Wed, Apr 08, 2009 - Page 4 News List

EU center planned in effort to promote student exchanges

RAISING ENROLLMENT Seven local universities will chip in US$600,000 for the project, while the EU will cover the remainder of the US$2 million bill

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

An EU Center will open in Taiwan on May 22, the result of efforts by seven Taiwanese universities to facilitate exchanges and mutual understanding with the European economic bloc, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday.

It is hoped that the EU Center — the eighth in the Asia-Pacific region — will enhance Taiwanese knowledge of the EU, said the Taipei-based European Economic and Trade Office (EETO), the EU’s de facto embassy in Taiwan.

LEADERSHIP

MOFA Director-General of European Affairs Anne Hung (洪慧珠) told a press conference that the center would be housed at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) College of Social Science and that NTU vice president Bau Tzong-ho (包宗和) would serve as its director.

Su Hung-dah (蘇宏達), an assistant professor at NTU’s Department of Political Science, and Kan Yi-hua (甘逸驊), an associate research fellow at National Chengchi University’s Institute of International Relations, will be the chief operating officers at the center, Hung said.

National Chung Hsing University, National Sun Yat-sen University, National Dong Hwa University, Tamkang University and Fu Jen Catholic University will also be part of the four-year project, Hung said.

The seven universities will contribute 450,000 euros (US$600,000) to the project, while the EU will cover the rest of the 1.55 million euro budget, Hung said.

UNDERSTANDING THE EU

The EU began working with US universities in the late 1990s to open EU Centers in the US and promote better understanding of the EU among students. EU Centers at 10 US universities are successfully serving the purpose for which they were established, the EETO said.

The EU Center network was later expanded to the Asia-Pacific region, with centers in Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Taiwan will become the third East Asian country with a center.

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