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European Higher Education Forum promotes regional balance and creates win-win situation

National Taiwan Normal University held an international forum on higher education on March 21st. The second forum focused on "Internationalization of Higher Education and International Academic Exchange in Europe". It was hosted by Yeh Ying-jung, Dean of Office of International Affair of NTUST, and invited three speakers from different countries to share their insights on education.

Gregory Wegmann,Vice President for European and International Policy

University of Burgundy , shared his views on the internationalization of the European higher education system and its research and development direction. Ralph Rogers, British Council Taiwan Director, discussed the challenges facing the UK in terms of higher education internationalization after leaving the EU and entering the post-pandemic era. He also praised National Taiwan Normal University for its active role in developing student’s English ability.

Finally, Josef Goldberger, Director of the German Academic Exchange Service, introduced the concept of brain circulation and advocated that countries should consider the "long-term benefits" of internationalization in order to enhance overall benefits. Vice President Gregory Wegmann emphasized that education policy reform and policy cooperation are crucial, such as the Horizon 2020 program, which allows doctoral and postdoctoral students to enjoy the top laboratories and facilities in different European countries, and provides resources for research in Eastern European countries that previously had fewer opportunities for exchange.

Director Ralph Rogers explained that the UK's leading position in higher education is due to its emphasis on the results of international exchange. Building a global teaching environment to attract international talent is the key to coping with the rapidly changing world. The recent "Turing Plan" has brought 203 British students to Taiwan for study, and Taiwan ranks 27th in popularity among 167 partner universities, demonstrating Taiwan's achievements in international exchange.

Taiwan's Ministry of Education promotes bilingual learning to enable students to connect with the world in English, and advocates cooperation between Taiwan and the UK in industry, government, and academia. The members of the project include National Taiwan University, National Taiwan Normal University, Sun Yat-Sen University, and National Cheng Kung University, and more members are expected to join in the future to establish closer relationships to solve urgent issues such as the pandemic, aging, and climate change.

Director Ralph Rogers also mentioned that there has been significant progress in academic paper citations in Taiwan-UK cooperation. From 2016 to 2021, there were 8,000 co-authored papers. While ensuring academic freedom, innovative strategies are being researched together to generate momentum for progress, and he believes that Taiwan will surely play an important role internationally in the future.

Finally, Director Josef Goldberger pointed out that the world can be divided into "developed countries," "semi-peripheral countries," and "peripheral countries" based on economic development and policy status. Peripheral countries face the problem of talent outflow, which is difficult to change, but it is a problem that needs to be addressed. He gave an example that more Taiwanese students go to Germany to pursue their degrees compared to German students coming to Taiwan to study, with most of them focusing on short-term exchanges, which is not the ideal situation. He advocates for a balance between regional and international interactions in the pursuit of globalization, promoting mutual exchange and flow, in order to achieve maximum benefits.