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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.

In: Assessing the Landscape of Taiwan and Korean Studies in Comparison
Volume Editors: , , and
In Assessing the Landscape of Taiwan and Korean Studies in Comparison, the chapters offer a reflection on the state of the field of Taiwan and Korea Studies. For the editors, the volume’s purpose was to identify not just their similarities, but also a reflection on their differences. Both have national identities formed in a colonial period. The surrender of Japan in 1945 ignited the light of independence for Korea, but this would be ideologically split within five years. For Taiwan, that end forced it into a born-again form of nationalism with the arrival of the Chinese Nationalists.

Taiwan and South Korea’s economic development illustrate a progressive transition and key to understanding this is the relationship between ‘modernization’ and ‘democracy’. By looking at Korea and Taiwan, the chapters in the volume broaden an understanding of the interconnectivity of the region.