Programme in European Union Studies
National Chengchi University
We are the Programme in European Union Studies at National Chengchi Univeristy (NCCU), Taiwan.
Due to the increased demand of exchange students between the European Union and Taiwan, it is evident that cooperation in the realm of higher education has been successful. Under this condition, the Taiwanese students have participated in exchange programmes lasting for one to two semesters or attended language schools for shorter periods of time across the European continent. It is in this current picture in mind that our Programme wishes to provide an international learning experience, to equip students with multi-disciplinary knowledge, and eventually expand the influence of NCCU as an educational institution in the field of European Studies.
According to our University’s administrative meetings, the College of International Affairs (CIA) from NCCU initiated the preparations for this programme since October 2020 and from February 2021 onwards, the Programme would officially operate and serve the above purposes. During this time period, the CIA, under the leadership of professor Hong-Yi, Lien, the dean of the college, and professor Cho-Hsin, Su, the chair of the programme, has visited the Office from the European Economic and Trade Office in Taipei numerous times and established strong ties with its Head of the Office, Mr. Filip Grzegorzewski. Mr. Grzegorzewski had expressed great interest in our programme and enthusiastically stated the importance of the eventual academic cooperation and connection of the programme with the trade office, and even saw himself with the possibility of lecturing under the programme in the future. Furthermore, he guaranteed us one opportunity per semester to participate in an internship in the European Economic and Trade Office, which resonates with our intention to combine academic learning with practical experiences. In the meantime, the CIA and the European Union Centre in Taiwan (EUTW) from National Taiwan University (NTU), have collectively launched a platform for students to practice cross-campus course selection through a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure guaranteed eligibility of courses to NCCU students and NTU students, providing those students interested in European affairs the opportunity to establish an international interdisciplinary platform. The model would also be applied to other universities in the future.
Our programme has prepared a total of 10 courses, 27 credits, in total ranging from topics of the EU law, EU trade, regional integration, cultural appreciation, history, human rights and jurisprudence issues, which all have a primary focus on the European Union and European Studies. Among these courses, the Introduction to European Union course (2 credits) offered by NTU and a summer school programme in Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium (2 credits) are included, which translates into international mobility and highlights our purpose of being an international programme. In addition, professor Gustavo Martín Prada, the ex-advisor of international cooperation and development from the European Union to the United Nations, has planned to join the programme and give a course on EU external relations in the academic year to follow, which would foster our international faculty and provide students with first-hand knowledge on EU foreign relations. Currently, 46 students have enrolled in our programme and we believe that it is only the beginning of a fruitful academic journey for both the students and our programme.
As for the state of play of EU studies in Taiwan and how our project could respond and contribute to the field of European Studies, there is presently a Seven Universities coalition led by the EUTW from NTU, by which our dean, professor Hong-Yi, Lien, is the vice-director. Our college was designated as the coordinator of the European Union Studies Programme. Since it is the first time ever for NCCU to offer a programme focused on European studies, our programme would only expand the overall influence and the number of students incorporated in this coalition. As a result, more students and personnel would be deeply involved in European Studies and devote themselves into the various cooperation and exchanges conducted between the European Union and the Republic of China, Taiwan in terms of education, culture, and commerce.
The Programme in European Union Studies of NCCU has invited local and foreign scholars, with the participation of the students from the Seven Universities coalition led by the EUTW from NTU, to collectively take on the endeavour of European Union Studies. In terms of the academic aspect, the programme wishes to foster student’s understandings on international relations and the EU through the guidance of professionals and professors who conduct research on the European Union via the cross-campus framework.
In terms of the international aspect, we have signed an international cooperative initiative with the Université Libre de Bruxelles, located in Brussels, Belgium, which is where the major administrative institutions from the EU is located. Through means of online courses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, or courses offered during the exchange programmes, whether their students coming to us or our student studying at their facility, the Programme provides the latest and most relevant knowledge or information regarding European issues to the students.
In terms of internship and incorporating our students to the labour market, we collaborated with the European Economic and Trade Office and allow our students to have the opportunity to be part of an internship for one semester. This way, our students could accumulate working experiences and put in practice what they have learned in campus. The Programme highly resonates with the core values of our university, which lays out as follows: “internationalization of students, international faculty, international language capabilities”, and continues to utilize it as the foundation to better serve the design of the programme. The programme will focus on the social and economic development of the European Union under the new power relations of international politics. This includes the following research fields: economics and international commerce, legal matters, socio-political analysis, regional integration, cultural appreciation, etc. Through the learning process, students will become practitioners of European studies.
Politically speaking, the courses will elaborate on the experience of regional integration of the European Union and its multi-level governing model and explain the current security system of the European Union, using the interaction among many actors in international relations as a focal point. Economically speaking, the courses will clarify the economic integration practiced by the European Union and its power to regulate the market. Starting from a theoretical standpoint, students will gradually explore the practices of economic and trade negotiations, and eventually dissect the role of the European Union in the international economy through the lenses of international law. Culturally speaking, the programme also provides a variety of options for students to further associate with European civilization and the opportunity to experience it personally in Brussels, Belgium. Via this opportunity, the students will grasp the differences between Asian and European culture from a personal level, and start to appreciate the cultural diversity around the globe. By pondering on the ideological evolution, it will facilitate students’ understanding of the European institutional framework and advancements.