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Welcome to WREAC

A message from the Executive Director, Victor T. King

A warm welcome to the White Rose East Asia Centre (WREAC). The Centre, formally 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, is an exciting joint initiative between the University of Leeds Department of East Asian Studies (DEAS) and the Centre for International Business University of Leeds (CIBUL) and the School of East Asian Studies (SEAS) at the University of Sheffield. For the past 40 years both SEAS and DEAS 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 now combined our resources and expertise in language provision, and in the social sciences and humanities, under the umbrella of the White Rose consortium, to establish a unified national centre of excellence. It is based on the long-standing close and genuine collaboration between Leeds and Sheffield.  The Centre has also been awarded considerable funds from the GB Sasakawa Foundation for academic and research support posts in Japanese studies.

The Centre brings together over 40 established core research staff and some 20 Research Associates and Visiting Professors organised in four research clusters to address the major social, cultural, political and economic issues facing modern East Asia. We have now 17 scholarship holders in the Centre and a further 25 research students across the two departments. We also have formal links with some 30 universities in China and Japan and our international outreach is strengthened immeasurably with our membership, through our two universities, of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), and our close ties with users in the world of business, commerce and diplomacy. The Centre also hosts the secretariat of the WUN funded 'Contemporary China Center' at Leeds, and it enjoys close relations with the Centre for Chinese Business and Development at Leeds and the Confucius Institute at Sheffield.  Our collaborative venture is designed to meet the nation's need for individuals with both language skills and knowledge of modern East Asia. New Masters programmes have been developed in advanced Chinese and Japanese language using the latest web-based and interactive technologies. Our research methodology provision is also being improved and strengthened.

The Centre provides a lively and stimulating home for taught Masters students pursuing one- or two-year programmes, research students, and post-doctoral and advanced researchers.  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 also 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 web-site and to contact us if you require further information.

Professor V. T. King
Executive Director