To commemorate the milestone of TKU's 68th anniversary, a sports day was held on Nov 7, 2018 at the TKU Tamsui Campus. At 10am, the stadium was thronging with students, faculty, and staff, who came to observe the opening formalities and take part in the day's activities. The event kicked off with a tug-of-war contest, as students were separated into male and female teams and began to vie for first prize. The crowd roared with excitement as the teams dug their heels in and heaved with all their might, the competition close and intense. Yet eventually first, second, and third place prizes were decided, and awards presented by the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh. The teams lucky enough to receive a prize yipped with pleasure. This was followed by the official opening ceremony of the event, which was held by President Keh. The President explained that the sports day is held annually to coincide with Tamkang University's anniversary celebrations, a symbolic gesture that reflects Tamkang's commitment to sport and exercise as a lifestyle. Indeed, one of TKU's core values is the nurturing of an "active and healthy lifestyle". The president concluded his speech by wishing all the participants in all the events – including tug-of-war, track and field, and the ball sports – the best of luck, enjoining them to demonstrate a spirit of good sportsmanship, to follow the designated rules, and to perform to the best of their abilities.
On Nov 3, 2018 Tamkang University celebrated its 68th anniversary. This year's Anniversary Gala was hosted by the new President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, and featured speeches by President Keh himself, as well as the Chairperson and former President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, and the President of the TKU Joint Alumni Association, Chen Ding-Chuan. Held at the Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium, Tamsui Campus, attendees to the event included TKU Board of Trustees member, Dr. Wan-Chin Tai, and the Supervisor of the Board of Trustees, Mei-Lan Wang. Six TKU alumni – who were to be presented with Golden Eagle alumni awards for their dedication to Tamkang and to the broader community – were also invited as special guests, along with 19 guests who had greatly contributed to Tamkang University through financial donations. The celebration got underway with opening remarks from President Keh, who thanked the TKU faculty and staff for all their hard work over the past year, and paid tribute to the Founder of TKU, the late Dr. Clement C.P. Chang, as well as the preceding presidents of Tamkang University, who each helped lay the foundation for Tamkang's current success. In his speech, President Keh noted the impressive results TKU had racked up in a number of domestic and international university ranking indexes, including the Cheers Magazine "Enterprises' Favorite Graduates" survey, which TKU has topped among private Taiwanese universities for 21 successive years. Apart from the Anniversary Gala, a number of other activities were held, including an alumni French wine function, an alumni banquet, a French tea get-together, and several other alumni activities that allowed former Tamkang students from various regions to come together and catch up.
On Nov 1-2, an international symposium that focused on the centrality of East Asian civilization was held at the Shou-Chien International Conference Hall, Tamsui Campus. It was organized jointly by the TKU College of Liberal Arts and five TKU departments, with assistance provided by Yamaguchi University – a TKU sister university in Japan. The symposium looked to explore the similarities and differences of the civilizations that evolved in China, East Asia, and SE Asia; and to reexamine the unique characteristics of each East Asian country. The event commenced with opening remarks from the TKU Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Chii-Dong Ho and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Chen-Jung Lin. It was attended by faculty from various colleges and departments, and esteemed scholars from Japan, Singapore, and Mainland China, with a total of over 100 people in attendance. The symposium featured over ten presentations of academic papers and two keynote speeches by distinguished guests: Prof. Huang Ziping, Honorary Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University; and Prof. He Chi-Liang, former Vice President of the Southern University College and Visiting Professor at the Department of International Affairs, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages.
To celebrate Tamkang University's 68th anniversary, an orchid exhibition was held Nov 1-3, 2018, at the TKU Black Swan Exhibition Hall, Tamsui Campus. Aesthetically pleasing, the exhibition attracted large numbers of TKU faculty, staff, and students, who converged on the exhibition hall to take in the beauty of the flora on display, and smell the sweat floral scent. A total of 312 orchids were showcased in 19 separate display areas, the orchards coming from all around Taiwan – Northern, Central, and Southern. The judges assigned to appraise the orchids first sorted them into four broad categories, and then chose the best and prettiest ones to enter the "final stage" of judging. On the afternoon of Nov 1, the chairperson and former President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, visited the exhibition, where she was accompanied by a large group of TKU senior staff.
