USC becomes Taiwan Academy affiliate
By Peggy Binette, email@example.com, 803-777-5400
The University of South Carolina signed an agreement Thursday (Dec. 8) that solidifies its partnership with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Atlanta and expands learning and research opportunities for USC students and faculty.
The agreement, called a Memorandum of Understanding, makes Carolina’s Asian Studies Program an affiliate of the Taiwan Academy, an educational and cultural initiative launched by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2011.
“The Center for Asian Studies is gratified to be among the first affiliates with the Taiwan Academy program,” said Dean Kinzley, director of USC’s Center for Asian Studies. “The academy builds on and expands our already vibrant program in Taiwan Studies at the University of South Carolina.”
The MOU, signed by Provost Michael Amiridis on behalf of USC and by TECO Director General Anna Kao, strengthens USC's relationship with TECO, which will enhance Chinese language learning, expand cultural exchanges for students and faculty and increase scholarship opportunities for students to travel and study in Taiwan.
Kao said the agreement will yield more research.
"Cooperation between USC and the academy will yield rich research and make the relationship even stronger, just like the 30-year sister-state relationship between South Carolina and Taiwan," Kao said.
Amiridis said stronger relationships will result.
"I am very confident that this letter of intent will lead to good projects, good will and good ambassadors," Amiridis said.
The academy’s intent is to increase the understanding of, and interest in, Taiwanese culture and Chinese language worldwide, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Our membership in the Taiwan Academy will expand the opportunities for USC students and faculty to study and travel to Taiwan while enhancing collaborative research between USC and scholars and institutions in Taiwan,” Kinzley said.
USC’s Taiwan Studies program is part of Carolina’s Center for Asian Studies and Walker Institute for International and Area Studies, which was established 50 years ago by the late U.S. ambassador Richard L. Walker.
Kinzley said USC has the nation’s premier program in Taiwan studies. For 20 years it has organized an annual Taiwan Studies Conference that attracts scholars from around the world to USC and results in the publication of numerous articles in scholarly journals.
USC has some of the longest and strongest exchange relationships with universities in Taiwan of any institution of higher learning, including ones with Ming Chuan University, National Taiwan University, National Taiwan Normal University, National Tsinghua University and Kaohsiung Hospitality College.
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