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The MOE Promotes International Talent Cultivation Universities to Nurture World Talented Professionals

The MOE Promotes International Talent Cultivation Universities to Nurture World Talented Professionals

In 2018, the Ministry of Education (MOE) established the "Technical Universities' International Talent Cultivation University Pilot Project" to encourage technical universities to focus on the development of technical fields with distinctive characteristics and energy, and to cooperate with benchmarks of international technical universities to cultivate professional talent with international vision, sophisticated technology use, and internationally competitive technical abilities.

Approximately 300 students participated in this project and the MOE selected six technical universities to participate in the first year. These schools focused on the fields of Building Engineering, Health Care, Mechanical Engineering, Aquaculture and Animal Husbandry. These six universities cooperated with benchmark technical universities, such as the Dalum Academy of Agricultural Business in Denmark, and introduced professional teachers and courses from those universities to deepen the technical skills of students and to cultivate talent with both sophisticated technology and international perspectives needed by these industries. 

The technical universities that participated in this project for the first year included National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, National Taipei University of Technology, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, National Formosa University, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, and National Pingtung University of Science and Technology. The international cooperative universities included Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Cincinnati, Osaka Institute of Technology, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems of University of Texas at San Antonio, Auburn University, Nagasaki University and Dalum Academy of Agricultural Business. Each Taiwanese university with their international cooperative universities conducted measures such as short-term exchanges and internships to establish the basis of mutual cooperation, introduce the experience of talent cultivation from abroad, focus on professional talent cultivation that would fit the needs of society and industry, encourage students to obtain the international licenses that could be utilized in industry, and finally, introduce technical courses to invigorate teaching content in Taiwan.

The results of employer surveys of graduates of the Building and Construction field managed by the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology indicated that software skills and practical capability were the most valued professional and technical abilities by employers. The National Taiwan University of Science and Technology cooperated with the Georgia Institute of Technology, to focus on the cultivation of software application talent for Building Information Modeling (BIM) which was urgently needed in Taiwan, and conducted BIM intensive courses by using interactive teaching methods such as class discussion, case analysis, engineering project visits and actual practice. Students were encouraged to obtain BIM mainstream software international certification that was related to mechanical and electrical equipment, buildings and structures such as Revit. In the future, they will cooperate with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (DGMB) to carry out the training of seed teachers, so as to cultivate students to obtain other international certificates and increase their competitiveness in employment.

The National Taipei University of Technology and the University of Cincinnati jointly promoted talent cultivation and technical cooperation in the field of smart healthcare by adopting all-English teaching, and by applying big data analysis and deep learning techniques to arrange students to study in groups, to emphasize case discussion and exercises, to inspire students to think independently and learn by doing, to attach importance to immediate feedback of teaching, and lastly to review and update teaching methods and contents depending on the outcomes of previous conditions. The planning and integration of i3PBL (Problem-Based Learning, PBL) with the three-in-one modular characteristics of "Innovative", "International" and "Industrial" were promoted by integrating the original PBL models in the school based on the cooperation experience. The combination of teaching and practice made the students feel more deeply involved with their learning. In addition, the international PBL work camps and competitions such as cross-border and cross-campus industrial implementation projects were managed during the summer vacations to raise more awareness about international perspectives and cultural exchange.

In 2018, the National Development Council announced that Taiwan has become a senior citizen society and estimated that it will develop into a super-aged society by 2026, and under these circumstances there will be a lack of health care personnel and the needs of health care would be redoubled, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) playing a crucial role in all fields of life. The Osaka Institute of Technology established the first 'Department of Robotics and Design' in Japan to improve the quality of life of the elderly population and pay attention to the fields of home care service robots and healing robots. Therefore, the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology cooperated with the Osaka University of Technology, taking "students to Japan for exchange and learning" and "foreign scholars to Taiwan for teaching" as the main implementation modes, so that students would have the professional abilities and understanding of the main technology of intelligent robots to cultivate talents needed by the industry.

In support of the coming era of the smart industry, Taiwan's precision machinery has been upgraded to smart machinery. The National Formosa University took technological upgrading, quality assurance and industrial and academic links in the machine tool industry as main concepts to cooperate with the 'Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems' of the University of Texas at San Antonio, which is renowned for promoting industrial product assurance systems. Outstanding students were selected to go overseas for international practical training to enable students to acquire the knowledge and technology of intelligent machinery. In order to enhance the efficiency of productivity and industrial competitiveness, the integration of precision management and the promotion of the Six Sigma management system are indispensable elements, and students of this program are expected to obtain Lean & Six Sigma Green Belt Certificates in May this year to reach the needs of industrial technology and cultivate students as professional and technical talents with management practice.
The National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology learned clutchless oyster breeding technology, microalgae culture technology, high pressure shucking & sterilization technology and multiple oyster cleaning technology of food safety certification systems from Auburn University and Nagasaki University to cultivate more fleshy oysters than similarly aged traditional breeds, and the LED microalgae cultivation technology was introduced as well. Teachers and students learned the technology of shucking and sterilization to achieve the most complete nutritional intake for raw oysters. Moreover, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) food safety certification system for aquatic products was implemented to ensure food safety of Taiwanese oysters from seedling cultivation to table eating. Furthermore, establishing the international aquatic talent cultivation model will not only promote the upgrading of the traditional aquaculture industry, enhance the value of oysters and increase the income of fishermen, but also upgrade the management mode of the traditional aged self-employed workforce to an organizational enterprise mode to solve the dilemma of the aged population of the traditional oyster workers.

The National Pingtung University of Science and Technology cooperated with the Dalum Academy of Agricultural Business to learn the modes of the swine rearing industry and to incorporate the local demands to develop practical talent for technical skills cultivation and interdisciplinary combination of industries. Teachers from Dalum Academy of Agricultural Business, using their own teaching materials and cooperating with domestic experts, offer 596 hours of talent cultivation flipped courses, including basic talent training courses for swine raising, talent cultivation courses for swine raising management, and advanced talent cultivation courses for swine raising professional technology. These flipped courses covered the comprehensive knowledge required by swine raising management and industry, and adopted interactive teaching to inspire students to think. Through practical problem solving, students could brainstorm and emphasize both theory and practice, so that the content of the flipped courses was rich, diversified and complementary, and thus students could understand the differences between the domestic and the Danish swine industries.
After more than a year of trial, the project has shown initial results in terms of deepening technical exchanges, enhancing students' practical learning, providing professional teacher cooperation and the introduction of course teaching models between schools and international cooperation schools. Students participating in this program can not only enhance their international experience, but also acquire the professional skills and become the high-quality professional and technical talents required by the industry.