On the morning of Oct 31, 2018, a signing ceremony was held at the Tamsui Campus, which saw Tamkang University sign a memorandum of collaboration with three local elementary schools: Dengong Elementary, Wenhua Elementary, and Xingren Elementary. The initiative between the schools has been described as a "strategic alliance of partner schools that will work together to promote environmental education along Taiwan's Northern Coastline". Present at the signing ceremony were the principals of each of the participating elementary schools, along with the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh. In his opening remarks, President Keh thanked the principals for their support in helping bring the initiative to fruition, and emphasized the importance of caring for the environment, noting that the vast majority of environmental issues currently facing humanity were caused by humanity, and that we should thus come together to shoulder the burden and rectify the situation. The signing ceremony was held at the Tamsui Campus, and specifically in the campus's Maritime Museum, which TKU hopes to fashion into a multi-functional learning center, allowing visitors to simultaneously learn about maritime knowledge and environmental protection. During the ceremony, the principals of the three elementary schools delivered speeches. They each thanked the TKU Department of Architecture for the time and effort it had invested, conducting experiments and communal projects that teach local students about the environment. One of these projects is a "science farm", established at Wenhua Elementary, that incorporates the Internet of Things and teaches students essential environmental knowledge, such as the various categories that garbage is sorted into and the numerous elements that make up an ecosystem.
The Tamkang University Lanyang Campus is a residential college known for its international focus, with many of its courses being conducted in English. To help broaden students' horizons, a High Table Dinner event is held each year around the beginning of the first semester. The dinner event, held from start to finish in English, provides newly-arrived freshmen with the chance to socialize in a formal dinner setting and learn about the etiquette involved in such events, as well as practicing their English speaking skills. Events like these also illustrate the holistic nature of education at TKU, not simply dispensing academic knowledge, but also helping to nurture and build students' overall character. This year's High Table Dinner was held on the evening of Oct 30 in the cafeteria of the Clement Chang Building. Students began pouring into the building at 6pm, and the first item on the agenda was an introductory session on formal table etiquette carried out by Chou Chi-wei, an instructor from the TKU Department of Global Politics and Economics. One of the purposes of the dinner event is to allow students to mingle with senior TKU staff. In this way, staff are able to formally welcome new students to the Lanyang Campus, while students are able to provide initial feedback about living conditions and the general campus environment directly to top-tier Tamkang faculty and staff. This year's attendees included the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, who was accompanied, among other high-level staff, by the vice presidents for academic, administrative, and international affairs: Dr. Chii-Dong Ho, Dr. Shi-Feng Chuang, and Dr. Kao-Cheng Wang respectively. The High Table Dinner was emceed by two Tamkang students, who kicked off the banquet with a formal toast, as everyone stood up and raised their glasses to mark the start of the evening event. The event included speeches from senior staff, the presentation of prizes to students, and a delicious and diverse range of dishes.
To help celebrate Tamkang University's 68th anniversary, the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center, Tamsui Campus, is currently holding an art exhibition that began on Oct 17 and will run until Dec 14, 2018. The exhibition includes 97 works of art from 43 separate artists. On the morning of Oct 26, an opening ceremony was held to mark the start of the exhibition. 25 people took part in the opening ceremony event, including the TKU Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Shi-Feng Chuang. In her opening remarks, Dr. Chuang noted that although Tamkang University does not have a Department of Fine Arts or Department of Musicology, it nevertheless strives to nurture students' artistic needs and create students of exceptional character. To do this, TKU emphasizes its "three objectives of education": globalization, information-oriented and future-oriented education, as well as its "five disciplines of education", which includes conduct, intelligence, education, teamwork, and beauty. Apart from providing students with a greater appreciation of art, the various exhibitions held at the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center also provide faculty and staff with the opportunity to frequently view art displays and attend concerts on campus, which serves among other things as an outlet for stress, a way of relaxing and letting go of pressure. The exhibition showcases various aspects of Tamsui, the local district in which the Tamsui Campus is located. Paintings include depictions of boats moored at the Tamsui River, Tamsui residents, Tamsui houses, and many other components that make up Tamsui. The ceremony also included speeches from the organizer of the exhibition and participating artist, Gu Chong-Guang, as well as the Director of the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center, Chang Bing-Huang.
