TSMC Education and Culture Foundation
The TSMC Education and Culture Foundation (TSMC Foundation), led by TSMC Vice Chairman F.C. Tseng, who serves as the TSMC Foundation’s chairman, was established in 1998 to make CSR contributions. In 2016, the TSMC Foundation contributed over NT$75.81 million to various projects in minority education, humanity education, arts promotion, and so on, in order to narrow the urban-rural gap and uplift society.
Focus on Minority Education
Corporate Contributions to Bridge the Urban-Rural Gap
Industrialization, informatization and globalization are spurring growth and development in cities and urban areas, which widens the cultural, educational and digital-resource gap with rural regions. Cooperating with several social groups, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions, the TSMC Foundation provided resources of the arts, sciences, reading and digital education to help the children at the bottom of the society move upward.
Reading brings knowledge and knowledge is power. In 2004, the TSMC Foundation began supporting “Hope Reading” of the CommonWealth Foundation, which each year donates 100 good books to 200 high schools and primary schools in Taiwan’s remote townships. Over the past 13 years, more than 240,000 children have been helped with more than 210,000 books. To respond to the needs of the digital era, in 2016 the TSMC Foundation further sponsored “Hope Reading 2.0,” which, in addition to book donation, selects 6 merit schools and 5 benchmark schools, and provides each class 2 tablets and each student in third to sixth grades with one tablet, respectively, for a total of 265 tablets in all. With the help of other education partners, the TSMC Foundation will also implement e-learning systems to build up the reading and e-learning culture with the aid of distance courses and online community reading platforms.
The TSMC Foundation also emphasizes aesthetics and science education. “TSMC Aesthetic Tour” and “TSMC Science Tour,” launched in 2003 and 2010, respectively, take children from remote townships throughout the country to visit the National Palace Museum, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the science museums in northern, central and southern Taiwan. In 2016, more than 3,000 educators and students from rural schools in 17 counties participated in these tours. To date, more than 97,000 students from over 200 rural primary schools have improved their aesthetic view and inspired their scientific interests.
Besides, the TSMC Foundation has strengthened its cooperation with Junyi Academy and Boyo Social Welfare Foundation, by providing for free qualified digital learning tools and tutors to help rural students in their study regardless of financial limitation. For economically disadvantaged students in top universities, the TSMC Foundation sponsors the “Rising Sun Plan” of National Tsing Hua University and the “Sunflower Plan” of National Central University. In 2016, the TSMC Foundation provided 19 students with NT$1.62 million in scholarships and launched textbook donations to lighten their economic burden and enable them to focus on their studies.
Building Educational Platforms
Fostering Multi-Competence Talents and Helping Youth Reach Their Dreams
To enhance student interests in the sciences and humanities, the TSMC Foundation organizes national science contests, science camps and humanity activities. These events build a stage for the youth, giving them the opportunity not only to showcase their talents but also to discover themselves and to consider their future.
To encourage those in the younger generation to chase their dreams, the TSMC Foundation launched the first “TSMC Dream Builders of Youth Project.” More than 166 teams composed of 500 college students from Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli, applied for the project and, after three-stage reviews by professional committees, eight teams were awarded prizes totaling NT$3 million. Within a year, they will devote themselves in various programs, including agricultural recreation, environmental sustainability, humanities promotion and technology startup to demonstrate their creativity and potential.
The TSMC Foundation has held the “TSMC Youth Literature Award” and “TSMC Youth Calligraphy Contest” since 2004 and 2008, respectively, to encourage young people to develop proficiency in literature and calligraphy. In addition to novel and poetry, prose was included in the literature award as another category for literary creation, and a record 628 works were submitted. For the calligraphy contest, collaborating with National Palace Museum, the TSMC Foundation organized three school workshops, which attracted more than 800 attendees, including the contesters of regular and clerical script, semi-cursive and cursive script, and seal carving. The TSMC Foundation also gives community residents a chance to appreciate the beauty of literature and calligraphy by school activities, publishing the works of prize winners and organizing touring exhibitions of the contests.
According to the Programme for International Student Assessment, Taiwanese students excel in mathematics and sciences but are less proficient at logical thinking, argumentation and presentation. Therefore, the TSMC Foundation sponsors The Center for Advanced Science Education at National Taiwan University to hold the competition, “TSMC Cup – Competition of Scientific Short Talk." The competitors have to read a wide variety of scientific materials, write popular scientific articles, give scientific speeches and answer the questions from their opponents, in order to improve their science presentation skills. In 2016, echoing the United Nations’ theme, “International Year of Pulses,” the competition focused on pulses and invited 223 teams composed of senior high school students to read well-respected books, write essays and deliver short scientific talks on the subjects of science, nutrition, environment and agriculture in the preliminary and semi-final workshops and the contest, with the ultimate goal of cultivating in-depth knowledge and mastering presentation skills.
The TSMC Foundation also continued to support three science talent camps: Wu Chien-Shiung Science Camp, Wu Ta-Yu Science Camp and Madame Curie Senior High School Chemistry Camps, to provide senior high school students with the opportunity to meet and learn from world-class scientists with the objective of inspiring the students and helping them realize their potential.
Promoting the Arts and Culture
Spreading the Seeds of the Fine Arts and Humanities for Community Development
The TSMC Foundation has long played the role of “fine arts planter”, spreading the seeds of the fine arts in the society. In addition to actively supporting prominent international and Taiwanese artistic performances, the TSMC Foundation has continued to organize the “TSMC Hsin-Chu Arts Festival” at TSMC’s site communities, Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan, to present a broad spectrum of performances to encourage the community’s interest in the arts.
In 2016, the commemoration of 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, in response to the cultural event, the festival invited Contemporary Legend Theatre, Corny Chicken Theatre and Prof. I-Fan Ho of National Hsinchu University of Education to perform novel musical, children’s concert and drama lectures for community residents to better understand Shakespeare’s literature. The festival also invited the young violinist Richard Lin to perform three concerts in northern, central and southern Taiwan, to promote prominent Taiwanese artists. Furthermore, the TSMC Foundation hosted the first “In Spring Chanting Poetry Festival” and invited communities and schools at Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli to chant poetry and enjoy the beauty of literature. The “2016 TSMC Hsinchu Arts Festival” arranged 53 fine arts activities, attracting over 20,000 attendees.
The TSMC Foundation also supports various Taiwanese art groups with actual deed. In 2016, the TSMC Foundation sponsored the opera concert of Verdi’s “Othello,” a semi-stage opera concert with sound effects and projected animations made by National Symphony Orchestra. It was jointly developed with Mary Birnbaum, an opera and theater director of the Juilliard School in U.S. “Othello” attracted more than 3,500 fans to enjoy the music and was very well reputed.
The TSMC Foundation has a long-term commitment to relive historic buildings and to promote Chinese Traditional Classics. Since 2008, the TSMC Foundation has invited Professor Yih-yun Hsin to teach traditional Chinese philosophy and wisdom through broadcast programs on the IC Radio Broadcasting Station. The programs are extremely popular and followed by Chinese audiences all over the world. The TSMC foundation also collaborates with Literary Supplement of United Daily News to organize monthly literary lectures, inviting authors to read their works in the Sun Yun-Suan Memorial Museum, to offer community residents a chance to experience the charm of literature up close and in person.