German-Taiwanese Higher Education and Research Policy Forum in Berlin Opens Paths for Future Collaboration
The German Rectors’ Conference and FICHET—the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education Taiwan—jointly organized and hosted the 2023 German-Taiwanese Higher Education and Research Policy Forum, held on July 12 and 13, at the Berlin–Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin. It was attended by twenty visitors representing universities in Taiwan, and thirty-three people representing universities in Germany. Prof. Dr. Walter Rosenthal, the President of the German Rectors’ Conference, Prof. Dr. Shieh Jha-Wey the Representative of Taiwan in Germany, and Prof. Wu Cheng-Chic, the Chairperson of FICHET, welcomed everyone in their opening remarks.
Fifty university presidents and rectors, vice presidents and vice rectors, and university officials in charge of international affairs spent the two days of this third German–Taiwanese Higher Education and Research Policy Forum discussing the future of higher education in Germany and in Taiwan. The forum was divided into four sessions on different topics: in each a German academic and a Taiwanese academic gave presentations and these were followed by a Q&A session.
Session 1 was on Current Higher Education and Research Policy Issues. Prof Dr Rosenthal summarized Germany’s main problems in higher education as infrastructure (many universities require urgent overhaul of their infrastructure), career pathways, and lack of flexibility in the bachelor’s degree –-master’s degree system. Session 2 was on University-industry collaboration: Closing the skills gap. Session 3 was on the role of universities in climate action. Prof. Liu Joycean, vice-president of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, impressed the German participants with his presentation on the process and projects that his university is undertaking to become a university with zero carbon dioxide emissions. The focus of Session 4 was on emerging issues and opportunities for collaboration between universities in Taiwan and universities in Germany.
The Forum also provided opportunities for the participants to socialize, network, and talk about collaborations and future plans, to open-up more pathways into a common future: a reception and Forum dinner on the first evening—hosted by the Taipei Representative Office at a Chinese restaurant close by—and then lunch on the second day to round off the Forum. The lunch was held on the rooftop of the Berlin–Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities offering a view of Berlin’s historic and modern sights.