Remarks for the 2012 Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations Asia Conference
Tsong-Ming Lin, Political Deputy Minister
Ministry of Education
Republic of China (Taiwan)
20:00 Aug 24, 2012
3F Regent Hotel Taipei
Dr. Lin Bi-jao (林碧炤), the Vice President of Chengchi University,
Dr. Suthad Sethboonsarng, the former Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN,
Dr. Chiu Cheng-hsiung (邱正雄), the chairman of Bank SinoPac,
Delegates and honoured guests,
On behalf of the Minister of Education, it is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations 2012 conference.
This annual conference is a key event at which the most influential thinkers in the field of international relations gather to examine the factors that have helped to shape the current state of affairs in Asia, and challenge participants to think critically about the many questions that surround the region’s future.
To make this conference so successful, I would like to specifically extend my appreciation and admiration to the organizing committee of National Chengchi University. Renowned as one of the region’s top social-science universities, National Chengchi University was chosen to host the 500 delegates and almost 150 speakers at this 2012 HPAIR Asia Conference. More to the point, this university is already home to almost 1,000 students from around the world, all of whom chose to make this university their own.
Education is a critical issue in global society. During the past four years, Taiwan’s universities have made significant progress with regards to their modernization, teaching, research, industry-university collaboration and cooperation, improvements within higher education, and above all, their international university rankings.
According to the Times World University Rankings, universities in Taiwan that placed among the world’s top 500 increased from 7 schools in 2006 to 11 schools in 2012, and moreover, the ranking of each of those schools improved. In 2010, four schools in Taiwan were in the top 200. A notable success is National Taiwan University, which is now ranked between the 61st －70th position by the World University Rankings of the Times Higher Education Magazine.
As the Political Deputy Minister of Education, I have championed the policy of having more international students studying at Taiwan's universities. Our “Study-in-Taiwan Booming Scheme” has become one of the top ten services-industry projects of the Executive Yuan. With the promotion of this program, the number of international students is expected to gradually increase. In 2012, we have successfully attracted 56,000 overseas students to study in Taiwan. In the near future, I strongly believe that it will reach 95,000 by year 2014 and 150,000 by 2020.
It is my hope that you will all benefit from – and enjoy – the unique opportunity that this conference offers, with its comprehensive topic areas: from the Environment and Energy Security, to International Development; from International Law and Entrepreneurship, to Media and Society.
Moreover, while you are here to learn from each other, I hope you will likewise learn about Taiwan. I understand there is a field trip and a pre-conference tour that will help you discover our beautiful island, and a new event called “Taipei Night” to show delegates what traditional Taiwanese culture is all about.
If you have travel plans that will allow you to spend extra time in Taiwan after the conference, please do visit our beautiful cities and towns, and get to know our people. I hope you all have the opportunity to take a little piece of Taiwan home with you.