Conference to Announce Accomplishments in Internationalization of Universities and the University Foreign Language Center in Northern Taiwan
In order to present the accomplishments from internationalization efforts made by universities, the Ministry of Education (MOE) on December 11, 2007 held a press conference to announce the progress made in the internationalization of universities and by the University Foreign Language Center in Northern Taiwan.
Minister Tu Cheng-sheng noted at the conference that higher education is international competition. As a result, internationalization has become one of MOE's key policies. In recent years, MOE has urged universities to become more internationalized. In addition to including the degree of internationalization in evaluations of universities, MOE has urged universities to develop into first-rate universities and create leading research centers, establish a bilingual environment, enroll foreign students, hold international conferences or meetings on bilateral cooperation in higher education and encourage students to attend international conferences or competitions.
Minister Tu pointed out that MOE in recent years has endeavored to attract foreign students to study in Taiwan. The number of foreign students enrolled in Taiwan universities has increased significantly in the past five years. Surveys of 147 universities across the country (excluding military, police academies and National Open University) indicate that the number of foreign students studying in Taiwan for a degree increased from 1,960 in academic year 2004 to 2,853 in academic year 2005. The figure rose to 3,935 in academic year 2006. By the end of October this year, the number was 5,266. The numbers have exceeded expectations. In the future, MOE will continue to promote internationalization of higher education by reforming the system and investing more funds.
Supporting measures taken by individual universities include setting up offices dedicated to providing assistance to foreign students, providing scholarships to foreign students, offering courses and programs taught with English as the language of instruction and international student and teacher exchange programs.
In addition, MOE in 2005 began providing the College of Foreign Languages and Literature at National Chengchi University with funds to establish the University Foreign Language Center in Northern Taiwan, in an effort to pool foreign language resources, eliminate barriers in the teaching of foreign languages and accelerate the training of foreign language speakers. The establishment of the Center has become one of MOE's key tasks in promoting internationalization in recent years.
To provide the opportunity to share experience, foreign student representatives were given the opportunity to share their experience while studying in Taiwan. In the meantime, several students from different countries were invited to present splendid, passionate dance performances. The Center made arrangements to offer Hebrew classes and song practice. All the performances demonstrated the progress the students have made in their studies and promoted cultural exchange and understanding.
The aim was for the conference to demonstrate the efforts made by MOE and the universities to promote internationalization and their accomplishments. By raising our universities' competitiveness and producing outstanding individuals with a world view, we hope Taiwan's higher education can become internationalized.