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NTNU Delegation Visits Kyushu to Expand Academic Relations

In order to expand cooperation and exchanges with Japanese universities, President Cheng-Chi Wu of National Taiwan Normal University led a delegation to Kyushu University and Kumamoto University on 17-20 January 2023. The delegation included Vice President for International Affairs Yi-De Liu and Dean of the Faculty of Science Jein-Shan Chen, Dean of the College of Technology and Engineering Ching-Min Cheng, Professor Cheng-Huang Lin of the Department of Fine Arts, and Professor Hsiang-Lin Liu of the Department of Physics. During the four-day visit, the delegates not only visited the campus and laboratories of the two universities but also met with their presidents, vice presidents for International Affairs, and professors specializing in science and engineering.

Founded in 1903, Kyushu University is one of Japan’s imperial universities and is currently a top research-oriented comprehensive national university. The cooperative relationship between National Taiwan Normal University and Kyushu University began in 2016, and developed into a strategic partner and sister school relationship in 2018 with the signing of a university-level academic cooperation memorandum and student exchange agreement. Since then, there have been a total of 15 joint academic research projects. Areas of bilateral cooperation include the College of Science, College of Education, College of Management, College of Technology and Engineering as well as bilateral joint academic forums and administrative benchmarks. The focus of this particular visit is to discuss future cooperation with Tatsuro Ishibashi, the new president of Kyushu University, and his administrative team.

The delegation first visited the Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Engineering Sciences (IGSES) and two laboratories on the Chikushi campus on 17 January. Additionally, they held discussions with Dean Nakajima, Prof. Harada, Prof. Tanimoto, Prof. Ogishima, and Prof. Wang about the upcoming joint master's degree cooperation plan to be signed with Kyushu University’s Faculty of Science and Faculty of Science and Technology Engineering. On 20 January, the NTNU professors held a comprehensive discussion with President Ishibashi, three executive vice presidents, Vice President for International Affairs Shuji Shimizu and Professor Vickers of Comparative Education. They discussed strategies (regular mutual visits and administrative benchmarks); research components (bilateral academic forums and joint research projects); and teaching aspects (double degree, student exchange, and Collaborative Online International Learning, etc.). The NTNU delegation also visited the library and other campus facilities of Kyushu University's new Ito campus after the meeting.

Founded in 1925, Kumamoto University was formerly Japan’s fifth high school. It shares a similar historical background with National Taiwan Normal University, which was founded in 1922 and was formerly the Taihoku High School. Since TSMC recently established a factory in Kumamoto, Kumamoto University has been actively expanding its cooperative relationship with Taiwanese universities and colleges. The NTNU delegation met with Deputy International Director Kishida, Associate Professor Kubota, and Assistant Professor Kubota from Kumamoto University’s Center for Teaching System Research on 18 January; then, on 19 January, they met with President Ogawa, International Director Otani, and Deputy Dean Ihara of the College of Engineering, among others. The two sides held extensive discussions on future cooperation projects such as the School of Semiconductors and Industrial Innovation, and reached a consensus to sign a memorandum of academic cooperation during the meeting. After the meeting, the delegation visited the Memorial Hall of the Fifth High School, the student canteen, and other facilities on the campus.

Among the 397 existing sister schools of National Taiwan Normal University, there are with Japan 55 sister schools (14%), 46 student exchange agreements, and 4 dual-degree agreements (with colleges and universities in Kyushu, Hiroshima, Niigata, Kansai). Japan has consistently been among the top three for the number of exchange students, both for going abroad and coming to NTNU. Japan and Vietnam are the top two countries of origin for  degree-seeking foreign students at NTNU. Pre-covid 2019 statistics show that NTNU had a total of 1,430 Japanese students that year, including 59 students in degree programs, 95 exchange students, and 1,276 short-term students learning Mandarin. In view of this, NTNU will continue to maintain close exchanges and relationships with Japanese higher education institutions for international development.