UST strengthens sister university relationship with Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages
On January 31, UST-Houston’s Mandarin Center and Taiwan & East Asia Studies Program hosted a delegation from Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages (WZU) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Leading the delegation was WZU President Dr. Hwei-Lin Chuang. With her were Vice President Dr. Shu-Tan Lin, and Chief International Officer Dr. Janet I-Jane Weng. The delegation from Taiwan visited Houston to meet with UST’s academic leadership, observe activities in the Mandarin Center, and meet with area alumni.
On this occasion, the universities celebrated the 10th anniversary of the sister university relationship established in 2014. This relationship has allowed for the annual exchange of students and faculty, group studies abroad to Taiwan, and has now expanded to graduate degree program collaboration.
A Relationship Bearing Benefits
A direct product of the relationship is the Mandarin Center of UST & WZU founded in 2021 and located at UST. Thanks to community support and continuing grants from the Ministry of Education’s BEST Huayu Scholarship Grant, the Mandarin Center has expanded Mandarin language teaching at UST and the Greater Houston Area. In two years, over 20 Celts have studied intensive Mandarin for one or two semesters at WZU on generous scholarships. Additionally, the Mandarin Center has provided specialized Mandarin training for more than 60 officers, deputies and staff from the Houston Police Department and Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
UST’s project leader, Dr. Yao-Yuan Yeh, Chair of the Department of International Studies & Modern Languages (ISML) and Director of the Mandarin Center, was thrilled to host the delegation.
“This visit demonstrated the strength of the bilateral relationship and our common missions to advance Catholic Higher Education,” Dr. Yeh said.
New Opportunities for Master’s Students
The delegation’s visit culminated with the signing of a new Graduate Transfer Pathway Agreement between the Department of International Studies & Modern Languages and the Department of International Affairs at WZU. The agreement creates new opportunities for master’s students from WZU to pursue UST’s MA in Diplomacy & Strategic Affairs.
The Power of Solidarity
Representing UST for the signing were President Dr. Richard Ludwick, Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs Dr. Christopher Evans, and Dr. Yeh. Other luminaries included the Chair of the UST Board of Directors, Mr. Robert Corrigan, board member Mr. Rocky Lai, former board member Mr. Don Wang, Dr. Hans Stockton, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Houston Ms. Yvonne Hsiao, and the Director of Education Division of TECO Ms. Andrea Yang.
“The fruitful relationship with WZU is emblematic of the power of solidarity between Catholic universities and academic diplomacy,” notes Dr. Hans Stockton, Associate Vice President of International Relations & Engagement. “’Greater Things’ calls us to enter into dialogue with the cultures of the world and this makes us all stronger.”