France–Taiwan Higher Education Forum in Reims Affirms Bilateral Cooperation
Campus France hosted a France–Taiwan Forum Higher Education Forum at the University of Reims on 9 July, 2018. Andy Cheu-An Bi, Director General of the Department of International and Cross-strait Education of Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, led a delegation of 34 representatives from universities in Taiwan, including eight university presidents to participate in this multidisciplinary and cross-institutional forum. Joining them were 145 representatives of French universities, including 15 presidents and vice presidents. The discussions focused on two key areas: (1) innovation in higher education, and (2) strategies to improve higher education partnerships and student mobility.
Dr. Su Huey-Jen, chairperson of the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET) and president of National Cheng Kung University, gave an opening address in which she highlighted the already longstanding higher education related cooperation between Taiwan and France, and expressed hopes for more collaboration in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship, given the vital role higher education plays in promoting industrial transformation and developing new technologies. Professor Guillaum Gellé, president of the University of Reims, reaffirmed the on-going dynamic interaction between both countries, and emphasized the new possibilities for enhancing research collaborations in a wide range of domains.
The next day the Taiwanese delegation was received by Université Paris-Saclay. Paris-Saclay is a research-intensive academic campus and business cluster, comprising a federation of three universities, four grandes écoles (elite institutions of higher education for professional or technological training), and seven research organizations. The delegation was given a tour of the new campus and ecosystem of Paris-Saclay, and presentations on its innovation and transfer by two start-ups, Abbelight and Daumet, and by the Design Spot, a design center with which it collaborates. They also visited several cutting-edge research sites–the SOLEIL synchrotron, the Neurospin research center for innovation in cerebral imagery, and the Nano-INNOV integration center.
During the delegation’s visit, Université Paris-Saclay signed a PhD scholarship agreement with the Ministry of Education, a master’s degree level double-degree agreement with National Chiao Tung University (both in conjunction with Université Paris-Sud), and a Memorandum of Understanding with National Tsing Hua University.
On 11 July, the Taiwanese delegation met with representatives of the PSL Research University (Université Paris Sciences et Lettres) to exchange ideas on topics concerning social sciences, the humanities, and science and innovation. The 2019 QS World University Rankings ranked PSL 50th in the world and 1st in France.
They discussed new approaches to future cooperation, notably identifying topics for possible multidisciplinary and cross-institutional research to meet the development needs of the world, which will allow universities in Taiwan to contribute their expertise and broaden their cooperation with different French research institutions.