboration with the University of Electro-Communications; an exchange of a letter of intent with L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University (ENU), Kazakhstan; and a letter of intent of dual degree between TKU’s Department of Public Administration and Administration College of Jilin University, added more excitement to the celebration. A Presidents’ Forum was held right after the signing ceremony. The theme of this year was “Internationalization of Higher Education: New Initiatives and Strategies”. The presenters are President T. Dwayne McCay from Florida Institute of Technology, U.S.A., the topic is“Internationalization of Higher Education: Initiatives, Strategies, Outcomes”; President Nie Hong ,from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China, the topic is “Strategy of Internationalization: A Way to the Development of a University” ; President Hirotaka Tateishi from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan, the topic is “Toward a Quality Assurance in Nurturing Multilingual Human Resources”; President Kim Chang Soo from Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea , the topic is “Korean Government Initiatives and CAU Strategies for Internationalization of Higher Education”, and President Osamu Nakayama from Reitaku University, Japan, the topic is “Actualizing Moral Education in Japan’s Tertiary Sector: Reitaku University’s Response to Today’s Challenges”. When all the campus activities were completed, a dinner party awaited our guests from overseas and a trip to Lan-Yang campus was held on the following day.
With the TKU 66th anniversary just a few days away, the TKU Office of Alumni Services and Resource Development, together with the TKU Alumni Association World Federation, held an afternoon function at the Taipei Grand Hotel on the afternoon of Nov 5. The purpose of the function was to show gratitude and give back to those who helped raise funds for the building of the Shou Chien International Conference Center. The event was attended by over 500 esteemed alumni, and involved fundraising activities to help amass further funding and contribute to the building of the conference hall. It featured a banquet, and friendly interaction as alumni caught up over tasty food and helped out for a good cause.
To coincide with the upcoming TKU 66th anniversary, slated for Nov 8, Tamkang has recently held a number of corollary events, including an activity held at lunchtime on Oct 31. Described as the ‘Anniversary Countdown and Unveiling of the Anniversary Logo’, the event was organized by the Office of Student Affairs and attracted large numbers of students, faculty, and staff, who gathered at the Fu Yuan Japanese Gardens, Tamsui Campus, to commemorate the occasion. On the day of the event, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, arrived at the Fu Yuan Gardens to deliver opening remarks. She praised the creativity of the organizers, who had artistically rendered the anniversary logo using plants and flowers in the garden area. The floral logo will be one of the various displays and decorative arrangements organized for the major celebratory events on Nov 8.
The TKU College of International Studies offers a unique curriculum that draws students from various countries. To showcase the special features of each of its departments and exhibit the fruits of years of high-level instruction and research, the College last week held a week-long College of International Studies Exhibition. The exhibition brought together a diverse range of fun activities, with interactive stalls providing knowledge, entertainment, and objects and food from various countries and regions around the world. Organizers also set up an air gun shooting range, to allow participants the change to test their accuracy. The event kicked off with an opening ceremony featuring the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, as well as the Vice-President of International Affairs, Dr. Tai-wan Chin, and numerous deans and chairs of TKU colleges and departments. The week-long event also attracted a handful of international dignitaries, including the Paraguayan diplomat to the ROC, Mr. Marcial Bobadilla Guillén.
In response to intense tertiary level competition brought on by a falling birth rate and thus lowered student enrolment, governments and tertiary institutions both locally and internationally have tried to alleviate the impact of such trends by implementing administrative changes and striving to innovate and push forward with creativity. In each of the major TKU meetings, symposiums, and conferences, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, has urged each Tamkang department and college to continue pursuing the university development plan of creativity and innovation, while also being even more pro-active when it comes to the TKU Triple Objectives of Internationalization, Information-oriented Education, and Future-oriented Education. With this direction, President Chang believes TKU will maintain its position as one of the leading academic tertiary institutions in Taiwan, despite heavy competition from a group of universities that are constantly plying forward and improving. With this as a backdrop, on Saturday, Oct 29, TKU a day-long conference called "Changing Toward Innovation; Creating a New Way of Learning". The event was attended by President Chang, along with the three TKU vice presidents, and senior staff from each of TKU's colleges, departments, and administrative divisions.
Two core features of the TKU Lanyang Campus are its dormitory-style construction, in which all students, faculty, and staff live in the confines of the campus, and its focus on international development and the nurturing of well-rounded, knowledgeable students. Each year, to create a sense of community closeness and mutual respect, administrators on the Lanyang Campus hold an event called the "High Table Dinner", a forum for students and teachers to bond over dinner, which allows new students - freshmen in particular - to voice their thoughts and provide feedback on their studies and the overall campus lifestyle. In turn, teachers have the chance to provide suggestions and advice to new students, providing guidance to get the most out of their tertiary study. This year's High Table Dinner was held at 6:30pm on Oct 25, and included a raft of fun activities.
On Oct 22, the founder of the world-renowned Cloud Gate Dance Theater, Lin Hwai-min, visited TKU's Tamsui Campus to deliver a speech. His talk represents the first in a series of lectures to be given by luminaries in various fields to coincide with the upcoming TKU 66th anniversary. During the speech, Lin explained various themes to do with dance and choreography, saying that the interpretation of artistic works has varied through different eras and temporal contexts. Lin repeatedly encouraged the young students in attendance to pay more attention to the geography, history and culture of their surrounding environment, and affirmed that they had the power to change the world.