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New Initiatives Achieved in International Cooperation: High Ranking Officials of NTU Reap Happy Results from Their Visit to Famous British and French Universities Including Oxford and Cambridge

  National Taiwan University was among the first universities in Taiwan to initiate programs in international academic exchange. As of now NTU already has 245 sister universities, 115 student exchange agreements spread over 43 countries in five continents. In order to further expand the cooperation between NYU and famous international universities, President Si-chen Lee personally led the deans of the Liberal Arts College, the College of Science, the College of Social Science, the College of Medicine, and the College of Engineering, plus the Dean of International Affairs to visit eight famous universities in the UK and France. During the trip, the NTU delegation even met with Mr. Marc Foucault, the Director of International Relations of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research to discuss the new strategies for cooperation higher education between Taiwan and France.

  In a busy five-day itinerary, President Lee led his entourage in their visits to Oxford, Cambridge, School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, the King's College, the 6th University of Paris, the 11th University of Paris, Paris Polytechnics Institute, and ENS Cachan (Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan). These eight universities are known not only for their long history and widespread reputation, but also among the top academic institutions in the world. The presidents of these eight universities all gave personal receptions to NTU's delegation, The School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London and the 6th University of Paris signed Academic and Student Exchange Agreements with NTU on the spot.

all key representatives pose for a group photo
After visiting the School of Archaeology of University of Oxford, all representatives attendance took a group picture.

all key representatives pose for a group photo
After the signing ceremony, all key representatives pose for a group photo: from left to right are Speaker Pi-ching Chang, Chairman Nicky Lu, President Si-chen Lee, Chairman H.K. Chang, Chairman Frank Huang, and County Magistrate Yung-chin Cheng.

  As the practical operations of Oxford and Cambridge are college-based, members of NTU's delegation visited the separate colleges of these two universities in accordance with their areas of specialization to discuss projects in research cooperation, student exchange programs, and double degree programs. Oxford, Cambridge, King's College, and ENS Cachan arranged sumptuous lunch banquets to treat NTU's delegation, during which the various deans of NTU had the opportunities to meet with their counterpart department heads and deans. Whether they have known each other for a long time, or heard of one another through mutual admiration, or just struck up new acquaintance, these well-known academic leaders of Asia and Europe had joyous get-togethers which they utilized to develop cooperation programs.

  With the exception of Cambridge University, all these eight universities are sister schools of NTU. In fact, NTU and Cambridge have had very close academic co-operations in the past. One of the main goals of NTU's visit was to seek student exchange agreements with Oxford and Cambridge, since these two universities so far have not signed agreements with NTU in this regard. Because of this visit, NTU has acquired initial consent from Oxford and Cambridge, and from September 2008 will start sending students to these two prestigious institutions that have histories exceeding 900 years.

  The second focus of the visit was to discuss double degree agreements. In this regard, NTU's proposal also met with enthusiastic responses. For instance, ENS Cachan already has two ongoing double degree programs in cooperation with NTU. Now, under the structure of the Erasmus Mundus project of the European Union, ENS Cachan is ready to embark on a third double degree program cooperation with NTU. The third focus of the visit was academic exchange. All these eight schools expressed their affirmation of NTU's academic capabilities. The Lincoln College of Oxford proposed to conduct research cooperation with NTU's College of Liberal Arts in the research of Austronesian culture; Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London expressed high interests in NTU's Taiwan Studies and China Studies; whereas the French schools expressed their desires for further cooperation in the areas of nanotechnology, electrical engineering, and applied mechanics with NTU. In the future, the two sides can consolidate their cooperation projects through exchange of students, short-term exchange of professors, and co-sponsoring of conferences and seminars.

  NTU's visit to European universities reaped many fruitful results. Dr. Shen-tung, Dean of International Affairs, says that the success of the visit is largely attributable to NTU's outstanding academic capabilities and its status as a top notch Chinese university, which, coupled with sufficient pre-trip preparations and the ample sincerity demonstrated by President Lee's taking along five deans with him to make the long trip, all helped to make a deep impression on the European schools and strengthen their intentions to further cooperate with NTU.

  Ever since the Ministry of Education launched the "en route to top notch university" program, the leading national universities in Taiwan have become proactive. NTU's visit to the prestigious universities in UK and France is concrete proof of its determination to strive for excellence and to move onto the international arena. In addition, the visit is a positive example of the promotion of Taiwan's higher education!!

  Copyright 2007 NTU Secretariat

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