Spotlight

Date: 2018/9/21

NTU Connects with France and Belgium through Higher Education Forums

Higher education has been lauded as a means to motivate, educate, and inspire minds, and that is what the 2018 Taiwan-France Higher Education Forum and the 2018 Taiwan-Belgium Higher Education Leaders Forum are all about – to train leaders and impact communities.

During July 8-12, NTU delegates joined the Taiwan delegation to attend the two higher education forums, one held in Reims, France and the other in Brussels, Belgium.

Both forums were led and organized by the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET), a national agency for the promotion of higher education and international education mobility. Led by Ministry of Education (MOE)’s Department of International and Cross-strait Education Director General Cheu-An Bi (畢祖安), the Taiwan delegation which visited the French and Belgian host institutions was the largest of its kind ever to be dispatched to Europe.

A total of 34 representatives, including 8 presidents from 18 universities across the island, participated in the bilateral meetings. Vice President for International Affairs, Luisa Shu-Ying Chang (張淑英), represented NTU in both forums with Linda Chang (張華玲) and Diana Liu (劉瑀恬) from the NTU Office of International Affairs.

NTU’s partnership with 46 institutions in France and 7 in Belgium has led to numerous long-lasting collaborations with educational programs in the two countries, including double degree programs, student and staff exchange programs, and EU research cooperation projects.

Supported by the MOE and the Ministry of Science and Technology, these bilateral frameworks have been crucial to NTU’s efforts to advance research and innovation. Moreover, among the EU countries France sends the highest number of international students to Taiwan and places sixth for the greatest total of Taiwanese students received. Moreover, France’s status as the number one study abroad destination for a non-English speaking country reaffirms the need to continue strengthening the partnership between France and Taiwan.

The first Taiwan-France Higher Education Forum was held in March 2017 within the agenda of the annual conference of the Asia-Pacific Association for International Educators (APAIE) held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This second installment held at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne was a joint effort between the FICHET and Campus France.

The forum drew over 170 participants, including 24 university presidents, from over 100 French institutions, which brought into focus the current trends in the Taiwanese and French education communities, especially the challenges arising from new legislatures, international partnerships, and opportunities offered by internationalization.

In the session titled “More Innovation in Higher Education,” Vice President for International Affairs Luisa Shu-Ying Chang delivered a talk on behalf of NTU Interim President Tei-Wei Kuo (郭大維) on “Innovative Programs to Activate Student Mobility between France and Taiwan.” The other speaker in the session was ENS Paris Saclay President, Prof. Pierre-Paul Zalio. Vice President Chang emphasized NTU’s continued effort in fostering and promoting specially tailored programs to help unlock potentials in students, faculty, and staff. The agenda also included site visits to 42 (a computer programming school), University Paris-Saclay, PSL Research University, Synchrotron SOLEIL, Neurospin (a research center for innovative cerebral imagery), Nano-Innov (an integration center), and more.

The delegation also attended the inaugural Taiwan-Belgium Higher Education Leaders Forum held at the Belgian Academy of Research and Higher Education (ARES) headquarters in Brussels during July 11-12, 2018. A total of 39 representatives from 26 institutions, including 6 rectors and vice-rectors, participated in the event. The forum began with a keynote speech delivered by Mr. Giorgio Marinoni, Manager for Higher Education and Internationalization Policy at the International Association of Universities (IAU). Marinoni stressed that the term “globalization” should not be confused with “internationalization.” The latter refers to a multidimensional and intentional process to promote continuous international development. The main goal of higher education, therefore, should not be competing to attract the most international students, but instead addressing global challenges and local needs.

Internationalization is now a chain of education systems in which today’s students become tomorrow’s scholars who shall mentor the pupils of the future to redefine the possible. Globalization of higher education, on the other hand, underscores cross-border student mobility that makes the world ever more interconnected.

In addition, all the attendees participated in small group roundtable discussions focused on dual/double/joint degree programs, internationalization at home, and academia-industry cooperation. Taiwanese delegates later visited two of Belgium’s leading universities: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and its French-speaking counterpart, Université Catholique de Louvain (UC Louvain). These visits allowed fruitful exchanges and thematic discussions between the Belgian and Taiwanese officials, lending impetus to movement building in higher learning and strengthening international community engagement.

This article will also be featured in No. 68 of NTU Highlights (October, 2018).

  • Higher education delegates from Taiwan and France pose for group photo at the forum.

    Higher education delegates from Taiwan and France pose for group photo at the forum.

  • NTU Vice President Chang gives a presentation at the 2018 Taiwan-France Higher Education Forum.

    NTU Vice President Chang gives a presentation at the 2018 Taiwan-France Higher Education Forum.

  • President Guillaume Gelle (left) of the host university in France, the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, and NTU Vice President Chang (right).

    President Guillaume Gelle (left) of the host university in France, the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, and NTU Vice President Chang (right).

  • Group photo at the 2018 Taiwan-Belgium Higher Education Leaders Forum.

    Group photo at the 2018 Taiwan-Belgium Higher Education Leaders Forum.

  • Rector Yvon Englert (left) of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels and NTU Vice President Chang.

    Rector Yvon Englert (left) of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels and NTU Vice President Chang.

  • Co-founder and General Secretary of 42, Nicolas Sadirac (second from right), and NTU delegates.

    Co-founder and General Secretary of 42, Nicolas Sadirac (second from right), and NTU delegates.

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