Font Size:
  • L
  • M
  • S

Forum on Internationalization of Higher Education at NTNU

On March 21st, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) held a seminar on 'NTNU Forum on Internationalization of Higher Education', hosted by Vice President Frank Y-H Ying of NTNU and attended by Liu Yi-de, the Director of International Affairs, and four international and global affairs directors from Pennsylvania State University, University of Texas at Austin, Burgundy University in France, and University of Glasgow in the UK. In the seminar, they discussed the current status and trends of internationalization and international cooperation in higher education in Taiwan, and shared strategies for internationalization.

In recent years, Taiwan has been facing severe problems of declining birth rates and labor shortages. Attracting international students has become particularly important, as it can alleviate the shortage of local students and enhance Taiwan's international status and competitiveness. In addition to the government providing diverse scholarships, NTNU, as a bilingual benchmark university supported by the Ministry of Education, has also proposed ten internationalization policies, including strategic partnership, international academic exchange, cross-border education and internship opportunities, international student recruitment, English Medium Instruction (EMI) courses, global virtual exchange programs, overseas Chinese language teaching, overseas alumni associations, localization of internationalization, and administrative measures to support localization of internationalization, in order to cultivate students' international perspectives and competitiveness.

Konstantinos Kontis, the Global Affairs Director of University of Glasgow stated that the university has had a clear internationalization strategy since 2014, aiming for more than half of its students to have international experience, whether it is through digital learning or cultural exchange. It is more important to integrate subjects with global issues, such as sustainable development, climate change, and human rights, into exchange activities and encourage students to embrace different voices. Sonia Feigenbaum, the Director of International Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, agreed that KPI is important for evaluating the completion of plans, but also reminded the audience not to be limited by indicators and to be brave to try and not afraid to fail. She stated that the online teaching brought about by the epidemic has opened up another possibility for online communication. At the same time, we should also think about how to be creative in teaching, connect with foreign countries, and create a better framework for international communication.

Roger Brindley and Gregory Wegmann, the international affairs directors of Pennsylvania State University and Burgundy University in France respectively, both mentioned the importance of alumni networks. Internationalization is not a solitary battle. Establishing overseas alumni associations and working together with alumni from multiple perspectives can expand the influence of the university. Towards the end of the seminar, Vice President Ying asked Prof. Kontis of the University of Glasgow, 'What is the difference between completion and ending?' Professor Kontis shared his life philosophy: 'There is no end to learning. Always keep your original intention and continue to improve.'