National Taipei University
Ms. Li Tzu-yin
Tzu-yin came to Taiwan from Hong Kong to attend university. After finishing her undergraduate study, she was admitted to the Master’s Program at the NTPU Graduate Institute of Urban Planning. During her graduate study, she was deeply inspired by her teachers to re-examine her received understanding. In her speculative process, her teachers overturned many of her received concepts and ideas. As a result, she has learned to view things and examine policies and measures from a more comprehensive and holistic perspective, and better understand the needs of different social groups and the importance of planning for humanity, the environment, local culture and economy, and various regions and countries. While writing her thesis, she also became aware of her passion for academic research. The Graduate Institute of Urban Planning in National Taipei University was founded in 1968, and it’s the first in Taiwan for specialised training at an advanced level. Urban planning is in fact an integrated social science which involves social background, political understanding, economic development, infrastructure, environmental quality and changing structure and values of civic life. The institute undertakes the training of professionals and researchers in urban/rural development, environmental planning and management. The key areas of teaching and research lie in urban and regional development and environmental planning and management. Their theory-based courses and internships are designed to equip students with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills so that they become all-rounders, at the same time with specialist knowledge, in comprehensive planning and research. The faculty regularly takes part in policy making as advisors for the governmental councils and, alongside their own lines of enquiry, are often commissioned by the government and industry to carry out research projects hence a strong tie between teaching and practice.
Tzu-yin’s hard work reflected in her excellent academic performance, which helped her win the Zheng Chun-zhi Memorial Scholarship offered by NTPU. After graduation, Tzu-yin decided to do research in Taiwan. She chose to stay in the NTPU Graduate Institute of Urban Planning to implement research projects funded by Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). During the project, Tzu-yin and her team visited various towns and villages in Taiwan to observe various measures of disaster prevention and flood tolerance developed in response to flood-induced disasters. They discussed various workable methods of flood detention and tolerance with local residents, whom they admired for their practical wisdom developed through flood and disaster prevention in their lives. She confessed that field surveys have made her understand Taiwan better, and that she was very grateful to her teachers at the Institute for their enlightening education and guidance. In the near future, she plans to return to Hong Kong to do research related to urban planning. She will share what she has learned and experienced in Taiwan with researchers in her hometown, while seeking opportunities to live and work in Taiwan again.
Tzu-yin finds studying abroad taxing, and one may even find oneself faced with many otherwise unknown difficulties during the process. Therefore, she advises Hong Kong students that intended to come to Taiwan to study a subject they are truly fund of, or interested in. In doing so, they will be more confident and positive, and will push themselves to confront tough challenges.