On June 26, 2018, Tamkang University held a farewell ceremony for faculty and staff set to retire at the end of the 2017-18 academic year. Among those retiring were the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang; Professor Alex Tuan from the Department of Civil Engineering; Professor Huang Yi-ming from the Department of English, as well as several others, with a total of seven faculty and staff members due to leave the Tamkang family soon. President Chang, apart from being one of the faculty members who will soon retire, also delivered the opening remarks at the farewell event, and presented the other participants with farewell gifts. The ceremony was attended by senior-level TKU faculty, including the TKU Vice President for Academic Affairs, Huan-Chao Keh, the Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Hu, Yi-jen, and the Vice President for International Affairs, Wan-chin Tai. The event featured several emotional speeches and inspirational messages directed at those in attendance, the faculty and staff who will carry the torch forward for Tamkang University as it heads steadfastly into the next decade.
At 10:01 am on May 26, Dr. Clement Chang, the Founder of Tamkang University, passed away. He was 90 years old. During his life, Dr. Chang contributed extensively to society and to his country, serving as the Deputy-Speaker of Taipei City Council from 1969-1989 and subsequently being appointed Minister of Transportation and Communications, as well as working in various other senior-level government positions. Despite having worked in positions of political power, his true passion lay in the field of education, as he hoped to help the community and give back to society in the form of education. He was an educator and a philanthropist. News of his passing was met with extreme sadness by TKU faculty and staff, many of whom attended Dr. Chang's funeral. The funeral was held on June 21, and was also attended by a number of Taiwanese dignitaries, including the former president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jiu.
The 2017-18 Academic Year Graduation Ceremony kicked off at 10 am, June 16, at the TKU Tamsui Campus. The ceremony commenced with opening remarks by two graduating students, Tsai Yu-xuan and Wang Bo-yao, who represented all students in attendance at the ceremony. They wished for graduating students to go out into the world with confidence, to have robust friendships, to apply their knowledge, and to move forward with courage and create a life worth remembering. Activities held on graduation day included a final lap of the campus, which is a TKU custom for all graduating students. During the lap, students are accompanied by faculty as they walk past various sites and buildings that have been home to them for the last four years. Several senior TKU faculty attended the ceremony, as did the Tuvalu Ambassador to the ROC, Limasene Teatu, and representatives from the Marshall Islands (Anjanette Kattil) and Honduras (Jose Victor Lozano). This year's graduation ceremony featured a special guest speaker – a former TKU student and the current Managing Director of Yahoo Taiwan, Erika Wang. Wang's speech focused on the topic "A letter to yourself at 30". In her speech, she asked students to imagine themselves at the age of thirty. 'What would you be like?' she inquired. She also left the students with a message, exhorting them to keep in mind the following six principles: 1) Try to always remain kind and be upstanding. 2) Be punctual, be punctual, be punctual! If you keep your promises, you will gain people's respect. 3) Develop the ability to think critically; don't just be part of the herd. 4) Develop the habit of learning throughout your life. 5) Have the ability to help people without needing something in return. 6) Cultivate an optimistic outlook, and be able to support and cheer for yourself. A total of 6,107 college students graduated this year, as well as 890 master's students, and 21 PhD students. Among these graduating students were 562 Cross-Strait or international students from 54 countries.
As early as 2002, the Founder of Tamkang University, Dr. Clement Chang, signalled the way forward in higher education, pointing to online learning as a powerful new medium for instruction and designating TKU's "cyber campus" as the university's fourth official campus. Now, as we move further into the 21st century and enter the 'era of acceleration', the challenge is to effectively utilize new technologies to make our lives more convenient and efficient. To achieve this goal, the Tamkang Center for Learning and Teaching is currently holding a display at the Black Swan Exhibition Hall. With the theme "Working Together to Create a Brighter Future", the exhibition will showcase future designs of cyber campuses and intelligent classrooms, as well as a new breed of courses that incorporate the latest technology to bring knowledge and learning into the community. These include courses that blend practical elements with virtual reality, long-distance correspondence courses, massive open online courses, and OpenCourseWare courses. The opening ceremony of the exhibition was held on June 12 and was attended personally by the TKU Vice-President for Academic Affairs, who presented awards for outstanding long-distance courses and teaching innovation. The exhibition will end June 15.
To help students and faculty better understand the University Social Responsibility (USR) Program, last week Tamkang University held a workshop event at the Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall entitled "Working Together to Create Tamsui Community". The event featured students not only from TKU, but also other local colleges in the area. During the event, members of the USR team and others who had participated in previous events took turns sharing their experiences in conducting social responsibility activities, and the TKU Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, delivered a speech, in which he introduced the two projects that had gained approval and subsidies from the Ministry of Education. One was the 'Restoration of Tamsui Old Street' project, while the other was the 'Tamsui Good Living' project. The first session of the workshop involved a briefing from the members of the 'Tamsui Good Living' project. One of the teachers assisting the project, Huang Rui-mao from the TKU Department of Architecture, described the work that TKU students had accomplished under the USR program. This includes going into the community to help restore dilapidated areas, create innovative ways of dealing with food waste, provide long-term care and assistance for the elderly, and offer after-school care and guidance for school children.
In Taiwan, children who haven't yet entered kindergarten are often looked after by a babysitter or a full-time nanny. To allow the nanny to consistently evaluate the progress made by the child as he or she grows up, and to enable the flow of communication between nanny and parents, a little notebook known as a "communication booklet" is used. However, in its current form, the communication booklet is somewhat inconvenient. For example, it costs money to consistently purchase new booklets; the lined paper or the format of the booklet does not always meet one's needs; children often forget to take it with them or bring it home; and it's impossible to update and then instantly view the content of the booklet. Yet a group of TKU students from the Tamkang University Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering have changed all this by developing a new online e-booklet app that goes by the name "Babe with You". These students last week took part in the final leg of the 2017 Mobile Application Innovation Contest, held by Apple, and claimed first place, demonstrating on the largest stage the high-level software development skills of students from Tamkang University. Additionally, Meng-Shiuan Pan, the associate professor who oversaw the project, received the prize for best supervisor.
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.