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UST Forges International Partnership with Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages - Taiwan, Launches Mandarin Center of UST & WZU

UST President  Richard Ludwick and TECO in Houston Director General Lo raise a toast with Wenzao Ursuline University celebration in Taiwan.  University of St. Thomas-Houston and Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages (Kaohsiung, Taiwan) launched a pioneering joint collaboration on September 8, 2021. The Mandarin Center of the Universities of St. Thomas and Wenzao Ursuline is the first international initiative to emerge from the historic 2021 U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative to promote mutual language education and student exchange. 

The Mandarin Center represents the first wave of joint language and cultural educational partnerships to emerge from the Initiative in the United States and represents a substantial long-term investment in University of St. Thomas by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education and Taiwanese-American business and community leaders in the Greater Houston area.

Mandarin Center Complements UST’s Taiwan & East Asia Studies Program

The new Mandarin Center complements the University’s Taiwan & East Asia Studies Program, which was founded in 2017 and funded by multiple grants from the U.S. Department of Education and Taiwan Studies grants from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. Additional support has been provided by the E & M Foundation, Frank and Cindy Liu Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Rocky Lai, and the Tsai Lin Memorial Foundation.

Inaugural Reception Celebrates New Partnership

To celebrate the new partnership, St. Thomas held an inaugural reception on campus in the Link Lee Mansion hosted by UST President Richard Ludwick on Sept. 8. The event was hosted by Dr. Ludwick, Director General Robert Lo of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, and Wenzao University’s president, and (virtually) Dr. Margaret Chan.

Next Generation of Higher Education Collaborations

“The Mandarin Center embodies the next generation of higher education collaborations to meet a critical need in American national security – the education of Americans in Mandarin and Chinese culture,” said Dr. Hans Stockton, who directs the University’s Taiwan outreach and is the dean of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences & Global Studies. “This is a true partnership between two great Catholic universities committed to creating encounter and dialogue."

Key Goals of the Program
The key goals of the program are to increase the number of students studying Mandarin at UST who then spend one or two semesters at Wenzao Ursuline University for advanced studies.

Mandarin Language Program Expands to Include Harris County Sheriff’s Office
Additionally, the program will widen professional training in specialized Mandarin. Ongoing training for the Houston Police Department will soon expand to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.