The founder of Tamkang University, the late Clement C.P. Chang, along with his wife, Carrie Chang, donated NT $300 million to set up a foundation and establish the "Tamkang Clement and Carrie Chair Lecture Series". The object is to attract international luminaries from various fields, including former Nobel Prize recipients, national academicians, and eminent scholars to come to Tamkang University and deliver lectures in their field of expertise. These lectures not only serve to lift the academic standards of the university, as well as its reputation internationally, but also to enhance and broaden the horizons of the students and faculty at TKU. In the inaugural lecture of the Tamkang Clement and Carrie Chair Lecture Series, TKU invited Dr. Heinz Brandl, an honorary professor at the University of Vienna, Austria, to deliver a keynote speech. Held on the afternoon of Oct 23 at the Shou-Chien International Conference Hall, the speech centered on two very technical topics: 1) Cyclic preloading of in-situ piles and 2) Box-shaped deep foundations (piles, etc.) improving bearing settlement and seismic behaviour of structures. Over 300 students, faculty, and staff attended the talk. Dr. Heinz Brandl is a world-renowned scholar in the field of civil engineering. He has been conferred the title of academician in Austria, Belgium, and Russia and served as the Vice Chairman of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering in the first year of its inception. To date, he has published over 580 academic papers and authored 21 books. His recent visit will not only help spur further research in the field of civil engineering among students and faculty, but will also strengthen relations between overseas scholars and the civil engineering sector in Taiwan.
On Oct 19, 2018, the Tamkang University Shou-Chien International Conference Center was home to the 7th National Wind Engineering Conference. The Conference was organized jointly by the TKU Department of Civil Engineering and the Wind Engineering Research Center, with assistance from the Chinese Taiwan Association for Wind Engineering and Cheetah Industrial Aero-Dyna. Tech Co., Ltd. During the Conference, discussion centered on various aspects of wind-resilient designs, which are required in the development of alternative energy sources, a top priority for Taiwan at the moment. The latest research findings were also presented on topics related to architectural design, building components, and solar panels, elements used to mitigate the effects of common wind-related disasters, such as typhoons. The opening ceremony of the event was hosted by the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, who began his speech by welcoming the Chairperson of the Chinese Taiwan Association for Wind Engineering, Hsiao Bao-Yi, as well as the keynote speakers and special guests of the Conference: Prof. Xu You-Lin, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, and Prof. Lin Zi-ping from the Department of Architecture, Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. President Keh noted that in the last several years, extreme weather conditions and wind-based disasters have swept across the globe, wreaking havoc and generating widespread damage. He expressed his hope that by coming together to exchange expertise and discuss general advancements in wind technology, the Conference could serve as a platform for improvement, a portal for the development of technology that could ultimately save lives and prevent damage. In related news, on Oct 18 an opening ceremony for "Wind Engineering Week" was held, which marks the start of a series of Wind Engineering activities designed to coincide with TKU's 68th Anniversary celebrations.
To promote cooperation within the greater Tamsui region, Tamkang University has joined forces with the local Guandu Area Command of the Republic of China Army, hoping to funnel some of its resources and services into military education, and create a mutually-beneficial, win-win situation. After several meetings and discussions on the issue, TKU and the Guandu Area Command held a joint signing ceremony on April 13, 2018. The collaboration effort will see the Guandu Area Command set aside areas within its compound to facilitate instruction, while Tamkang University will provide instructors and courses, allowing military personnel to accumulate academic credits, and obtain degree programs and diplomas. Soldiers within the compound will be able to select the courses they wish to take. The initiative thus stands to benefit all parties involved. At 2pm on Oct 18, 2018, an official inauguration ceremony was held to signal the opening of the new TKU Learning Division at the Guandu Area Command Headquarters. It was attended by high-ranking officers and senior TKU staff and faculty, including the Head of the Sixth Corps Guandu Area Command, Hsu Yan-Pu, who hosted the event, as well as the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, the TKU Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Kao-Cheng Wang, the TKU Secretary-General, Dr. Andy Liou, and the Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Cheng,Tung-Wen, among others. At the conclusion of the ceremony, after speeches from President Keh and Commander Hsu, the local Guandu unit took the TKU delegates on a tour of the compound facilities and the designated classrooms, which had been decorated to reflect the unique design of the TKU Tamsui Campus.
