Times Higher Education (THE) is a research institute that each year publishes a world university ranking, placing institutes of higher education into sequential order. Among the rankings produced is a list of the top 300 universities in Asia according to THE. This year, for the first time, Tamkang University entered the list of 300 leading Asian universities, placing 251st. This accolade is the culmination of concentrated effort over many years, as TKU works to enhance its international standing by providing excellence in the areas of education, research, and service. The THE's list of Asian university rankings is based on five core metrics: teaching (the learning environment), research (volume, income and reputation), citations (research influence), international outlook (staff, students, and research), and industry income (knowledge transfer).
On the afternoon of March 16, the former President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-Jeou, arrived at the Tamkang University Tamsui Campus to deliver a keynote speech. He was invited by two separate TKU departments, the Department of French and the Department of Public Administration, in a collaborative effort designed to promote a more holistic, cross-disciplinary form of education. Former President Ma's keynote speech addressed the topic ‘Taiwan's Evolution: A New Role in International Society’. The speech was held at the Ching-Sheng International Conference Hall, which was filled to capacity with attendees, including the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, who opened the event with a welcome speech. President Chang noted that former president Ma is the same age as TKU. She stated that he cares deeply about the status of higher education in Taiwan, pointing to his regular attendance at university president forums each year, and his earnest desire to solve problems related to education. The keynote speech delivered by the former Taiwanese president touched on various themes, and was an insightful analysis of Taiwan's evolving role in international society. In the lively question and answer segment that followed, Ma answered several students' questions on a wide range of topics.
Taipei is slated to hold this year’s World University Games. From August 20-25, the weightlifting portion of the games will be held at Tamkang’s very own Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium, Tamsui Campus. To mark this important milestone, which is now only 160 days away, and to prepare for the historic event, from March 4-6 the 2017 National Collegiate Weightlifting Championships were held at the TKU Tamsui Campus. Several dignitaries attended the event and presented awards to winning contestants, including the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, The Vice Chair of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Yasuo Saito, and the Deputy Director of the Taipei World Games Committee, Cheng Fang-Fan. The TKU Dean of Physical Education, Hsiao Shu-Feng, explained: “The recent Collegiate Championships was akin to a practice or mock trial for the upcoming World Games. It allowed us to make sure that every aspect of the event, from the lighting and security, to the service provided and filming rendered, and even the award ceremony, was in line with official specifications. On March 6th, when the trial event ended, everyone gave us very positive feedback and was very happy with proceedings.”
TKU is currently holding the Tamkang University World Forum for Youth Leaders 2017, which will run from March 8-13. The Forum focuses on the theme “Prospects for the World: Meeting Challenges with Vision”. Topics to be discussed during the event include global governance and democracy, global food supply, energy sources and the environment, global culture and society, the global economy, and global politics. The Forum drew students from 15 universities in nine countries, including local TKU students, who gathered to present dissertations and partake in academic discussions. Present at the event was the TKU Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-chin Tai, who stated: “this is our fourth year holding the TKU World Forum for Youth Leaders. The purpose of the Forum is to enhance students’ global awareness on issues such as democracy, governance, the economy, the environment and culture. It also allows students to work more closely with other students from TKU sister universities, and allows them to practice their English expression.”
From July 6-7, the TKU Graduate Institute of Educational Policy and Leadership and the Hong Kong Institute of Education held the Asia Leadership Roundtable 2017 (ALR) at the Chueh-sheng International Conference Hall, Tamsui Campus. Present at the event were over 70 prominent educators from various countries and regions, including Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, America, England, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Israel, South Africa, and Chile. Also in attendance was the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, who provided opening remarks. The Dean of the Graduate Institute of Educational Policy and Leadership, Ya-Tsz Hsueh, noted that the Roundtable has been held each year since 2010 at countries and regions around the world. It represents a forum for discussion on how to expand and enhance the corpus of knowledge surrounding Asian educational leadership. Tamkang University was granted the opportunity to organize and host the 2017 Roundtable event, which took the theme "Seven years on: the state of the Asian knowledge base."
During the recent Peace Memorial Day holidays, a passionate group of students from the TKU Department of Mass Communication braved the icy weather to dip their feet in the cold rice fields of Dasi, Taoyuan, for a good cause. The group consisted of fourth year students Chen You-Hsuan, Lu Yu-An, Kung Li-Wen, Wang Yu-Ru, Yang Tsan-Yu, and Li Hao-Gang. The trip was part of a program that allows members of the public to adopt a plot of land to support local farmers, promote organic, pesticide-free farming methods, and ensure the sustainability of Taiwanese farmland. Kung-Li Wen, one of the participating seniors, said "Although it was freezing and my feet almost went numb in the wet rice fields, it was more than worth it. These days, people's knowledge of rice fields is very limited. Through our graduation assignment, we hope to raise awareness about the important of Taiwan's rice fields and encourage younger people to spend more time learning about how to work these fields."
