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Welcome to WREAC

A message from the Executive Director, Caroline Rose

A warm welcome to the White Rose East Asia Centre (WREAC). The Centre is an exciting joint initiative between the universities of Leeds and Sheffield. Established in 2006 with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, WREAC brings together staff and students from East Asian Studies (EAS) at the University of Leeds and the School of East Asian Studies (SEAS) at the University of Sheffield.

For the past 50 years, EAS and SEAS have been the main national providers of training and supervision in modern Chinese and Japanese language and area studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. We have combined our resources and expertise in language provision, along with our research strengths in the social sciences and the arts and humanities, to establish a Centre of Excellence. This is based on the long-standing and close collaboration between Leeds and Sheffield under the umbrella of the White Rose consortium.

The Centre connects over 40 core research staff and some 20 associate researchers, visiting professors and honorary fellows in addressing the major social, cultural, political and economic issues facing modern East Asia. We have formal links with some 30 universities in China and Japan. Our international outreach is strengthened with our membership, through both universities, of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) and our close ties with the world of business, commerce and diplomacy. We enjoy close relations with the Centre for International Business (CIBUL) and the Business Confucius Institute (BCIUL) at Leeds and the Confucius Institute at Sheffield. Over the years, the Centre has also been awarded considerable funds from the GB Sasakawa Foundation for academic and research support posts in Japanese studies.

Students continue to be the primary focus of our activities. The Centre provides a lively and stimulating home for taught MA students, research students and early career researchers. We now have over 40 research students across the two universities. Our collaborative aim is to meet the nation’s need for individuals with both language skills and knowledge of modern East Asia. Our research methodology provision is continually being improved and strengthened, and our language-training research projects are developing innovative methods for advanced Chinese and Japanese language training using web-based and interactive technologies.

We have an ongoing programme of research seminars, workshops, symposia and conferences which engage our staff and students, as well as invited speakers from outside the Centre. Many events are open to a wider audience from business, the public and voluntary sectors, and the general public. I hope that you will take time to find out more about us on this website and to contact us if you require any further information.

Professor Caroline Rose

Executive Director