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Five-years of cooperation on Taiwan Studies between the Ministry of Education and University of Maryland, College Park successfully implemented

An MOU was signed in 2009 between the Education Division of TECO and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) under which both parties have worked together increasing people’s knowledge of the environment, natural resources, history, society, language, and culture of Taiwan, and making it more broadly available to UMD students, and the University community at large.

During the five years period, UMD and universities in Taiwan have developed cooperative team-taught courses in the originally proposed areas of collaboration. UMD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) partnered with National Taiwan University to undertake a summer student exchange program and a nutrition course team taught by professors at both universities through video conferencing, and more universities in Taiwan were subsequently invited to join the program, including National Ping Tung University, and National Taiwan Normal University. Another positive outcome is a Methods of Teaching English as a Foreign Language course that was developed in 2012. The course is taught by professors at UMD and at Tamkang University, also using videoconferencing teaching technology.

In addition to course development, the five-year cooperation has initiated various exchange visits between both sides and helped develop and strengthen the partnership between UMD and universities in Taiwan. Several groups of department chairs and other administrators from AGNR have travelled to Taiwan to meet with their counterparts in Taiwan and discuss potential collaborations in the fields of landscape architecture, plant pathology, agronomy bioinformatics and plant development research. A report by AGNR expressed great satisfaction with the pioneering five-year program, and both sides are now also exploring the possibility of collaboration for placement of Taiwan graduating doctoral students in postdoctoral positions at UMD and the establishing of a 2+2 cooperative program, where students would complete two years of study in Taiwan and then transfer to UMD for two more years.