UCLA’s Asia Pacific Center received a $2 million gift from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan to support Taiwan studies, the university announced Tuesday.
“This generous gift significantly enriches our Taiwan Studies Program,” said Min Zhou, director of the Asia Pacific Center and UCLA’s Walter and Shirley Wang Professor of U.S.-China Relations and Communications. “It will further strengthen our vibrant community of faculty and students dedicated to studying Taiwan, as well as expand the program’s local, national and international networks.”
Zhou said he hoped the gift would also attract other donors interested in Taiwan and supporting Taiwanese students.
A total of $1.2 million will establish a endowment to permanently support the Taiwan Studies Program. The remaining $800,000 will be used to fund a program on Taiwan in the World to promote the study of Taiwan in a global context and train a new generation of scholars and professionals in Taiwanese society, history and culture.
Students will gain bilingual proficiency in English and Mandarin Chinese, including the ability to read and write traditional Chinese characters.
“The Taiwan in the World program will cover Mandarin Chinese language teaching projects, in pursuit of the international education cooperation goals established by TECO-LA and the Asia Pacific Center,” said Louis M. Huang, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles.
“The Taiwan in the World program also focuses on enhancing the status of Taiwan studies in the field of social sciences globally,” he said. “We hope this program will become a benchmark for Taiwan-U.S. cooperation in higher education and cultivate professional talents with global visions for Taiwan and the United States.”
The Asia Pacific Center, part of the UCLA International Institute, launched the Taiwan Studies Program in 2014. The Ministry of Education of Taiwan provided initial funding for the program, and has since renewed that funding twice; the program is now supported through 2024. The J. Yang and Family Foundation also provided a total of $2 million in support of the program in 2018 and 2019.