Chapter 7 East Asian Area Studies Teaching Programs in the United Kingdom

A Comparative Case Study of Korean Studies at the University of Central Lancashire and Taiwan Studies at SOAS, University of London

In: Assessing the Landscape of Taiwan and Korean Studies in Comparison
Authors: Dafydd Fell and Sojin Lim

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Abstract

This chapter compares two area studies teaching programs: Taiwan Studies at SOAS, University of London; and Korean Studies at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). In both cases, humanities, linguistics and social sciences have been well integrated into their programs. The SOAS Taiwan program has largely had a social sciences and humanities focus, with languages receiving less attention. In contrast, the UCLan Korean program began with language components and later expanded to include social sciences modules. The SOAS Taiwan Studies program initially concentrated on postgraduate teaching before, but later on it began to offer more undergraduate classes. The UCLan Korean Studies program has the largest BA program in the UK, and began to offer its MA program in North Korean Studies recently. The SOAS Taiwan Studies program has operated for over two decades in the UK already, while UCLan Korean Studies began about seven years ago. Both teaching programs are well integrated with their research center and institute - the Centre of Taiwan Studies at SOAS and the International Institute of Korean Studies at UCLan. This chapter also discusses some challenges they face, such as securing external funding and scholarship opportunities. In order to achieve enhanced teaching and research environments for both students and academics, both universities will need to develop strong engagement with relevant funders and innovative strategies.