NAFSA 2023 Ribbon-cutting Ceremony Showcases U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative
The 2023 NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo took place in Washington, DC between May 30 and June 2. This is a major event for fostering international dialogue on education, and to advance Taiwan–US collaboration in higher education and promote Taiwan’s universities and colleges. Taiwan’s MOE participated with a pavilion coordinated by FICHET, the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan, and nearly 60 representatives from 24 colleges and universities in Taiwan participated in the expo.
The background of the Taiwan pavilion featured mountains and forests, sky lanterns, Taiwan sika deer, black bears, and other creatures native to Taiwan, conveying a message of diversity and inclusiveness central to Taiwan’s higher education. The ribbon-cutting opening ceremony for the pavilion, held on Tuesday May 30, was attended by guests of honor Bi-khim Hsiao, Taiwan’s Representative in the United States; Laura Rosenberger the Chair of AIT; Ethan Rosenzweig, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State; Dr. Tomasz Rzymkowski, secretary of state in Poland’s Ministry of Education and Science; Dr. Mon-Chi Lio, Political Deputy Minister of Education in Taiwan; Dr. Yen-Yi Lee, Director General of the Department of International and Cross-strait Education of Taiwan’s Ministry of Education; and Dr. Huey-Jen Jenny Su, Advisor from the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET).
Representative Hsiao said in her opening remarks that cooperation between the US and Taiwan has had many concrete results since the launch of the U.S.–Taiwan Education Initiative in 2020. She pointed out that Taiwan has continued to strengthen cooperation with the U.S. on the Critical Language Scholarships, the National Security Language Initiative for Youth, and the Gilman Scholarship Program to encourage young American students to study Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan. Both sides have expanded support for the Fulbright Projects, and the Taiwan Huayu BEST Program, and this has enabled hundreds more American scholars to go to Taiwan. Representative Hsiao added that she looks forward to seeing this education related cooperation continuing to deepen, and seeing this partnership based on shared respect for academic freedom continuing to expand. The guests of honor then visited the Fulbright booth and met with Dr. Randall L. Nadeau, Executive Director of the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange.
In keeping with this year’s theme of Inspiring an Inclusive Future, NAFSA 2023 offered many thought-provoking discussions, exchanges regarding international education initiatives, and assistance to international students considering undertaking higher education in Taiwan. It showcased the deepening educational cooperation between Taiwan and the United States.