In 2004, Professor Edward Prescott received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (along with his long-time research partner Finn E. Kydland). He was conferred this honor largely due to his contribution to the field of dynamic macroeconomics, which involved in-depth research on two aspects of economics in particular: the time consistency of economic policy as well as the driving forces behind business cycles. On Monday 20 September, Prof. Prescott came to Tamkang University’s Danshui campus to deliver a lecture on the current status of the global economy. Prof. Prescott was born in Glens Falls, New York, in 1940. In 1967 he received his doctorate in economics from Carnegie-Mellon University, and he is currently serving as a professor at Arizona State University and an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. During his career, Prof. Prescott has taught and held official posts at a variety of schools and institutions, including the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (1980-1998; 1999-2003), the University of Chicago (1998-1999); he served as the president of the Society for Economic Dynamics and Control (1992-1995), the president of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (1992-1994), the editor of publications such as Economic Theory and the Journal of Economic Theory, and an academician at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society. He also received the prestigious 2002 Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics. The focus of Prof. Prescott’s research has in large part centered on macroeconomics, general equilibrium theory, and economic development. The Nobel-winning paper that he wrote with Prof. Kyland was entitled “Rules Rather Than Discretion: the Inconsistency of Optimal Plans”, and was a treatise on the problem of inconsistency in short and long-term government policies. In it, he emphasized the primacy of economic policy rules over personal discretion to stimulate economic performance, a principle that then prompted many countries to establish independent central banks. Their second major contribution to the field came in their discourse on the driving forces behind business cycles. In this, they identified factors relating to market supply as the central force driving the ebb and flow of business cycles. Their dissertation even influenced economic methodology, prompting more and more researchers to use quantitative economic theory in their analyses of problems. Prof. Prescott came to Taiwan specifically to attend the 2010 Taipei International Conference on Growth, Trade, and Dynamics. During his trip, Tamkang University had the honor of a personal visit and scheduled lecture from the distinguished Nobel laureate. The lecture was given on a crucial topic explored in Prof. Prescott’s recent research, with the heading “Asia Booming, U.S. Depressed, and Europe Stagnating”. The occasion afforded Tamkang students the chance to rub shoulders with a renowned economic scholar, to come face to face with a mentor and teacher who relishes the process of teaching, and instructs in a humorous yet focused fashion. His much-anticipated lecture surpassed all expectations and was the ideal close to a highly edifying visit.
This year, Tamkang University is celebrating its diamond jubilee. To honor this historic occasion, the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center is hosting a major exhibit with the theme “Transmitting the Beauty of Art, Works Produced and Collected by CCFAC Consultants”. As part of the exhibit, the Art Center invited past CCFAC consultants to provide their own pieces, as well as works they have collected, for display in this historic exhibition. The pieces on display include works by major artists of the 20th century, such as Liao Chi-chun, Lan Yin-ding, Kuo Hsueh-hu, Li Shih-chiao, Hung Jui-lin, and Wu Guan-zhong. The Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center of Tamkang University has established a name for itself both in Taiwan and overseas. The CCFAC consultants invited to take part in the exhibit provided the Arts Center with guidance and advice, which assisted in preparation for the exhibit. The group of CCFAC consultants comprises several prominent figures in the fields of art management, music, fine arts, and art collection. Thanks to the participation of CCFAC consultants, the exhibit displayed a total of 85 pieces, with works provided by 13 separate artists, including sculptors, painters, and collectors. CCFAC consultants are artists renowned in local art circles. Their work is rarely if ever displayed in the one exhibition, which makes this, the Art Center’s exhibit, all the more incredible. The only non-professional painter among the participants, Mr. Bai Sheng-san, contributed to the exhibit with his vast collection of paintings, including pieces by Chen Deng-po, Liao Chu-chun, Lan Yin-ding, Kuo Hsueh-hu, Li Shih-chiao, Hung Jui-lin, and Wu Guan-zhong. These paintings brought an historical touch to the exhibit, infusing it with a deeper, more significant meaning, and helping to more effectively transmit the beauty of art.
