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Minister Flanagan to launch Trinity Centre for Asian Studies

Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Asia and Oceania, 2015

Minister Flanagan to launch Trinity Centre for Asian Studies

- Also launches new M.Phil. in Chinese studies
- Korean, Mandarin and Japanese on the curriculum
- TCD Provost and Chinese and Korean Ambassadors to attend along with a number of Asian students

Today (Wednesday), the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, will launch the new Trinity Centre for Asian Studies and a new M.Phil. in Chinese Studies at Trinity College Dublin.

The Minister will be joined by, among others, the Ambassadors of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea and a number of Asian students currently attending TCD.

Speaking in advance of the launch, the Minister stated:

“I am delighted to launch this important new Centre for Asian Studies at Trinity College Dublin. Coming exactly two weeks after the visit of Prime Minister Modi of India and five months after the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, it continues the strong momentum in our growing links to the countries in Asia.

“Total mechanise trade with Asia stood at €14 billion in 2014, up from €13.2 billion the previous year. There are many new and exciting opportunities opening up in Asia for Irish companies and my Department’s embassy network is active in helping Irish business on the ground in these valuable markets.

“China, India and Indonesia are three of the top four most populous countries in the World and in recent months, the Irish Government has opened a new embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia and a new consulate in Hong Kong. Our Hong Kong Consulate will build on the work of our busy Embassy in Beijing and our Consulate in Shanghai. We have also opened an embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, an identified priority market for Ireland.

“In the last two years in particular important market access has been gained for Irish produce including access to the Chinese and Japanese markets for Irish beef, access for Irish salmon in the Chinese market and access for Irish pigmeat in Vietnam. There are great opportunities across a range of sectors for Irish companies and people-to-people relationships lie at the heart of successful business relationships which is why this new Centre for Asian studies is so valuable. I welcome in particular that students will have an opportunity to learn Korean, Mandarin and Japanese.”

Emphasising the value of education links between Ireland and Asian countries and the strong focus on internationalism in the Government’s education strategy, Minister Flanagan referred to the 2,000 Korean students who travel to Ireland annually to learn English and the roughly 600 Irish people teaching English in Korea; as well as the 2,700 Chinese students in Irish universities; and the Irish people who travel to Japan annually to participate in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme – over 1,000 Irish people have participated in the programme since its inception. The Irish Embassy in Hanoi offers 40 scholarships annually for Vietnamese students to study in Ireland.

ENDS

Press Office
7 October 2015

Note to Editors:

The Trinity Centre for Asian Studies, a new teaching and research centre at Trinity College, provides a structure for scholarship in Chinese, Korean and Japanese Studies as well as other regionally-based area studies and pan-Asian research. Its activities focus on contemporary history, society and culture, language, diaspora and comparative studies. It provides opportunities for doctoral research in Asian Studies, and offers a two-year M.Phil in Chinese Studies as well as undergraduate modules on contemporary Asia. Its language programmes provide Trinity students and the general public with opportunities to learn Korean, Mandarin and Japanese at a range of proficiency levels.

The Trinity Centre for Asian Studies organises regular public lectures, seminars and outreach activities, and its academic staff are committed to developing both excellence and impact in their research. Its programmes have received support from the Japan Foundation, the Korea Foundation, the Academy of Korean Studies as well as philanthropic donations in Chinese Studies. It has been awarded funding by the European Commission to research identity formation in young mobile populations in Europe and China along with Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou.