The University of Hawai‘i (UH) has long recognized its commitment to East Asia in consideration of Hawaii's majority Asian population and the East Asian ethnic makeup of the University's student population (28% of total). UH is one of 13 institutions to hold the distinction of being a land-, sea-, and space-grant research institution. Classified by Carnegie as having “very high research activity,” UH is known for its pioneering research in such fields as Asian and Pacific Islands Studies, oceanography, and astronomy. UH is home to 20,005 (UG 13,781; G 6224) students and 1,272 full-time faculty—a student-faculty ratio of 16:1. UH offers bachelor's degrees in 87 fields, master's in 87, doctorates in 51, and professional degrees in law, medicine, and architecture. Most significantly, from the establishment of departments of Chinese and Japanese in the 1920s to the current strategic plan that makes excellence in Asian and Pacific Studies a high-profile university-wide priority, UH is deeply committed to East Asian studies (EAS).
EAS at UH are coordinated through the Centers for Chinese (CCS), Japanese (CJS), Korean (CKS) and Okinawan (COS) Studies in the School of Pacific and Asian Studies (SPAS) which oversees interdisciplinary certificate and degree programs in Asian Studies (AS). The Centers coordinate resources in their respective areas, across disciplines and schools. Together, they form the East Asia Council (EAC), whose mission is to 1) direct the EA component of university-wide degree programs, 2) coordinate the acquisition and use of resources, and 3) develop transnational EA projects and proposals. The Council administers the NRCEA.
The resources that the EAC oversees include 141 faculty and 353 EA courses across 22 academic units and 7 professional programs/schools. Of these, 147 are language courses (Chinese, Japanese, Korean), and enroll about 4200 students each year. The EAC is also a partner in developing library resources. The Asia Collection is one of the nation's strongest for EA material, particularly in SE China, Taiwan, the Ryukyus, and 20th c. Korea. UH's location in a state with the highest ethnic minority population in the nation and the home of the US Pacific Command makes outreach a priority. The EAC magnifies its effectiveness by working in cooperation with other units, such as UH's Confucius Institute (CI) and Korean Language Flagship Center (KLFC), to sponsor workshops for teachers, produce textbooks, and present in-school programs for K-12. The EAC also collaborates with the East-West Center and UH's National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) on conferences, workshops and symposia.
The EAC with NRCEA (2010-2013 fiscal years) funding will result in the following: 1) graduate and undergraduate students who are trained at the highest language levels; 2) a new textbook on reading Chinese law; 3) online cafés for Japanese and Korean; 4) certification of Chinese language teachers; 5) two new EAS courses that address national needs; 6) teacher training workshops for teachers of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean; 7) innovative Chinese and Korean language programs for high school students and their teachers; 8) dissemination of latest research on teaching business EA languages; 9) development and dissemination of instructional resources on Muslims in East Asia; and 10) three EA theatre productions.