On the morning of Oct. 15, 2018, a prestigious Digital e-Pen Presentation Ceremony was held at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei, to launch a new high-tech "e-pen", a device commonly described as a 'digital calligraphy brush' which was jointly developed by Tamkang University and Studio A. The Ceremony featured a host of distinguished guests, including the former President of Taiwan, Mr. Ma Ying-jeou, the former Premier of Taiwan, Liu Chao-shiuan, the current President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, the General Manager of Studio A, Cheng Young-lung, as well as a variety of public figures from the fields of education and art. A large media contingency was present at the event, as journalists conducted interviews with a number of well-known attendees. To begin the ceremony, a ribbon-cutting ritual was held, which was followed by opening remarks by President Keh, who noted the significant role of technology in amplifying art and extending its reach across society, and for generations to come. He introduced the team of researchers who contributed to the development of the Digital e-Pen. As part of this unique university-business collaboration, TKU worked with Studio A to come up with a Digital e-Pen Teaching App – compatible with the Apple Pencil device – which represents a new and innovative form of technology, and will undoubtedly serve to spread knowledge and appreciation of Chinese calligraphy for years to come.
Each year, Tamkang University holds the TKU Symposium on Teaching and Administrative Reform. The Symposium serves as a platform, allowing TKU to consistently pursue a standard of excellence, change course and innovate when necessary, follow a path of sustainable development, and uphold its legacy of greatness. The Symposium this year was hosted by the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, and was attended by the Chairperson of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang (former President of TKU). In her opening remarks, Dr. Chang pointed out that the Symposium on Teaching and Administrative Reform is now an annual tradition that was established by the founder of Tamkang University, the late Clement C.P. Chang. It's a forum that brings together the entire body of faculty and staff, allowing Tamkang employees the chance to collectively steer the direction of the university's development. This year's Symposium consisted of two unique features, Dr. Chang noted. Firstly, it was held at the newly-built Shou Chien International Conference Hall, with an incredibly spacious interior that allowed even more TKU employees to attend. Secondly, this year Tamkang officially entered its "fifth wave of development", helmed by a new president, Dr. Keh, and a new Chairperson, Dr. Chang herself. The event also included a speech from President Keh, who spoke of the raft of new challenges facing higher education institutes today. Subsequently, another speech was delivered by a special guest to the Symposium, the President of Feng Chia University, Dr. Bing-Jean Lee. In keeping with the theme of this year's symposium – challenges to higher education – Dr. Lee outlined the various barriers to growth currently faced by all universities, including a dearth of new students due to the dwindling birth rate, an excess of universities, and a lack of educational resources from which to draw. The event featured briefings by each of the three TKU vice presidents, and concluded with final remarks delivered by the Chairperson of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang.
Given the marked success of the Lanyang Campus residential college, the dormitory at the Tamsui Campus has now been transformed into a residential college in a similar mold to that of the Lanyang Campus. On the morning of Oct 12, 2018, a ceremony to signify the opening of the new residential college was held at the TKU Tamsui Campus. The ceremony kicked off with a speech by the Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Chun-Hung Lin, and was followed by remarks from the President of TKU, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, who hosted the event. The inauguration ceremony was also attended by each of the TKU vice presidents, as well as first-tier chairs and section chiefs from TKU academic and administrative units, and the chairperson and general manager of the construction company that built the residential college. After a series of speeches, Dean Lin took the guests on a tour of the college's facilities.
On the morning of Aug 8, 2018, Huang Bi-Yu, the Deputy Director of the Economic Development Department, New Taipei City, along with Hsieh Chiah-Nan, a manager from Amazon Web Services (AWS) paid a visit to the Tamkang University Tamsui Campus, where they met with the university President, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, to discuss the AWS Job Training Initiative. Under the Initiative, the establishment of a new "Cyber Campus" has been drafted, which will see certified teachers instructing students from various TKU colleges. The objective is to nourish talent in the field of cloud computing, to lay a sturdy foundation for the future of the industry, and generate an abundance of human capital. During President Keh's opening remarks, he noted that the cyber landscape is advancing by the day. Using cloud services will assist enterprises in reducing costs and increasing human productivity, he added. Cloud computing already represents a major trend in information technology, so allowing students to learn about it as early as possible can only give them a strong footing when entering the workforce. Deputy Director Huang stated that, in August this year, the New Taipei City Government partnered with Amazon to establish the New Taipei City/Amazon AWS Joint Innovation Center, located in the Taipei Far Eastern Telecom Park. The new Taipei City Government hopes that by encouraging students to enter the field of cloud computing, it can help spur capital investment, gain access to consultancy resources in the business sector, enhance the standard of technology in the cloud computing industry, and train up local graduates, in the hope of eventually filling the demand for cloud computing personnel among enterprises. It's a collaboration between universities, the government, and the business sector, she explained, utilizing a comprehensive system that will hasten the time it takes to set up a business, increase the clip of industry development, and jump start digital transformation.
