Education Division in New Delhi Initiates Strategic Partnerships in India
The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India (TECC) has been working tirelessly despite the pandemic. It has established collaborations with 21 educational institutions all over India. There were over 2,700 Indian students studying in Taiwan in 2019, and Mr. Peters Chen, Director of the Education Division, hopes to encourage more Indian students to come to Taiwan after the pandemic, for further studies and to conduct research. This will help strengthen bilateral ties.
The Education Division has recently signed separate MOUs fostering strategic partnerships with three Indian universities—Ashoka University, Chandigarh University, and IIT Ropar—to boost academic collaboration and further strengthen bilateral ties between Taiwan and India.
Ashoka University is a leading liberal arts and sciences university based in Sonipat that offers courses in core sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Taiwan is considered an ideal destination for students to take courses in STEM fields but this collaboration will encourage research in the social sciences, especially in the fields of East Asian studies and China studies. At the MOU signing ceremony, former ambassador Shivshankar Menon, the Chair of the Ashoka Centre for China Studies, spoke of the need to develop a multi-disciplinary program for Chinese Studies with the help of Taiwan and expressed hopes that this represented the beginning of what would be a long collaboration.
Chandigarh University has over 300 partnerships with universities around the world, including Tamkang University, National Dong Hwa University, National Taipei University of Education, and I-Shou University in Taiwan. It is a young, comprehensive university that works closely with a government knowledge park next to the campus and it focuses on an integrated academia-industry oriented approach to study. The Education Division plans to explore more internship opportunities for the university’s students, especially in the fields of hospitality and hotel management, and possibilities for the university’s scholars to co-author publications with scholars in Taiwan.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar is a research intensive university that is now the second highest ranking university in India in the World University Rankings 2022, released by Times Higher Education. It has already collaborated with Taiwan to set up an AI research center in 2019 and under this latest MOU, it hopes to welcome faculty members from Taiwanese universities to conduct joint research on power storage, green energy, artificial intelligence, and water management and engineering. Having staff with good Mandarin proficiency will play an important part in facilitating easy communication for such collaborative research, as well as other educational and cultural exchanges and so IIT Ropar has established a Taiwan Education Center which will act as a language learning hub. The inauguration ceremony of the new Taiwan Education Center took place on the same day as the signing of the new MOU, on September 27, 2021. The dignatories present included Baushuan Ger, Taiwan’s Representative to India; Prof. Rajeev Ahuja, Director of IIT Ropar; Dr. C.C. Reddy, Dean International Relations, IIT Ropar; Peters Chen, Director of the Education Division at the TECC; and Dr. Wang Chin-Tsan, Director of the Science and Technology Division at the TECC.
These partnerships are a significant milestone for closer academic collaboration between India and Taiwan. Each collaboration has different strategic dimensions and characteristics but all three MOUs will facilitate student and faculty exchanges and research collaboration and will make Taiwan’s education system accessible to more Indian students. The universities will each host a Mandarin teacher from Taiwan on their respective campuses who will offer Chinese language classes to students and provide information about studying in Taiwan.