At present, the TKU Department of Diplomacy and International Relations is the only university department in Taiwan in which international students outnumber local students. The Department was established two years ago, and each year only allows an additional 25 local students to enrol. Currently, there are 47 local students and 57 international students in the department, and students say that the classroom is so diverse "it's like stepping into a United Nations conference".
The Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center, Tamsui Campus, is currently holding a cross-cultural art exhibition. The purpose of the exhibition is to commemorate and celebrate the work of three deceased artists from three separate regions, who were well-known for their unique artistic styles, as well as promote closer exchange between artistic communities internationally, and give praise to the distinct characteristics of fine art in various regions around Asia. The three artists include Ryu Kyung Chai, a former professor and member of the Korean Academy of Painting, Sukeo AKIYOSHI, a former president of the Fukuoka Fine Art Association, and Lucas Kuo Jen, previously a professor at Taiwan Normal University. The display, titled the ‘2017 Asian International Art Exhibition - Taiwan Committee Members’, commenced on the morning of Feb 22 with an official opening ceremony, and will end March 17. The exhibition is organized and coordinated by TKU faculty member and renowned Taiwanese artist, Gu Chong Guang, and features artwork from 24 members of the Taiwanese Art Committee, with a total of 71 pieces on display.
According to estimates made by Boeing, the global demand for pilots in the next 20 years will come to about 500,000 pilots. Out of this pool of pilots, approximately 200,000 vacancies will need to be filled in the Asia market alone. Positioned in the heart of Asia, Taiwan could capitalize on this trend and transform itself into a pilot training hub for aspiring pilots throughout Asia. Yet at present, it only trains around 100 pilots a year - supply falls far short of demand. To balance this disparity, Tamkang University has embarked on a collaborative program with Apex Flight Academy, signing a Memorandum of Understanding on the morning of Feb 14 at the TKU Taipei Campus. In attendance at the signing ceremony were the TKU Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Keh Huan-chao, and the CEO of Apex Flight Academy, Mr. Wilson Kao. Under the collaborative agreement, TKU will offer credited study programs for aspiring pilots, and Apex Flight Academy will provide instructors, scholarships, and internship programs. The joint effort represents a push to develop Taiwan's education in the area of aviation, in an attempt to meet the future demand for pilots.
Cheers Magazine recently released its annual list of top Taiwanese universities. The list is a compilation of universities, ranked in order, based on the stated preferences of local enterprises in hiring university graduates. Before producing the list, Cheers goes about interviewing and surveying leaders and human resource personnel from 2,000 enterprises in Taiwan. This year, for the 20th year in a row, Tamkang University was ranked number one among Taiwanese private universities, which marks two full decades as the most favoured university for graduates among local Taiwanese enterprises, according to Cheers Magazine. TKU came in ninth spot overall, if you include both national and private universities. Among the characteristics inquired about in the survey, TKU ranked 4th nationally in the category ‘new graduates' work performance exceeded enterprises' expectations’. In seven other such categories, such as ‘possessing an international outlook and foreign language ability’, for example, TKU graduates placed first among all private universities in Taiwan.
Webometrics Rankings of World Universities (WRWU) conducts an evaluation and then publishes a subsequent ranking of world universities in January and July each year. The results for January 2017 were recently published, and showed a dramatic spike in Tamkang University's ranking across various metrics. TKU's overall global ranking increased from 448 in July 2016 to 394 in Jan 2017. Its ranking among Asian universities ascended from 72 to 34, and among Taiwanese universities (both national and private), advanced from 7th place to 6th. Moreover, TKU maintained its consistent place as the number one ranked private university in Taiwan in the WRWU ranking system. This marks TKU's best performance in the evaluations in the last five years.
Each year, on the first day back from the long Chinese New Year vacation, Tamkang University holds a Lunar New Year Gathering to furnish the new year with an auspicious start. Thus, on Feb 7, 2017, TKU held separate social luncheons at each of its three campuses - Tamsui, Taipei, and Lanyang. Senior staff and faculty from each TKU college, department, and administrative unit assembled to celebrate the new year by catching up with co-workers and trying snacks laid out on carefully-placed tables - arranged in a semi-circle - replete with traditional symbols of prosperity and fortune: apples, mandarins, and dates. The Gathering was hosted by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, who, in her opening remarks, thanked each of the staff and faculty for their hard work and dedication throughout the past year, especially in preparing for the 66th TKU Anniversary event, which was held on Nov 11 last year. President Chang also cited an important book that she read during the Chinese New Year holidays written by two Japanese writers, entitled "The Practical Wisdom of Innovation", which she feels underpins the challenge faced by tertiary institutions at present, and provides insights in how to overcome such challenges through closer and more meaningful collaboration among members of staff. She explained that Tamkang University is now in its fifth phase of development, and that the newly-built Shou-Chien International Conference Center, with its state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, represents a further advancement in Tamkang University's development, and reflects its commitment to internationalization.