In 2018 Tamkang University received subsidies from the Ministry of Education to help launch the University Social Responsibility (USR) project. Under the project, instructors and students work hand in hand to help develop local communities and solve difficult community problems in the hope of creating an even brighter future. On Oct 3, 2018, Tamkang University held the second USR event of the year. This recent event represented an intercollegiate collaboration between TKU, Feng Chia University, and National Chi Nan University, and took the theme "Creating Common Glory; Benchmarking for Better Results". Participants included two teams from other universities: one from Feng Chia University, led by Assistant Professor Chao-Fu Yeh; the other from Chi Nan University, led by Professor Chen Ku-Fan. As part of the USR project, the team from Feng Chia University has set up a mobile support system for underprivileged people and people living in remote regions of Taiwan. The team from Chi Nan University, on the other hand, has been focusing on a raft of environmental concerns currently facing local communities. Also in attendance at the event was a member of the Ministry of Education's University Social Responsibility Center, Chiang Fu-chen. Aside from providing a platform for students and teachers to take part in exchange and cooperation, the event also offered an opportunity for attendees to expand the scope of issues tackled under the USR program, and to discuss practical methods for solving community problems in the future. In a speech made at the opening of the event, TKU Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director of the USR Office, Dr. Chii-Dong Ho, pointed to the inroads made by Tamkang University in recent years, helping to care for and improve the local Tamsui community.
Trends in the media industry all point toward a growth in digitalization. Recognizing this, Tamkang University and Yahoo TV Taiwan have been working together since 2017 to offer students opportunities in the form of internships. As part of the university-business initiative, students from the TKU Department of Mass Communication gain access to the Yahoo TV digital platform, where they are encouraged to break down the barriers erected by traditional media. By viewing firsthand the latest trends and technology in video production, the students develop the ability to innovate, improvise, implement plans, and work in a team. In essence, they become video production whizzes fit for the digital era. On Sept 20, 2018, a press conference was held to mark the second year of the TKU - Yahoo collaboration. It was attended by Dr. Chii-Dong Ho, the TKU Vice President for Academic Affairs, who represented TKU at the event. During the opening remarks of the press conference, Dr. Ho explained that Tamkang University tries to help students build a strong foundation in both theory and real-life practical experience, hoping to provide its students with an advantage in the employment marketplace. He also expressed his gratitude to the Managing Director of Yahoo Taiwan, Erika Wang, a TKU English Department alumna, for generously granting internship opportunities to Tamkang students. After the press conference, Dr. Ho visited the Yahoo TV offices, where he was taken on a guided tour by Ou Mei-ying, the Deputy Managing Director of Public Relations and an alumna of the TKU Department of Mass Communication.
Over the last several years, the TKU Mobile Chemistry Lab – a truck fitted with extensive laboratory equipment – has traveled around Taiwan, visiting schools in remote areas with the objective of promoting science education and making science fun for students. On Sept 12, 2018, the Mobile Lab arrived at Dawu Junior High School, Taitung County, where local students took part in a range of interesting, hands-on experiments. Shang-hsun Chang, from the Taitung Education Department, attended the event and observed the students as they participated in the unique learning experience. To reach Dawu Junior High, the Mobile Lab had to cover approximately 500km, starting from the northwest of Taiwan and heading south past the Central Mountain Range, to eventually arrive in Taitung County. Instrumental in organizing the event were two people in particular: Yu Hsiong-wu, a TKU alumnus and the chairman of Integrated Service Technology (IST), who has for a long time been working to improve education along Taiwan's remote east coast; and Dr. Ho Chii-Dong, the TKU Vice President for Academic Affairs and an alumnus of Dawu Junior High. This recent mobile learning event was centered on three main topics: energy, food safety, and cooking materials. For each of these themes a practical experiment was organized, allowing children to truly get involved and experience the fun side of science. Over the past seven years, the Mobile Chemistry Lab has delivered science education to remote schools around the island, holding over 400 learning sessions along the way. Due to its massive success, the body responsible for the Lab, the TKU Center for Science Education, has received approbation from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, and the chemistry industry as a whole.
