President Yang Touts Global Thinking and International Connections in Address
President Pan-Chyr Yang (楊泮池) presided over NTU’s 88th Anniversary Celebration Ceremony at the NTU Sports Center on November 15. During the ceremony, President Yang called on every member of the NTU community to adopt global thinking and connect with the world in pursuit of not only Taiwan's development but also the betterment of all of humanity. An excerpt of President Yang's address follows:
Today is the magnificent day of National Taiwan University's annual celebration. Reaching its 88th anniversary, NTU has amassed an abundance of resources and produced exceptional achievements spanning academic research, the education of professionals, and service to society. For this, we owe a debt of gratitude for the hard work of the 270,000 NTU alumni distributed around the world and all members of the student body, faculty, and administrative staff.
Therefore, on this grand occasion, we present several awards in order to commend the recipients for their contributions and highlight the core value of dedication to the universe that is held by the members of the NTU community. In particular, we recognize the eight winners of the Distinguished Alumni Awards: Yao-Heng Hu (胡耀恆), Yung-Ping Lee (李永平), James C. Liao (廖俊智), Jen-An Huang (黃仁安), Fermi Wang (王奉民), Teng-Sheng Hung(洪騰勝), Hwa-Lin Lee (李華林), and Tez-Chien Wang (王澤鑑). Their outstanding work in the humanities, academia, management, and social service deserves our admiration.
In addition, we present the Student Social Contribution Award to Che-Wei Hsu (許哲韡) and the members of the student club Children of the Sea for embracing the spirit of helping others and taking specific actions to feed back to society and provide grass-roots service in a remote area. They are the finest examples of putting the university's motto - Integrity, Diligence, Fidelity, and Compassion (敦品勵學愛國愛人) into action. We also present Outstanding Youth Awards as encouragement to students who have produced remarkable learning achievements.
Aiming to produce internationally competitive professionals, NTU has in recent years promoted curriculum innovations and interdisciplinary teaching in order to help students get beyond the framework of traditional majors and select more adaptive combinations of courses. We have deepened our offering of general education and core abilities courses with the goal of providing students with a broader general knowledge they can use for a lifetime.
The university is also taking greater advantage of digital platforms, integrating advanced technologies and media with our abundant educational resources in order to reduce reliance on the traditional classroom-based approaches of our existing teaching curriculum. This is intended not only to encourage students to take the best courses offered around the world, but moreover to cultivate professionals who see the big picture and have broad vision and to give students a sense of purpose and mission in their studies.
We also encourage innovation development. For instance, the recent NTU Challenge combines education and competition and leads students from concept building to practical applications. Student participation has been enthusiastic and has reached a scale rarely seen in the world.
The university is pursuing organizational restructuring and campus reconstruction in order to build an international learning environment. In addition to introducing special programs aimed at expanding sources of international students, we are also planning the establishment of an international academy for the cultivation of internationally mobile professionals and forming academic alliances with renowned universities in the United States to increase links between Asia and Silicon Valley.
Furthermore, NTU is participating actively in international organizations. The university represents the nation in the Association of Pacific Rim Universities and has become a member of the association's steering committee, a development that I believe will heighten our international visibility. Moreover, every year we organize bilateral and multilateral symposiums with elite universities around the world so as to strengthen our major research programs and enhance international cooperation.
We are taking these measures because, in confronting changing global trends, whether it is the internationalization of teaching, faculty, or events, the university must persistently pursue innovation and improvement. Boosting international academic contacts is a necessary direction for taking on international competition. I look forward to witnessing all students and faculty members strive to meet this challenge of internationalization head on so we can build an elite university boasting local characteristics and global vision and march forward with our heads high.
May all members of the NTU community encourage each other to earnestly pursue global thinking and international connections. This is not only for the goal of achieving the sustained development of Taiwan, but for an even higher aspiration as well, that of devoting ourselves to the betterment of all of humanity.
This article was originally featured in NTU Highlights (December 2016).