As the first Hungarian academic ever awarded the Taiwan Fellowship, János BÓKA had the opportunity to spend almost four months in Taiwan. He tried to make the most of this unique opportunity by squeezing in this relatively short period as many activities as humanly possible. The weeks and months inevitably passed – the personal, professional and institutional ties will hopefully remain.
János BÓKA, a senior lecturer at the Institute of Comparative Law was awarded the Taiwan Fellowship 2012 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the R.O.C. (Taiwan). The grant enabled him to spend almost four months on the island of Taiwan where he conducted research and university classes besides embarking on the nearly impossible task of learning Chinese.
He was jointly invited by the National Taiwan University College of Law and the Institutum Iurisprudentiae operating in the framework of the Academia Sinica in Taipei. At the NTU, he taught a course on comparative contract law together with Prof. Chen Tsung-fu for a quite international audience of students from Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Switzerland and the Solomon Islands. At the Institutum Iurisprudentiae he researched the similarities and differences in the roles played by the Hungarian Constitutional Court and the Taiwanese Council of Grand Justices in managing democratic transition in their respective countries – a research project concluded by a seminar with the participation of academics from Taiwan and mainland China in May 2012. And if this wouldn’t be enough, he enrolled in an intensive language course at the National Taiwan Normal University Mandarin Training Center to advance his Chinese skills.
Not surprisingly, the length of his stay proved inadequate to fulfil all of his ambitious professional objectives. It was enough, however, to find out how nice and helpful Taiwanese people are, how competent and well-organised research and higher education is in Taiwan, and how much potential there is in advancing cooperation between Hungarian and Taiwanese institutions.