SOAS University of London

SOAS signs historic agreements to expand Taiwan Studies programme

28 June 2013

SOAS, University of London has signed three major agreements with Taiwan to promote the School’s Taiwan Studies programme.

The agreements, signed on 21 June, involved Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Culture and represent the largest single funding pledge since the establishment of the SOAS Taiwan Studies in 1999.

The signing ceremony was held at the Taipei Representative Office at Victoria. The agreements were signed by the Taiwan Representative to the United Kingdom Dr Shen Lyu-shun and SOAS Director Professor Paul Webley.

At the ceremony Dr Shen praised the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies for its achievements in developing Taiwan teaching programmes, publications in Taiwan Studies, and its extensive Taiwan academic activities over the last fifteen years.

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Signing of Memorandums of Understanding between SOAS and three Taiwan ministries. Picture includes: Dafydd Fell (Deputy Director SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies), Lin Kuo-chung (Director Ministry of Culture Office in London), Professor Paul Webley (SOAS Director), Professor Robert Ash (Director, SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies), Dr. Shen Lyu-shun (Taiwan Representative to the UK), Hsu Fen-chuan (Deputy Taiwan Representative to the UK), Wang Ming (Director, Taipei Representative Office in the UK), Ouyang Yen-Heng (Director Education Division, Ministry of Education Representative to the UK).

The first agreement with Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will enhance the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies academic research programme for the 2012-15 period. This will include support for its conference, seminar series, summer school and publication projects. It is also hoped that this will enable the School to host the Second World Congress of Taiwan Studies in 2015.

The second agreement is sponsored by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. This will allows for the continuation of the Taiwan Studies Senior Teaching Fellow post through to 2015. The creation of the post in 2009 allowed the School to expand its postgraduate Taiwan teaching courses and introduce its first undergraduate Taiwan course.

The third agreement is a grant of £20,000 under Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture Taiwan Spotlight programme. This will involve a series of film screenings and Q&As under the title Understanding Taiwan Through Film and Documentaries. The films chosen will be closely related to the Taiwan teaching courses at SOAS. SOAS is the first university in the world to receive funding under the Taiwan Spotlight programme.

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Professor Webley said: “The development and expansion of our Taiwan programme would not have been possible without the long term and generous support of the Taiwanese government. It is hoped that this new funding will allow us to further strengthen our Taiwan teaching programme.  The agreements will enhance the School’s reputation as the world’s leading institute in the field of Taiwan Studies.”