The 2016-17 End of Year Gala was held today at the TKU Student Activity Center, Tamsui Campus. This year, the department charged with the job of providing entertainment was the TKU Office of Information Services, which put together a series of vibrant and colourful song and dance numbers, and displayed a range of previously unseen skills: dance skills, physical strength, creativity, and powerful voices. All TKU faculty and staff attended the event, including the TKU President, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the three TKU vice presidents, and deans and chairs from each college and department. To kick off the annual gala, President Chang delivered an opening speech in which she recapped some of the major achievements made by Tamkang over the previous year, including the obtainment of various formal college certifications, as well as the staggering milestone of having over 2,100 international and cross-strait students currently enrolled at TKU. During the gala, apart from the various dazzling performances, there was also a raffle draw – an annual gala tradition. However, this year, unlike previous years, the Section Leader of the TKU Office of Information Services, Lee Shu Hua, also provided several additional prizes, including an HTC10 smart phone, an iphone7, and an iphone7 plus.
Physics is the cornerstone of science and technological progress. It advances human civilization and opens our horizons, allowing us to learn about and understand unknown phenomena. Each year, to push physics further into the public eye, the Physical Society of the Republic of China (PSROC) holds an annual meeting. From Jan 16-18 at the Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium, Tamsui Campus, TKU hosted the PSROC Annual Meeting as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology Presentation Ceremony. Experts from 20 countries and regions around the world attended the event, including participants from America, England, Japan, Switzerland, Korea, Mainland China, and Taiwan, as well as over 1,700 students and faculty members. During the conference, attendees presented their latest research findings and talked about various issues and topics related to current scientific research. Chao-Hung Du, the Chairperson of the TKU Department of Physics, explained that the PSROC Annual Meeting is a once-a-year occasion in which physicists from around Taiwan gather to share their latest discoveries and discuss important topics in the domain of physics. Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the President of Tamkang University, also attended the event and delivered the opening speech.
Each year, several TKU faculty members coordinate research and collaboration projects between academia and industry. In the process, they find that those involved in such projects tend to stick to their own respective spheres (either academia or industry), with few, if any, mechanisms in place to promote closer integration and cooperation. To counter this trend, in the last few years the TKU Office of Research and Development - which serves as a conduit between academia and business - has strived to strengthen ties between the two disparate sectors. Thus, on January 6, 2017, the Office of Research and Development held the first ever Forum for Academia and Industry Collaboration, hoping to forge new links, to brainstorm new areas in which to work together, and bolster future collaboration. The Dean of the Office of Research and Development, Dr. Bo-Cheng Wang, stated that in order to strengthen relations between academia and industry, the two sectors have to better understand the other's needs. The Forum featured presentations from business representatives on the present state of industry and current industry trends, and stalls were set up to allow participants a deeper understanding of related topics. Participants at the event, which was held at the Chueh-sheng International Conference Hall, Tamsui Campus, represented various prominent businesses, including Chunghwa Telecom, QNAP Systems, and Taiwan Secom Co., among others.
On January 4-6 at the TKU Taipei Campus, the Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics Doctoral Consortium and Symposium 2017 was held. The event was organized jointly by the TKU Department of Accounting and the Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics (JCAE), which is rated as an "A" grade journal by the Ministry of Science and Technology, ROC. The Symposium was attended by 120 scholars and researchers from various countries and regions, including America, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, Mainland China, and Hong Kong. Also in attendance was the President of TKU, Flora Chia-I Chang, who delivered the opening speech. Moreover, the Dean of the TKU College of Business and Management, Dr. Chiu Chien-Liang, gave a speech at the Symposium welcome dinner, in which he greeted and thanked participants from each country for their attendance. Yen, Sin-hui, the Chairman of the TKU Department of Accounting, said that the Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics is an international accounting and economics publication established jointly by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Deakin University, and the University of Technology, Sydney. The JCAE focuses heavily on research issues related to Asian countries, and holds a symposium annually in various countries around Asia; a once-a-year event which draws the full attention of accounting scholars worldwide. This year's Symposium attracted scholars from a total of 16 countries and regions around the world, featured presentations of over 50 separate dissertations, and was attended by distinguished members of the Taiwanese finance sector and scholars from prestigious local universities.
