Integration, Improvement, and Excellence – NCCU Gains Ministry of Education Approval to Join the “University System of Taiwan”
Date : 2021-02-04 Department : Office of International Cooperation (OIC)On February 1, National Chenghi University will officially be inducted into the University System of Taiwan alliance (herein referred to as “the UST”) after gaining the approval of the Ministry of Education (MOE). NCCU recently completed the necessary internal procedures, nominating Professor Herng Su as the Chengchi UST Vice President, and plans to submit this nomination to the UST for further approval. Meanwhile, on January 13, Vice President Wen-Chieh Wang attended the 1st UST Administrative Conference of 2021 as a non-voting delegate, with discussion focusing on projects to spur integration and collaboration between the four member universities.
The UST represents an alliance comprising four universities: National Central University, National Chiao Tung University,National Tsing Hua University and National Yang Ming University. The aim of the initiative is to reach a level of innovation and excellence unattainable by a single university by integrating resources in teaching, research, administration, and international affairs. The UST initiative commenced its “pilot phase” in the 2003-04 academic year. Since gaining the MOE's formal approval in 2007, this is the first time a member university has been added. And with the joining of NCCU, the UST will soon boast over 4,000 full-time faculty and 70,000 students, making it the largest university system in Taiwan. The four members will be able to share mutual resources and collaborate extensively in both teaching and research to jointly fulfill their social responsibilities as universities. The UST, for its part, has issued a wholehearted welcome and expressed its hope that the alliance can jointly cultivate new prospects in the coming years: “We hope to move together as one, to draw on NCCU's professional resources in the humanities and social sciences, business, politics, foreign languages, communications, and international affairs so as to shape Taiwan into the academic nexus of Asia and the world.”
The UST has broken down barriers in the education system. With regard to the integration of teaching resources, it promotes cross-university course selection and course sharing, encouraging student interaction in various academic fields and contexts. In the future, the academic calendar of the four member universities will be synchronized, with each semester starting and ending at the same time; and NCCU students taking courses at other member universities will not have to pay additional tuition fees. The Office of Academic Affairs shall revise regulations relating to course selection at other Taiwanese universities, enrich the learning maps of courses in each department and strengthen its connection with the UST, so as to be better equipped for future challenges. The NCCU library is set to be integrated into the UST Library Resources Joint Catalogue, and will establish a dedicated UST academic database which will grant students easier access to the entire UST archive. Moreover, the Office of General Affairs will organize a shuttle bus service facilitating book transfers between libraries for more comprehensive cross-university borrowing.
In terms of research, the UST strives to promote ethics education in academia and has established five cross-university research canters. After NCCU joins the UST, the Office of Research and Development will encourage and subsidize cross-university research initiatives by NCCU research teams, and further strengthen and expand cross-university research projects. For example, the NCCU Research Center for Mind, Brain, and Learning may collaborate with the Brain Research Center at Yang-Ming University; while NCCU's Humanities Research Center and Research Center for Chinese Cultural Subjectivity in Taiwan may join ranks with Chiao Tung University's International Institute for Cultural Studies. There is also the distinct possibility of expanding the scope of cooperation between university social responsibility (USR) teams in the form of exchange and empowerment activities, workshops, forums, and even jointly held outcome presentation ceremonies.
With the prospect of such expansion, the former NCCU President and current President of the NCCU World Alumni Association, Chang King-yuh, said that advancements in technology and information are not bound by traditional constraints, and noted that, after joining the UST, students will have more options to choose from, “The more united we are, the stronger we become.” Meanwhile, current Tatung Company Chairman and NCCU alumni, Lu Ming-kuang, struck an optimistic tone, stating that the UST allows for cross-university course selection – a boon for hard-working students – and will allow even more opportunities for mutual learning. Department of Accounting alumna and Vice President of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), Lora Ho, observed that if a university known for the humanities and social sciences, such as NCCU, were to team up with science-focused universities, the resulting partnership would afford students a broader, more diverse perspective, which is a good thing.
(Article by Chiang Chi-ru)