With a focus on China, the Diploma Programme in Marketing East Asia, which was unique in Germany at the time, began in 1988 at the Ludwigshafen University of Applied Sciences, a combination of economics and Chinese language studies with regional studies subjects in China. Thirty years ago, Prof. Dr. Siegfried Englert, sinologist and founder of the East Asia Institute, understood the demand of the German economy for graduates with Chinese language and expert knowledge and designed the content and structure of the then still unusual degree programme accordingly. Success did not fail to materialise, and just four years later the second pillar of the programme, the major in Japan, was introduced, followed by Korea from the winter semester of 2016.
Today, the China concentration not only has numerous partnerships with universities and other institutions in China, but also maintains a particularly close relationship with the Rhineland-Palatinate partner province of Fujian. Students at the OAI who spend their third year abroad at Fuzhou University in the provincial capital of the same name have good chances of receiving funding from the provincial government. There is also a lively exchange between teachers and academic staff of Chinese and German origin at university level.
The People’s Republic of China has meanwhile risen to become the second largest economy in the world after the USA and thus has a decisive influence on developments in many sectors and industries and on international economic relations.
The People’s Republic is also the EU’s largest foreign trade partner and of outstanding importance for Germany as an export nation. At the same time, the structure of the Chinese economy is subject to constant change, because the former “extended workbench of the world” with many labour-intensive mass-produced goods has now also produced globally leading technology companies such as the telecommunications supplier Huawei or the computer manufacturer Lenovo. China has also been a frontrunner in wind energy for several years.
In addition to the economy, the East Asia Institute also deals with the political and cultural dimensions of China. The coexistence of a market economy and continued political leadership by the Communist Party in the People’s Republic opens up just as many questions as the role and position of Taiwan or that of the “Overseas Chinese”. Overseas Chinese are people with Chinese roots who exert a significant influence in Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Successful entrepreneurship there is largely in the hands of people of Chinese descent. But Overseas Chinese communities are also making their mark worldwide, for example in Canada, the USA and Latin America.
The study focus on China thus also has a regional and even global dimension. Students can spend their year abroad not only at universities in the People’s Republic, but also in Taiwan. Graduates can look forward to excellent career opportunities in internationally active companies and other institutions.