Recent mainstream news has been filled with reports of juvenile disregard for authority. An elderly man catching public transport was beaten by a student when asking him to give up his seat; a high school student was shown guzzling down pieces of fried chicken on Taipei’s Metropolitan Rapid Transport system, on which eating and drinking is prohibited. These incidents have again steered public attention to one of society’s more irksome issues: the question of how to raise student’s character and their sense of social conscience. Tamkang University has responded by implementing a brand new community-based initiative, the Tamkang Youth Service Program. Under the new program, freshman students will take part in compulsory youth service activities, with an estimated 5,800 first year students stepping out into the community each year, to lend a helping hand. The number of participants involved makes this the largest community service initiative in Taiwan. The scheme involves a series of community service classes, and practical hands-on service activities, in which students will learn the value of giving back to the community and caring for others, and become astute, aware citizens. At the same time, the community itself will benefit from the loving care of 5,000 plus pairs of hands. At the Danshui Sports Park on September 16, Tamkang University signed a formal agreement with the mayor of Danshui, Tsai Yeh-wei, heralding the start of their collaboration in the youth service initiative. Tamkang Dean of Student Affairs, Ke Zhi-en, noted that by signing an official agreement with the Danshui Township Office, Tamkang University’s community service program – which aims to foster moral character in students and the general community through compulsory hands-on service activities – is officially underway. Tamkang University’s school theme for 2010 is “Reaching out to the community for a better tomorrow”. The community service initiative will require students to clean local community facilities and upkeep the Danshui Sports Park on a long term basis. Students will also assist in the preparation of cultural activities for the Danshui International Environmental Arts Festival. Moreover, aside from the formal collaboration with the Danshui Township Office, Tamkang has also called on local associations, elementary schools, and various local welfare institutions to provide resources and help facilitate the youth service program. By participating in the program, students will get a more in-depth understanding of local Danshui culture, gain new experiences, develop their sense of responsibility, glean the importance of philanthropy, of giving back to the community, and the virtue of mutual cooperation. At the same time, the initiative will expand Tamkang’s interaction with the local community, and represents a productive use of Tamkang’s resources for the good of the community.
For the fourth successive year, Global Views Monthly and 104 Job Bank have teamed up to produce a study that ranks Taiwanese universities according to demand for graduate students from the business sector. The study, entitled “2011’s Most Sought After Graduate Students”, surveyed a broad sample of variously-sized businesses, as well as high-level supervisors and managers. The results are in: Tamkang placed 1st among private universities in Taiwan. Overall, including both public and private universities, it came 7th. For four years in a row, Tamkang University has produced remarkable results, invariably topping Taiwan’s private university list and outperforming several top public universities, too. In the study, Tamkang graduate students entering the workforce ranked 6th in improved job performance. For improvements in job competency, they placed 4th; while for crisis management ability, rapid response to problems, and creativity, they slotted into 6th place. The study also analyzed seven broad academic fields offered in graduate schools across Taiwan. In four of these seven fields, Tamkang made it into the list of top ten universities. Having been established for 60 years, Tamkang University has nurtured over 220,000 talented graduates, whose footprints spread across the world and whose unique skills are applied in a variety of professions. Alumni living locally and abroad often return to Tamkang University to attend symposiums held by faculty directors, and to share their professional and career-related experience. Each academic department strives to strengthen and enhance interaction among former students of the department. They aim to inspire alumni, who live interspersed around the globe, to come together and forge a prosperous future, both for themselves and for Tamkang University.
