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Taiwan’s Top University Strategic Alliance Sends Graduate Students and Visiting Scholars to UC Berkeley

Taiwan’s Top University Strategic Alliance (TUSA) signed an Academic Cooperation Pilot Project MOU with the University of California, Berkeley in 2010 to promote academic excellence in the fields of humanities and social sciences in Taiwan.

This is a five-year program financially supported by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education which will run from 2011 to 2015. Each year of the project, TUSA recommend a number of outstanding graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and visiting scholars to apply to UCB to study or undertake research there. Successful student and research scholar applicants receive a funding grant and administrative assistance. TUSA has so far sent 6 graduate students and 19 visiting scholars to UCB under this project, between 2011 and 2013.

Each year, the Education Division of the TECO in San Francisco hosts a meeting for the selected participants where they can share their academic and living experience with one another. It also provides an opportunity to hear their views about the project and suggestions about how it might be improved are welcomed. Most feedback about the contributions this project makes to bilateral collaboration and to individuals’ own academic career has been very positive. The grants have been very helpful for reducing the graduate students’ financial burdens. And even more importantly, visiting scholars consider this project a great opportunity to interact with international scholars from this top-notch university and to enhance their global research perspectives.

4 PhD students and 6 visiting scholars were selected to begin at UCB in fall, 2014. Unlike in previous years, these students and scholars alike will first undertake research for one year; none of the students is pursuing their doctoral degree there.

This project is due to end at the conclusion of the 2015 academic year, in accordance with the terms of the MOU. All the selected participants are expected to extend the project’s outcomes by serving as liaison persons between UCB and education institutions in Taiwan, and helping to promote future academic exchanges and cooperation, and academic excellence in the fields of humanities and social sciences.