Fo Guang University
|President||Chao-hsiang Yang (楊朝祥)|
|88 (full time),
126 (joint and adjunct)
Fo Guang University (FGU; Chinese: 佛光大學; lit. Buddha's Light University) is a private university in Linmei Village, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County, Taiwan. It was founded by the Mahayana Buddhist Fo Guang Shan monastic order in 2000 and as such represents the culmination of education efforts of the order that started in 1963 with establishing Chinese Buddhist Research Institute at Fo Guang Shan.
A gradual approach was adopted in developing the campus as a part of a plan for the overall area. The Ministry of Education granted approval on July 20, 2000, and the school formally opened in September that year. The Schools of Humanities and Sociology were the first to be founded during the initial phase of establishment. By introducing the undergraduate and postgraduate level of education, Fo Guang University is gradually developing into a full-rounded university. Currently, it comprises the College of Arts and Humanities, College of Social Sciences and Management, College of Technology, and College of Buddhist Studies. All programs are taught in Chinese Mandarin, with the exception of the MA program in Buddhism Studies, which has both Chinese and English tracks. A new Center for Buddhist Studies will open in early 2013. As of 2012-2013 academic year, its total enrollment is 3,400 students, including undergraduate and graduate students. The university library holds more than 253,000 volumes.
The university is the first in Taiwan to fully comply with Taiwan Environmental Impact Assessment Act standards while completing the development of a mountain slope campus. Begun in 1996, the project involved major changes to the slope, but every effort was made to keep the impact on the natural environment to a minimum during the construction process. The results of efforts at the time are already evident - eagles, monkeys, bamboo partridges, raccoons and other fauna can still be spotted on campus right now, especially the nationally protected Formosan blue magpie.
The view from the campus differs according to the season and often also during the daytime. In spring and autumn, seasonal winds leave the mountain enshrouded by a light cloudy mist, while under the clear sky, especially in summer, one can enjoy the sight of the nearby Turtle Island that sits at the top of the only active volcano in Taiwan, and even spot the spouts of whales in the Pacific Ocean (naturally, through binoculars). Since the campus is located at an optimal height above the Yilan plain, the view at night is even more stunning, making it the best holiday leisure spot of choice for Yilan area residents.
Solar panels and wind turbines are located next to the outdoor performance arena. Both are still being tested for how much electricity they can supply in order to assess whether they can provide a portion of the electricity for lighting the facility. These two generating sources now provide spectacular lighting at night, adding considerably to the luster of the campus.