In 2006, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) and National University Preparatory School for Overseas Chinese Students merged to establish the College of International Studies and Education for Overseas Chinese, NTNU. Pursuant to the promotion of “innovative Taiwan and global deployment” from the Ministry of Education, the Department of East Asian Culture and Development and the Graduate Institute of International Sinology Studies were created. In the 2009-2010 academic year, a plan was proposed to consolidate the Department of East Asian Culture and Development and the Graduate Institute of International Sinology Studies to respond to the NTNU development plan and to promote quality academic and research performance. The proposal was approved at the NTNU Research and Development Committee and Affairs Meeting. Commencing from the 2011-2012 academic year, the two units are integrated to form the Department of East Asian Studies. It has undergraduate and graduate programs, each with two groups: the sinology and culture group and the politics and economics group.
The former Department of East Asian Culture and Development focused on issues, such as regional culture and global development trends; political, economic, social, and community structures and changes; in-depth contents of cultural industry and ecology; and overseas Chinese affairs, education, and communities in East Asia, to create a cross-curricular environment for students to learn from. It was the only department in Taiwan that allowed undergraduate students to specialize in East Asia. The former Graduate Institute of International Sinology Studies was also the only graduate school that focused on the emerging subject of international sinology among Taiwan’s national universities with the purpose of developing students’ research capabilities. The goal was to help students to master the methods and trends, understand the history and development of East Asia, experience diverse interactions of Eastern and Western cultures, and lead related studies and discussion of the international sinology studies.
These two units were characterized not only by their international and interdisciplinary approaches, but also by their pioneership in their respective disciplines. Therefore, the main features and advantages of the new Department of East Asian Studies include:
1. A Channel for East Asian Studies: The Department of East Asian Studies of NTNU is the only department in Taiwan that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, which constitute an uninterrupted education in the field. For students who wish to pursue their studies overseas, there are numerous prestigious universities with similar educational foci and objectives from which to choose, including Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, and the University of California at Berkeley.
2. Faculty Academic and Research Performance: The former Department of East Asian Culture and Development and the Graduate Institute of International Sinology Studies were initially established with relatively young faculty members. Their research scopes include sinology; East Asian history, culture, thoughts, politics, economics and trade; and business administration and related areas with a focus on the East Asian region. Their strong performance and reputations are widely acknowledged.
3. The Department’s Internationalization: The faculty members in this department have degrees from the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Singapore. Also, there are foreign teachers from Japan and Korea. These teachers with various backgrounds can offer students diverse advice for their futures. In addition, the Linkou campus at which the department is located offers a culturally rich environment that encompasses local students as well as international students from various countries, such as Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Our students can interact with these overseas students to further understand and appreciate cultural differences and to broaden their views on the world.
The educational goal of this department is to develop the talents of interdisciplinary scientific research and applications and help students to have “macro views and critical and reflective thinking skills”, demonstrate “respect and tolerance of humanistic quality” and ”intellectual capacity of regional industries, economics, politics and academia”, and explore “the East Asian deployment and the worldwide operation”.
Courses are designed to enable students to advance their studies in their areas of interest and to have fundamental interdisciplinary knowledge and views.
First, there are two different groups from which students can choose. Given that the Department of East Asian Studies resulted from the merger of the Graduate Institute of International Sinology Studies and Department of East Asian Culture and Development, it has interdisciplinary core values and two groups: the sinology and culture group and the politics and economics group. The curricula of these two groups not only have extensive course coverage, but also can line up with international prestigious universities, such as Harvard University and Princeton University. In the courses of the sinology and culture group, students are expected to understand international East Asian sinology, culture, and thinking from a cross-cultural perspective. In the courses of the politics and economics group, students are expected to understand international politics, the economics of East Asia, and the structure and development of the primary East Asian countries.
Second, we also require students to have interdisciplinary knowledge capabilities. Required courses include basic subjects in both groups, whereas selective courses offer flexibility for students in different groups to cross-enroll in the class. We hope that students have academic experiences by means of cross-group course selections to understand East Asian affairs based on profound knowledge and broad perspectives.
Graduates can consider a master’s program in this department or other related programs or schools, including history, liberal arts, East Asian studies, sinology, Asia Pacific studies, Japanese studies, politics, economics, business administration, diplomacy, public affairs, nation development, and Chinese studies for advanced studies. Graduates who seek employment may consider the following:
1. Research associates in related academic research institutes specializing in East Asian studies, regional culture, sinology, politics, economics and trade, and business administration;
2. Administrators or government officers in public administration dealing with the diplomacy, culture, politics, and economics of East Asia;
3. Journalists, editors, research guides, tourism-related staff members, marketing staff members, business administrators in transnational companies, finance- and economics-related staff members, and employees in the industrial sectors, private sectors, public sectors, libraries, and museums; and
4. Translators at workshops to translate historical or famous sinology classics or interpreters of Korean, Japanese, English, or European languages or for diplomatic affairs.