On December 29 and 30, the TKU Center for Future Intelligence and Research (C-FAR) held a Strategic Foresight Training Workshop for senior executives from Everlight Chemical Industrial Corporation, a major Taiwanese high-tech chemical company. The Workshop was designed to help senior executives from Everlight Chemical glance into their company's future, and foresee possible future trends that may affect company growth in the coming decade. During the two-day event, the Director of C-FAR, Dr. Mei Mei Song, instructed attendees on the six pillars of future thinking, and invited the senior executives to envision an even greater future for their company. To help attendees better deal with an ever-changing world, the event placed a focus on long-term planning and construction of a future vision. The company chairperson, James Chen, marvelled at the concept of futures studies: "A while back, I saw that China had created economic blueprints for 2025 and couldn't fathom why they would try to think so far ahead into the future. But after meeting Dr. Mei Mei Song, I realized that the methods used in futures studies are very valuable."
On Dec 29, the TKU Graduate Institute of Futures Studies invited the founder of a notable online gaming website (www.gamer.com.tw) to deliver a speech on the topic "PC Gaming is not just PC gaming: my past future". The Graduate Institute of Futures Studies has closely followed the progression and rise in popularity of a culture known commonly as Otaku (a generalized Japanese term that can refer to fans of anime/manga, or fans of video games/gaming culture). Indeed, prior to this recent lecture, the Institute also previously held the 5th Otaku International Symposium in October 2016. The Gamer.com website has been in operation for two decades. It was the first social media website established in Taiwan to cater specifically for PC gamers. At present, website members exceed 250,000, and, according to Alexa - which is a subsidiary of Amazon.com - the website is ranked among the top ten largest websites in Taiwan. The story of the founder of Gamer.com (his name is Sega), is an inspirational tale of a young Taiwanese gamer who followed his passion and became the CEO of a PC gaming empire. Thus, the Graduate Institute of Futres Studies invited Sega to speak at Tamkang to share this intriguing journey, the bitter-sweet experience of chasing one's dreams. At the end of the speech, Sega concluded by reminding participants that life is not always like a marathon. Marathons tend to be fixed in length and take set or pre-arranged paths, most of them being linear running tracks where you continually move forward in the one direction. Life, on the other hand, can lead you in multiple directions. The key is to pursue your passions and be clear about the direction in which you are heading. At the end of the speech, Sega stayed behind to answer students' questions and interact with participants.
To date, Tamkang University has produced over 250,000 alumni from all walks of life who reside in various countries around the world. Many of these former students have achieved great success in their respective fields. Take Mr Jung Pin Wu, for example, the founder and chairman of QST International Corp., which produces automotive fasteners and metal parts used by the world's ten largest car manufacturers. Mr Jung graduated from the TKU Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering in 1980. After 36 years away from his alma mater, on December 28, 2016, Mr Jung returned to TKU to deliver a special lecture on the topic of "Ego and Self" and to distribute scholarships. In attendance at the lecture were numerous members of TKU faculty and staff, including the TKU Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Keh Huan Chao, the Vice President of International Affairs, Dr. Wan-Chin Tai, the Dean of College of Engineering, Prof. Hsu Hui Huang, and the Dean of the College of Foreign Languages and Litrature, Lucia Chen, among others. In the lecture on "Ego and Self", Mr. Jung explained that society is made up of various ‘individual egos’, and that at the core of all problems is the ‘ego’. This is why discussing the ‘ego’ is so vital. He emphasized the importance of knowing what one should do, how to do it, and of doing the right thing. You have to be inspired, he said, but don't just cling to a dream without taking the actions necessary to fulfil that dream.
On Dec 22, 2016, The TKU College of Foreign Languages and Literature celebrated Christmas with a range of festive activities. During this year's event, Santa Claus appeared and handed out candy to participants, and the Dean of the College, Lucia Chen, made a special entrance dressed as a Christmas princess. There was also singing and dancing, as teachers and students alike switched between six languages to interact and celebrate the season. The President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, along with deans and directors from various Tamkang colleges, joined in the festivities. During her opening speech, President Chang said that as she and the Dean of Academic Affairs, Cheng Tung-Wen, were making their way to the Christmas party, they came across a very enthusiastic master's student. The student told the president that he had already taken courses from six separate master's programs, and that, because he enjoys studying at TKU so much, he soon plans to enrol in a PhD program. She concluded her anecdote by noting "with excellent students like this, TKU's graduate institutions have a bright future!", eliciting laughter and applause from the partygoers in attendance. The event included a Christmas lunch, which featured foods from various cultures, as well as cocktails, musical performances, and fun-filled Christmas games. Lucia Chen, the Dean of the College of Languages and Literature, stated that "as Christmas draws closer, the air of festivity grows more palpable by the day." She hopes that students embrace the warmth of Christmas with a sense of joy.