Positioning and Goals
Graduate Institute for Social Transformation Studies aims to integrate theory and praxis; its faculty and students are hard at work collectively to explore an alternative social development prospect to challenge the dictates of increasingly fierce market competition and totalitarianism of the state.
Curricular focus of the Institute is to identify the means of comprehensive governance to address the exacerbating social imbalance resulted from the growingly strong materialism in Taiwan. Students and the faculty embark on a journey together to explore these issues with broad-minded perspectives, identify a feasible, sustainable course of action based on praxis with the grassroots, and establish grounded social development theories accordingly.
Many of Taiwan’s social problems are included in curricular discussions: the development of the indigenous communities, gender and development, rural and agricultural development, cultural studies, education, religions, labor studies, immigrants and migrant workers, etc. We at the institute regard NPO’s and communities as the driver of societal development, and we encourage students to become involved in a civil society organization or a community to apply theoretic learning into practice, learn about social participation firsthand, and report back their field experience and analyses to the organizations and comunity.
To broaden graduate students’ worldview, the institute signed a number of MOU’s with like-minded educational institutes and grassroots organizations overseas to facilitate internships and study trips. Confronted with heightened awareness, stronger support for Taiwanization and growing global sensitivity, social development in Taiwan has to be empowered with a greater foresight; robust training, therefore, can pool the strengths of researchers and field experts. These core values define the institute’s great mission.
Graduates can consider a career with civil society organizations, alternative media[Shalom3], legislative staff, education sector and public sector. A majority of our graduates have been found to devote themselves to working with civil society organizations, attracting necessary attention accordingly to issues ranging from laborers, immigrants and migrant workers, the indigenous peoples, environment, social welfare, to community-based education programs. Their career choice is fully in line with the founding spirit of the program. Our graduates who work in the field of alternative media document and analyze various social issues with insightful online postings, films and compelling texts, making their voices heard. Their involvement speaks volumes as a powerful form of social intervention.
To honor Dr. Lucie Cheng’s education legacy for founding the college, and support aspirants to carry on the spirit of the program to integrate theory and praxis, the college inaugurated “Lucie Cheng Memorial Scholarship,” offered to 2-4 students every year. Every beneficiary of the scholarship is entitled to as high as NT$50,000 per year, and international students and new immigrants can be awarded as high as NT$100,000 per year. The college begins accepting applications for the scholarship every September for the upcoming academic year.
Noted Professors and Alumni
Here are some of the most noted alumni of the institute: Chen Wen pin (director and playwright), Chan Tai Wai (founder of Workshop for the Homeless), Chen Fu yu (director of Chinatide Association), Chu Tseng Hung (Operations Manager of Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan), Tsui Su Hsin (secretary-general of Green Citizens’ Action Alliance), Liao Yun Chan (Director of Research and Development CommonWealth, Magazine Education Foundation), Huang Hsiao Ling (secretary-general of Taiwan Association for Victims of Occupational Injuries), Chin Hui Wen (secretary-general of Association of Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples’ Development), Chang Su Chen (Chief secretary of Yonghe Community College), and Lai Hsiang Lin (Commissioner of Department of Labor, Taipei City Government)