Tamkang University’s 2010 EMBA Opening Ceremony was held at TKU’s Taipei campus on the 11th of September. The ceremony was organized jointly by Tamkang’s colleges of Business and Management, and was attended by almost 300 guests, including teaching staff, alumni, senior students, and first year students, from a range of TKU faculties and departments. While addressing the close to 300 guests, the TKU Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Kao Po-yuan, congratulated the new students for being accepted into the Tamkang EMBA program, adding that Tamkang University deeply respects its EMBA students. This can be seen from the fact that TKU only hires distinguished, full-time teachers, provides students with ample educational resources, and offers diverse, cross-discipline courses. During the ceremony, Vice President Kao also distributed awards for outstanding academic performance. Award recipients were students whose overall grades throughout the academic year placed them first in their respective faculties. The students’ efforts are especially praiseworthy because, while taking part in the EMBA program, they also held full time jobs. The Dean of the College of Business, Hu Yi-Jen, said that apart from striving to provide students with training in specialized fields of business and commerce, a series of lectures relating to business ethics and conduct would be implemented in future EMBA programs. The scheduled change will give students a more balanced grounding in technical areas of expertise as well as ethical concerns, in the hope of averting or, at the very least, effectively responding to financial crises in the future. The Dean of the College of Management, Wang Chu-Ching, hopes that the EMBA program can serve as a multi-purpose platform, a forum where knowledge is acquired and friendships forged, a diverse environment where students can apply their talents, and a context enabling both students and teachers to grow. Cai Chun-sheng, a senior from the Department of International Business, praised the lecturers’ teaching style and the group report format of classes. In this kind of learning environment, not only do classmates obtain specialized information, but they also get various opportunities to demonstrate their newly-acquired knowledge and expertise. Chun-sheng shared with the new students his experiences in the previous year, and reminded them of the old adage “there’s no substitute for practice”. The coordinator of Tamkang’s EMBA program, Lin Chiang-feng, noted that this year he will be working with the EMBA student association to hold numerous social events and networking functions. Such events will enrich students’ cross-discipline knowledge, expand their pool of contacts, and enable them to march on and attain unlimited success. Tamkang’s EMBA program has groomed countless groups of talented personnel who have earned widespread acclaim for their on-the-job performance. Despite the current economic downturn, Tamkang University’s EMBA program remains a popular choice among professionals hoping to gain further knowledge and work skills. Tamkang tries to inculcate in its EMBA students the value of lifelong learning. It is TKU’s foremost hope that EMBA graduates apply this mindset of lifelong learning to their careers, to benefit themselves, their employers, and society as a whole.
The “Hill of Victory” is a daunting stretch of steps that starts near the bustling center of Tamshui, Taipei County, and slopes upward, steeply, to the lush surrounds of the TKU Tamshui campus. Its Chinese name may be more literally translated as “The slope of overcoming obstacles”. This is a dual reference to, firstly, the arduous challenges faced during its initial excavation 57 years ago, and secondly, the persistence it takes to reach the top step. In recent years, the “Hill of Victory” walk has become somewhat of an annual ritual. Along with the opening ceremony and orientation lectures, it is now a compulsory activity for all new students. During the event, teachers and faculty staff lead freshmen up the 132-step slope, to teach the students a valuable life lesson: the importance of resilience in times of difficulty; and the need to face challenges head on, with a healthy body and courageous heart. In order to familiarize new students with Tamkang’s surrounds, from as early as mid-August, Tamkang began holding orientation activities for new freshman students, including a student and family symposium, a tour of the school dormitory, as well as freshman faculty camps. Aside from these activities, on the 9th and 10th of September, a Tamkang Clubs and Societies Expo was held at TKU’s Tamshui campus, bringing vibrant energy to the campus’ main street, where clubs and societies set up eye-catching stalls and vied for new members from the ranks of incoming freshman. Equally impressive was the Clubs and Societies Night held on the 15th of September, at which each of Tamkang’s 200 plus clubs and societies put on dazzling performances in the hope of attracting even more club members. This year is Tamkang University’s 60th anniversary. Therefore, this year more than ever, when the students take to the Hill of Victory, they take with them the most earnest hopes and expectations of the TKU teaching staff: that each and every freshman may enhance their intellect and character, and develop into well-rounded, forward-thinking graduates possessing a macro-level, international world view.
From July 5 to 17, TKU Cambodia Volunteer Service Group headed off to Kampot Province, a three-hour drive from the capital city of Cambodia, for their third time service. The aim of this service was to bridge the digital divide and continue the development of local information technology education. On the way to the destination, four laptops, two desktops and two LCD monitors were prepared as gifts again, and they are carefully carried by the volunteer members along the way. The service hours in this trip were extended and divided into two sections in two locations, offering Chinese curriculum as well as computer learning program. Moreover, the topics of Taiwan festival, folk culture and environmental issue were also integrated into the curriculum. TKU Cambodia Volunteer Service Group consisted of 15 members had been trained for three months to learn how to design/teach all the curriculums and organize the service activity. Through visiting the local village and interacting with Cambodian students, one of the TKU students said: “ ‘touching’ and ‘contented’ are the words which always appear in our mind. Using our expertise and technical capabilities to provide valuable service is great, and the feedback from this service is gaining much more valuable learning experience.” Through the questionnaire from the local participants, they all expressed their satisfaction in learning and hoped this activity could be continued, providing them more opportunities to learn and study. On seeing so many kids enjoy and eager for learning, TKU volunteers reflected on their lives and cherished all that they have with full of gratitude and happiness. TKU volunteer mission in Cambodia would not stop and it would keep helping the local to develop Chinese and computer education.