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Asia Pacific Center designated National Resource CenterPhoto: Joshua_seajw92 courtesy of Pixabay.

Asia Pacific Center designated National Resource Center

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The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the UCLA Asia Pacific Center, or APC, an East Asia National Resource Center grant that is expected to reach roughly $691,000 over a three-year period.

UCLA International Institute, June 1, 2023 — In a delayed response to its 2022 application for Title VI funds, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the UCLA Asia Pacific Center (APC) an East Asia National Resource Center (NRC) grant for the exceptional grant period of 2023–26.

Starting with an immediate grant of $230,452 for fiscal year 2023 (which begins in mid-August 2023), the total award is expected to reach roughly $691,000 over three years. APC joins three other National Resource Centers in the UCLA International Institute: the Center for Near Eastern Studies, Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the Latin American Institute.

The NRC award supplements a four-year grant of $753,000 for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships that APC received from the same federal department in late spring 2022.

“We are delighted to have received this very welcome additional funding and, most especially, the distinction of being named a National Resource Center for East Asia,” said APC Director Min Zhou, Walter and Shirley Wang Professor of U.S.-China Relations and Communications.

“The award will enable us to do more outreach activities while strengthening academic course offerings at UCLA on East Asia, including advanced-level language classes, together with regionally and country-focused area studies courses,” added Zhou. Among the APC’s plans are the introduction of two courses in less commonly taught East Asian languages, creation of a new Korean bilingual authorization certification for K–12 immersion classroom teachers and a new curriculum on medical Chinese terminology.

“East Asia has become an economic powerhouse and is home to two leading world powers. It is invaluable to support UCLA students to study the region and learn its languages, so that they are prepared for the multipolar world and multicultural global economy that awaits them,” Zhou said. Some NRC funding will accordingly be devoted to improving employment opportunities for students with advanced proficiency in East Asian languages through alumni career forums and networking events.

APC supports education and research on Asia and the Pacific region through a vibrant public events program, competitive fellowships (including FLAS and Taiwan Studies fellowships) and faculty grants that support research with a regional focus and comparative perspectives, as well as collaborative work with Asia-based scholars. With the NRC award, APC will strengthen its role as a hub for innovative interdisciplinary research and institutional growth of Asian studies on campus, and work to develop K-12 teacher training and outreach programs with other minority-serving institutions and community colleges.

Planned projects will enhance cooperation across the next three years with key partners both within and beyond UCLA, including the Teacher Education Program of the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies, the Center for East-West Medicine of UCLA Health, the UCLA Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library and Pasadena City College. These endeavors will highlight diverse geographical, methodological and cultural perspectives and create opportunities for recruiting historically underrepresented students to pursue East Asian languages and area studies.