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Ministry of Education & Cornell University Sign MOA Establishing PhD Scholarship Program

Nicole Yen-Yi Lee, Professor Wendy Wolford, and other dignitaries who took part in the virtual signing ceremony

On December 8, 2021, the Ministry of Education and Cornell University signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to establish the Taiwan–Cornell Scholarship program to encourage outstanding students from Taiwan to undertake Ph.D. programs at Cornell University. The MOA was signed by Professor Wendy Wolford, Vice Provost for International Affairs at Cornell, and Dr. Nicole Yen-Yi Lee, Director General of the Department of International and Cross-strait Education of the Ministry of Education in a virtual signing ceremony. James K.J. Lee, Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York and Dr. Min-Ling Yang, Director of the Education Division of TECO in New York were among the dignitaries who participated in the ceremony for the signing of this milestone agreement.

Over the years, the Ministry of Education has worked to establish scholarships with universities ranked in the top 100 in the world to encourage Taiwanese students to pursue doctorate programs at these prestigious universities. The Taiwan–Cornell Scholarship program will become the seventeenth such scholarship programs set up with universities across the world, including nine universities in the United States. 

In her remarks after the signing, Director General Yen-Yi Lee said that she was delighted that Taiwan–Cornell Scholarship recipients will be able to join the academic community at Cornell, and pursue their studies at a world-class university in a vibrant international environment in New York. This will expand their international outlook and prepare them for future careers in their chosen fields. She thanked the people at Cornell University and at the Education Division of TECO in New York who worked together to set up the scholarship program.

TECO Director-General James K.J. Lee said that he will be glad to see more outstanding Taiwanese students pursue their dreams at Cornell University, one of the world’s leading universities, and that he looks forward to seeing the future collaborations between Cornell and Taiwan, which will be enhanced by the Taiwan-Cornell Scholarship.

Professor Wendy Wolford spoke of the long and profound history that Cornell has with Taiwan.  Former president Lee Teng-hui and current president Tsai Ing-Wen are both alumni of Cornell University. She said that Cornell values the substantial partnership with Taiwan immensely and is very excited about co-founding this scholarship with Taiwan’s MOE.

There are currently approximately 120 Taiwanese students studying at Cornell University. Cornell is a private Ivy League research university, located in Ithaca in New York. In 2021, the university ranked 19th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 18th in the QS World University Rankings. Cornell enjoys a reputation for excellence in many fields of study, including economics, agriculture, veterinary science, and education.