Luisa's World of España ＆ Hispanoamérica
Professor Luisa Shu-Ying Chang, Vice President for International Affairs
Universities in Taiwan have experienced the acute necessity of internationalization in higher education. The driving forces behind such phenomena are the competition in global human resources markets and the need for countermeasures of an aging society. We also consider the urging need for communication between diverse societies and cultures, as well as the unique political situation of Taiwan, and the spirit of academic cooperation when planning campus internationalization. NTU, as the thought leader of Taiwan’s academic institutions, also shoulders the responsibility to serve as a benchmark of innovative strategies for campus internationalization.
As early as 2010, NTU announced one of its adventurous strategy for internationalization: having one-third of all undergraduates engage in overseas study by 2014. NTU, with about 4,000 freshmen per year, would achieve the initial milestone by sending 1,300 students abroad each year. Now, we have surpassed the initial goal by creating various models for student mobility program, such as student exchange programs, internships, short-term and summer abroad programs. These student mobility programs are abundant in quantity, and are carefully design with high quality program contents.
“Today is about a mobile campus; tomorrow will be about a mobile career.” International mobility of talents is the key trend of the world. While studying, the experience of overseas study would enable students to strengthen their intellects, to expand their cultural awareness, and to develop independence and autonomy. Nonetheless, it is crucial for students to plan and to consider ways to transform their campus international experiences to career-related positive factors. While studying abroad, students should continue to deepen academic knowledge with critical thinking, as well as cultivate their interpersonal and other soft skills in order to prepare for mobility in their future careers.
In addition to outbound mobility, NTU has also taken active measures by making use of its international academic reputation to attract international students to campus and proactively establish bilateral connections. The 5,000 international students seen walking and biking in every corner of NTU campuses also enrich the on-campus internationalization. On the one hand, building a large international student body enables students who have not traveled overseas to experience intercultural stimulation on-campus. NTU professors also experience opportunities to take on the challenges of developing new approaches to teaching. On the other hand, the university hopes that international students will establish deep friendships and connections to Taiwan, and go on to spread the impacts and networking links. By doing so, all students in NTU are NTU students, and NTU students will spread the good words about our wonderful campus, hence enhancing NTU’s global visibility and reputation.
Other major goals for the Office of International Affairs will include creating internship opportunities for international students, pursuing strategic partnerships with prestigious international universities, and bringing uniformity and high-quality design to NTU global branding materials. Although NTU ranks first in Taiwan, we have to know that the world is big, so when considering factors for campus internationalization, e.g. study abroad, we encourage all students to live out the experiential education and become independent thinkers.
NTU Highlights, No. 59