LAWRENCE — At its April 16 meeting, the Board of Regents approved a new master’s degree program in contemporary East Asian studies, housed in the University of Kansas Center for East Asian Studies, which will begin in the 2014-2015 academic year.
The program will have a social science emphasis with a focus on the economy, society, politics and regional security issues of the region.
“We are very excited to begin this new M.A. program, which we believe will be attractive to a wide range of students from the business world as well as students in the U.S. military’s Foreign Area Officer program,” said Megan Greene, director of the center. Students with prior language training who seek to deepen their understanding of this critical world region will be able to complete the degree within 12 months.
KU is home to five area studies centers, making it an important regional resource for language training and cultural studies. The center, founded in 1959, is a dedicated National Resource Center and the only such center focused on East Asia in the Great Plains region. As such, the university has numerous faculty spread across many disciplines with expertise on China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan.
“Two of the three largest economies in the world (China and Japan) are located in East Asia, and as U.S. interests turn increasingly toward the Pacific, it is becoming more and more important for all Americans, but especially for those interested in business and government service, to deepen their understanding of the particularities of these economies and governments as well as the societies and cultures that gave rise to them,” Greene said.