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Teachers and students of IMES gather to exchange opinions about research and curriculum

A group photo of the professors and students who participated in the gathering in front of the International Program Office of the CSS (College of Social Sciences). (Photo source: IMES)

The International Master’s Program of Applied Economics and Social Development Program (IMES) held a gathering of teachers and students on May 10th, with professors Dr. Tzu-Ting Yang from Academia Sinica, Dr. Courtney Work from the Department of Ethnology, Dr. Yu-Hsuan Su from the Graduate Institue of Development Studies (GIDS), and Dr. Chuing Prudence Chou from the Department of Education in attendance.

Dr. Yang is assistant research fellow at the Institute of Economics at Sinica and a recipient of the Ta-You Wu Young Scholar Award. The course he teaches for the IMES- Data Science and Causal Inference in Economics- is very popular among students, often needing to find a larger venue to accommodate the number of students who enroll in it. Dr. Su is a full-time assistant professor at the GIDS who has supported and regularly taught courses in the IMES program. This semester, Dr. Su took over one of the compulsory courses of the program, Applied Microeconomics. Dr. Work is an assistant professor in the Department of Ethnology. She opened the course called “Religion and Spirit: in the Southeast Asian Political Economy,” expanding the scope of teaching and research in IMES. Dr. Chou is a professor in the Department of Education, specializing in comparative education. She has been teaching courses in the international program of the college for a long time and is very involved in international teaching.

At the teacher-student gathering activity, the participating students introduced themselves to the professors and shared their thesis research topics, and directed their program interests to the professors, asking for advice on courses and topics related to their thesis research. The student taking this semester’s compulsory Applied Microeconomics course also shared his feedback on with the other students, and gave suggestions the course content, including the proportion and arrangement of theoretical discussions and actual calculations used (calculus). The students at the meeting also thought that the course on Data Science in Economics taught by Dr. Yang has benefited them greatly, and actively consulted with Dr. Yang at the gathering. Dr. Work also conveyed at the gathering that students hoped that the program would soon offer a course for blockchain-related discussions.

Dr. Mei-Chuan Wei, Director of IMES, besides thanking the professors for taking the time to attend, indicated that the program held this teacher-student gathering in order to strengthen the relationship between the program and the students in a relaxed, social manner. She also hopes that this kind of activity can be further used to understand students’ projects, to better plan curriculums, and to provide assistance for students in all aspects of study and life. In addition, the social gathering was designed to better understand the ideas of international students on the university’s international policy planning, which is mainly based on its international students. For example, whether the Chinese language proficiency test threshold is stipulated in the enrollment of foreign students or not.

In response to this idea, Dr. Wei reported that the foreign students in attendance said that if implemented, it will inevitably have a negative impact on international admissions, because for most foreign students, especially foreign students whose native language is not English, learning English is much easier than Chinese. Therefore, if the school lists the Chinese language test as a requirement for its entry threshold, it is bound to “scarce off” many foreign students who are interested in applying for the school’s international program. The students also said that in fact, because most foreign students study and live in Taiwan, they will more or less try to learn Chinese through various channels and use Chinese in their daily lives.

The IMES Office stated that the admissions of local students and two phases of foreign students for the 110th academic year have been completed recently. There is much enthusiasm for this year’s enrollment cohort: a total of 8 local students and 20 foreign students have been admitted to the program. Among them, foreign students come from Asia-Pacific, Europe, America, and other regions, and graduated from top universities in their country, such as Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, Hosei University in Japan, The University of South Carolina and The University of Texas, and the University of Malaysia, among others. In addition, 10 foreign students were admitted in the first phase, and 9 have completed registration. Dr. Wei said that after the university announces the complete list of admissions, it will actively encourage admitted applicants to register and come to study.

Professors and students have a relaxed meal, exchange research ideas, and provide feedback on courses. (Photo source: IMES)
Attending students also took the opportunity to inquire about the possibility of having the professors advise their theses. (Photo source: IMES)
The IMES professors come from different departments or from within and outside of the college. They also took this opportunity to get to know each other and to exchange research experiences. On the right is Dr. Tzu-Ting Yang, and in the center is Dr. Courtney Work. (Photo source: IMES)
Dr. Yu-Hsuan Su (second from left) discusses classwork with students. (Photo source: IMES)
An IMES student asks Dr. Tzu-Ting Yang about thesis-related topics. (Photo source: IMES)

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