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Inaugural UK–Taiwan Higher Education Forum in London

Inaugural UK–Taiwan Higher Education Forum in London

The inaugural UK–Taiwan Higher Education Forum took place in London at the headquarters of Universities UK on Friday, September 20. It was jointly organised by Universities UK International, FICHET – the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan, and the Education Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK. A delegation of senior personnel from seventeen universities in Taiwan, led by Deputy Education Minister Dr. Mon-Chi Lio—the largest ever higher education delegation to travel to the UK from Taiwan—and senior personnel from thirty universities in the UK took part in the forum.

Dr. Lio emphasised that international cooperation is vital for equipping Taiwan’s students with the knowledge and skills to participate in our global society, and to respond to the challenges of the future. He pointed out that thousands of research collaborations and partnership agreements have already been established between institutions in the UK and in Taiwan and expressed his hope that the forum would boost research and innovation-related exchanges even further.

Representative David Y.L. Lin, from the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, commended the steady increase in the number and range of exchanges between Taiwan and the UK over the years. Developments in the higher education and research sector, have included setting up joint scholarship programmes, Taiwan Studies courses, collaborations in research, innovation and industry, and the launch of the UK–Taiwan Youth Mobility Scheme.

The UK–Taiwan Higher Education Forum comprised three sessions. The first was on Governance, Autonomy and Internationalisation in the UK and Taiwan. The second, on UK–Taiwan Research Partnerships, took the form of an interactive workshop, with small group discussions. The final session was on Increasing UK–Taiwan Student and Research Mobility, and the Taipei Representative Office outlined funding opportunities for study and research in Taiwan.

There was general consensus among participants that partnerships and exchanges between the UK and Taiwan can contribute strongly to the development of both countries. In this era of internationalisation, universities must engage more with their counterparts around the world to attract students, and benefit from research collaborations. At the same time, there are so many different universities with different approaches and models, so universities in Taiwan can select the most suitable collaboration and exchange partners to meet their individual requirements.