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Higher Education Delegation visits Belgium and the Netherlands

Higher Education Delegation visits Belgium and the Netherlands

A higher education delegation led by Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Mon-Chi Lio, visited Belgium and the Netherlands between September 15 and 19, to learn about innovation and entrepreneurship in the higher education sector there. The delegation of 22 comprised high-ranking personnel from eight Taiwanese universities, including three university presidents and three vice-presidents.

On September 15, the delegation met with the Taiwanese Student Association of the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) to promote the Yushan Young Scholar program. This program is designed to attract outstanding people to Taiwan’s universities to further their academic careers, by offering excellent work and research conditions, with the financial support of the Ministry of Education.   

The following morning, Dr. Luc Sels, the KU Leuven rector met with the delegation. He had visited Taiwan last August and was happy to have this opportunity to welcome them to his university. KU Leuven already has collaborations with universities in Taiwan—for example on dual PhD programs—and this meeting ended with the signing of an agreement between National Chiao Tung University and KU Leuven’s Faculty of Science. In the afternoon the delegation visited IMEC, an international R&D and innovation hub which has strong link to KU Leuven, and also has well-established ties with Taiwan.     

On Tuesday morning, September 17, Deputy Minister Lio and Harry Tseng, the Representative at the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium, visited the Flemish Ministry of Education and exchanged views on higher education policy and accreditation matters, while the other delegation members visited the Catholic University of Louvain. They were welcomed by Dr. Vincent Blondel, the rector, and Dana Samson, the Pro-Rector for International Affairs, who had both had also visited Taiwan last August, together with Dr. Luc Sels and An Descheemaeker, from KU Leuven’s International Office.

On Tuesday afternoon, the delegation visited High Tech Campus Eindhoven, a high tech center and R&D ecosystem, and the Technological University of Eindhoven on Wednesday morning. Both are situated in the Brainport area in which about 50 Taiwanese companies have their European headquarters. The Technological University of Eindhoven has been collaborating with many of these companies for years now. Prof. Frank Baaijens, the rector of the university, and Prof. Chen Lin-Lin, dean of the Industrial Design Department, explained the part the university plays in the R&D output and innovation of many companies in the Brainport area.

The next afternoon (September 18), the delegation visited Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). Its medical center is the largest in the Netherlands and it is constantly seeking opportunities to exchange students and staff with outstanding hospitals and universities abroad. Dr. Kristel Baele, president of the EUR Board, met with the delegation and encouraged future collaboration between EUR and Taiwan.

The delegation concluded their stay in the Netherlands with a visit to the Leiden University Medical Centre. Hester Bijl, Vice-Rector of Leidan University, and Prof. Pancras Hogendoorn, the Dean of the Leiden University Medical Centre, met with the delegation and exchanged views on best practices.

The Ministry of Education hopes that this delegation’s study visits and meetings will further enhance collaboration between universities, research institutions, and government authorities.