NTU & UKM Cohost First Malaysia-Taiwan University Presidents’ Forum
Inaugural Malaysia-Taiwan University Presidents’ Forum
Following the establishment of Taiwan Education Center, Malaysia last year, NTU initiated and cohosted the first Malaysia-Taiwan University Presidents’ Forum with its partner university, the National University of Malaysia (UKM), on UKM Bangi Campus in Malaysia on July 26.
The forum was graced by enthusiastic delegates and representatives from universities in Taiwan and Malaysia. Taiwan sent 57 delegates to Malaysia, including 26 presidents and vice presidents of 31 universities, marking the largest delegation in years of higher education exchange activities in Malaysia. The host country sent delegates from 19 local universities to attend and present at the Presidents’ Forum, including UKM President Noor Azlan Ghazali and University of Malaya’s Vice Chancellor Noorsaadah Abd. Rahman.
The inaugural Malaysia-Taiwan University Presidents’ Forum featured presentations and panel discussions surrounding the four themes: (1) The Role of the University in the 21st Century; (2) Entrepreneurship and Industry Linkages; (3) Malaysia-Taiwan Collaboration: Pushing for the Southbound; and (4) Enhancing Mobility Towards Strengthening Regional Collaborations.
NTU Interim President Tei-Wei Kuo (郭大維) delivered a speech on “The Role of the University in the 21st Century.” He redefined the role of the university as a key institution for nurturing society’s backbone, producing top-notch knowledge for global challenges, and engaging social issues and community actions. Dr. Kuo cited NTU as an example, introducing some of its efforts and achievements in social responsibility, entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation. These include social services provided by a student club-turned nonprofit organization Calls over Ridge, as well as the establishment of NTU Garage and D-School for talent development to cope with rapid changes and shifting needs.
The NTU delegation led by Interim President Kuo, Vice President for International Affairs Luisa Shu-Ying Chang (張淑英), and Taiwan Education Center Malaysia’s CEO Hung-Sen Lee (李宏森) was received with warmth and enthusiasm by NTU alumni in Malaysia. Currently, NTU has an alumni pool of 9,200 people in Malaysia, which is the largest in Southeast Asia. During the visit, Dr. Kuo shared NTU’s achievements and his vision for the future of NTU, thanking the alumni’s long-term support for their alma mater and inviting them to join the university’s 90th anniversary celebration in November.
Education Fair, Exchange Forum, and Other Activities
In addition to the Presidents’ Forum, the delegation from Taiwan also attended a variety of activities following the forum to promote Malaysia-Taiwan higher education collaborations, the sharing of academic resources, and further studies in Taiwan.
On the day following the Presidents’ Forum, NTU Vice President Chang and several delegates from Taiwanese universities visited the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong). During the visit, the delegation learned of the efforts Dong Zong has made to promote Chinese-language education in Malaysia and Taiwanese higher education, as well as the shortage of teachers in local Chinese independent high schools. Dong Zong called for assistance in compiling and updating teaching materials from Taiwanese higher education institutions, for which the various president delegates expressed concern, indicating that the New Southbound Policy has a number of projects in support of such collaborations.
The delegation from Taiwan also attended the Malaysia Taiwan Higher Education Fair held annually in July by the University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Students. The fair was crowded with throngs of eager Malaysian students, whom the presidents, vice presidents, and other delegates from Taiwan greeted, interacted with, and encouraged to pursue further studies in Taiwan.
During their stay in Malaysia, Interim President Kuo and other NTU delegates also visited Xiamen University Malaysia—the Malaysian Branch that NTU’s partner university, Xiamen University, has established in Kuala Lumpur. The delegation extended their friendship with Xiamen University to its Malaysian Branch, opening up new opportunities for southbound collaborations.
On July 28, the Federation of Alumni Associations of Taiwan Universities, Malaysia (FAATUM) held a forum on Taiwan-Malaysia higher education exchanges. In addition to this forum, the Taiwan delegation attended the 44th FAATUM Mandarin Annual Dinner, a grand occasion where nearly a thousand alumni gathered and socialized with one another merrily. The event was highlighted by the introduction of The Years Back in Malaysia (literal translation of “我們返馬這些年”), a newly published essay collection compiling 26 alumni’s stories of career pursuits after completing higher education in Taiwan.
Participants at the 2018 Malaysia-Taiwan University Presidents’ Forum.
Vice President Chang (standing) and delegates from universities in Taiwan visit Dong Zong in Malaysia.
Interim President Kuo (right) presents a gift to Dr. Noor Azlan Ghazali (left), Vice Chancellor of the National University of Malaysia.
NTU delegates and alumni pose for a group photo at the FAATUM Mandarin Annual Dinner.
Interim President Kuo (second from right) converses with representatives of Malaysia and Taiwan.
Interim President Kuo and NTU delegates pose for a photo at the NTU booth during the higher education fair.
Interim President Kuo, NTU delegates, and representatives of Xiamen University Malaysia pose for a group photo.
Interim President Kuo (right) presents a gift to Dato’ Lawrence Ting (陳紹厚; left), Head of Strategic Planning Division of FAATUM.