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Rapid growth in
population and urbanization has occurred in Taiwan's demographic transition in
the last few decades. There is an urgent need for research on the problems
created by this demographic experience, as a basis for formulating policies.
Apart from studies conducted by family planning centers and research institutes,
no formal institution is solely concerned with population research and
education. The formal establishment of the Population Studies Center (The
Center) in 1974, through the approval of the Ministry of Education, was a major
step forward in filling this gap. It is still the only academic institute of
its kind in Taiwan. Because of its significant contribution in the research of
gender relations, the Center has been renamed Population and Gender Studies
Center in 1999.
The center takes an
interdisciplinary approach to promote the study of population and gender issues,
to facilitate exchange on population information, and to offer population
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The Center brings
together faculty members from National Taiwan University and coordinates an
interdisciplinary program in the study of population and gender. It provides a
resource base for university faculty to pursue research and teaching devoted to
the understanding of population phenomena and solution to population-related
problems in Taiwan. The scope of these studies includes not only demographic
areas per se but also the interrelationships of population growth, distribution
and change with related social, cultural, economic, political, behavioral,
physiological, genetic, public health, geographical and psychological aspects.
The departments represented at the university are History, Anthropology,
Geography, Psychology, Economics, Sociology, and Public Health, Agricultural
Economics, Agricultural Extension, and the Graduate Institute of Building and
The Center is
governed by an advisory committee of seven members who are appointed by the
President of NTU. The Director of the Center representing the Center and staff,
appoints the chiefs of three sections, which are population research, gender
research and data and information. These four part-time members and a full-time
clerk form the staff of the Center.
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Since the Center's
aim is to study population from an interdisciplinary approach, the scope for
study is wide, including problems of population adjustment in Taiwan,
agricultural development and population change, population movement and
rural/urban development, behavioral and socio-cultural and economic factors
affecting family planning, coordination of administrative regulations and
population policy. Manpower development and education investment, manpower needs
and supply and the educational systems, population growth rates, compositio and
change, women and gender studies, etc., are all included in the Center's areas
The Journal of
Population Studies, now in its twenty-fifth issue, is published twice a year
since 2001. Papers in both English and Chinese Languages are published.
Abstracts are not only published in the Review of Population Reviews which is
published by Committee for International Cooperation CICRED in National Research
in Demography but also listed in Taiwan Social Science Citation Index. Besides
numerous monographs, the Center has also published a reference book, Population
Problems and Research which is co-authored by Center members. The Population
Newsletter, now adopts the online version, is updated frequency to distribute
information directly and report news of the Center's activities and
publications. In addition, announcements of fellowships and conferences are
sent to Center committee members so that they can become aware of activities
related to population abroad.
The Center has
coordinated curricula on the teaching of population and assisted various
departments in the development of courses and teaching materials; organized
public lectures, seminars and initiate research projects; and maintained a
network of data and information exchange with related universities within Taiwan
and with population studies centers and institutions abroad. Apart from regular
lectures given to the public, the Center welcomes visits by specialists from
other universities and from abroad.
A research conference,
titled "The Role of Women in the National Development Process in Taiwan" was
held in 1985, leading to the establishment of the Women's Research Program.
Supported at the beginning by the Asia Foundation, its objective is to
coordinate interdisciplinary research on women and gender in Taiwan. The
research activities of the Women's Research Program include publication of
Journal of Women and Gender Studies, Bulletin of Women and Gender Studies,
monographs and occasional papers, holding public lectures and seminars,
assisting graduate students with small grants and developing research plans. As
the first program of its kind in Taiwan, the Center has promoted interests in
population and gender research and brings in a new dimension in population and
gender studies to Taiwan.
Starting in 1989,
the Center invited population studies scholars from Mainland China. Soon after
this, the exchange of publications between population studies centers and
acquisition of books and materials progressed rapidly. Besides numerous
lectures, a Conference on China Population was held in 1994 to commemorate the
Center¡¦s 20th anniversary. Based on a conference jointly held between National
Taiwan University and Baptist University of Hong Kong, a book on the
Perspectives on the Regional and Economic Development of China was published in
1996. Using these as groundworks on the study of China population, the Center
proposed an Overseas Chinese Studies Program that will include Chinese Mainland
population, women in China, population in Macau and Hong Kong, and international
migration of Chinese. Since the Program is still in preparation, it would need
the support of both the University and outside funding agencies.
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Since the Center
now operates with only one full-time staff, it is limited in its capacity to
function as a full-fledged research center. Research projects are mostly
carried out in the individual departments. Areas of research are expanding to
reflect social and demographic changes. While research activities have expanded
slowly, the Women's Research Program that began in 1985 have developed rapidly
in the past fourteen years.
As the only
organization of its kind in Taiwan, the Center has helped to advance population
studies in Taiwan to a great extent in the last twent-nine years.
International contacts have recently increased and nationally the Center is
linked with government agencies in terms of government-sponsored research,
population policies and community services.
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