The Tamkang University Robot Development Team once again produced impressive results at the final of this year's Hiwin Intelligent Robotic Arm Competition, which was held at Nankang Exhibition Hall on August 29, 2018. Led by two teachers from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering – Dr. Ching-Chang Wong and Dr. Tsai Chi-Yi – Tamkang's Robot Development Team consisted of two groups: the "MIT Hornets" and the "Tamkang Winners". The former group developed its own six degrees of freedom (DOF) robotic arm, and thus competed in the "development category" of the competition. The latter, on the other hand, applied software to a robotic arm provided by Hiwin Technologies, and thus entered the "application category" of the tournament. This year, Tamkang's MIT Hornets took first place in the development category for the fifth consecutive year. The development category comprised a total of six teams, with second and third place going to National Cheng Kung University and National Formosa University respectively. Within this development category, the Hornets claimed first spot in three separate sub-categories, or events: intelligent stacking, mechanical writing, and intelligent sorting. Meanwhile, in the application category, which comprised 16 teams in all, the Tamkang Winners edged out third place. Hiwin Technology has been holding the Hiwin Intelligent Robotic Arm Competition since 2008. Each year it sets aside NT $3 million for the competition, offering a total of NT $1.55 million in prize money, and hiring personnel to help organize the event. Through the competition, it hopes to cast a wide net and find talent in related fields, drive effective university-business collaboration, and enhance the technological capability and production value of the robotics industry in Taiwan. The award ceremony for this year's competition was held Sept 1.
Since Tamkang University began accepting foreign students in 1990, an average of 2,000 students from around the world have come to TKU to study each year. In order to greet the most recent group of foreign students, and help them feel more at home here, on Sept 5, 2018 the TKU International and Cross-Strait Affairs Office held a series of orientation lectures and a welcome party. Close to 700 foreign students participated in the event, as did a number of senior-level TKU faculty and staff, including the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, who hosted the proceedings. Also present at the event were the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Chii-Dong Ho, the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Kao-Cheng Wang, and the Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Lucia Chen, as well as department chairs and section chiefs from each of Tamkang's departments and major administrative divisions. The series of events commenced with remarks from TKU's President Keh, who cited statistics from the Ministry of Education highlighting a massive increase in the number of foreign students studying in Taiwan over the past 15 years. From 2.17 million foreign students in 2000, this number has more than doubled, reaching 4.85 million in 2016. Conversely, President Keh noted, Tamkang University also encourages its students to embark on exchange or international programs at its sister universities overseas. So far, in 2018, over 1,400 TKU students have gone to sister universities to take part in exchange and study programs. Of these, under the Junior Abroad Program, 648 juniors traveled to 110 universities in 19 countries to pursue their studies. The president's opening remarks were followed by a greeting from the Dean of International Affairs, Lucia Chen, whose welcome remarks were delivered in fluent English to the 600-plus foreign students present. During her brief speech, Dean Chen urged students to keep in close contact with the International Office and expressed her hope that the new students were able to adapt to their new environment as quickly as possible. At the "welcome party" later that evening, students were treated to delicious Taiwanese food, while various displays were set up, giving the newly arrived foreign students a chance to experience Chinese calligraphy and view an array of Taiwanese relics.
To extend a warm welcome to new students, Tamkang University recently held two "Welcome Ceremonies", which involved a handful of rituals. In one ritual, students had to climb a steep staircase hewn into a slope beside the Tamsui Campus. The reason the welcome ceremony starts at this slope, know in Chinese as the "overcoming difficulty slope", is because climbing these steps is an allegory for overcoming one's troubles. It symbolizes the process in which people transcend the difficulties they encounter in day to day life. After scaling the slope and walking past the Ancient Palace Classrooms, a series of classrooms that resemble ancient Chinese buildings, the students headed to the Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium, where the ceremony was set to commence. The ceremony proper kicked off with performances from numerous TKU clubs, including the Cheerleading club and several dance clubs. To follow was a speech by the President of TKU, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, who described the phases TKU underwent on the way to becoming the foremost private university in Taiwan. President Keh also talked of Tamkang's success in the recent Cheers Magazine poll, an annual study that shows which college graduates are the most popular among local Taiwanese businesses. TKU ranked first among all private Taiwanese universities, and, when adding in public universities, placed ninth overall. President Keh concluded his speech by encouraging students to develop the ability to study independently and to continue studying throughout their lives. He exhorted students to improve their personal character and to make the most of their time at college, in the hope of adding to their knowledge and growing as people. At the end of the ceremony, the college song was played and the students, faculty, and staff in attendance sang along in one voice.