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NTNU Connects with Alumni and Partners in Canada and the US

NTNU President Cheng-Chih Wu led delegation comprised of the University’s top administrators to Canada and the United States. During 14-22 January, the delegation set out to visit overseas NTNU alumni as well as deepen relations and share about best practices in student care with NTNU’s partner institutions in the region. By the end of the week-long trip, the delegates conducted meaningful engagements at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Purdue University.

Each of these three institutions has have a long history of faculty cooperation and student exchange with NTNU. Bilateral leadership visits, academic exchanges, and research projects between the University of British Columbia and NTNU have continued since 2001, especially for UBC’s Faculty of Forestry and NTNU’s Department of Geography as well as both universities’ programs in Teacher Education (with regularly occurring pre-service student internships). UBC had also contributed greatly to the development of NTNU’s annual academic leadership training event.

Meanwhile, Simon Fraser University and NTNU became partner institutions in 2018 with student exchanges and faculty collaboration most notably in physics. Known for its innovative and flexible curriculum, SFU was the first Canadian university to offer EMBA for working professionals and master’s program in Sociology; it continues to be the only Canadian university to take part in the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the United States.

Purdue University has the fourth largest number of international students among all US universities, with international students comprising 20% of Purdue’s entire student body. Since NTNU’s College of Consumer and Family Sciences and Purdue University began collaborations in 2006, the expanding partnership between the two institutions’ corresponding colleges is reflected in part by the signing of a university-wide MOU in 2022 and the Huayu Best Program for Chinese language learning at Purdue.

Given Purdue University’s diversity and size (largest university of Indiana), the NTNU delegates devoted a whole day to learning about Purdue’s organization for student orientation, dorm life and activities, dining options, and counseling as well as career development for local and international students. These aspects of student care were also discussed during NTNU’s visit with SFU and UBC. Each university provides online courses for new students starting in April and May before in-person orientations of varying lengths (up to one month) at the start of Fall Term in September. SFU shared that there is a direct correlation between on-campus housing and higher grades, retention rate, and overall satisfaction for first- and second-year students. UBC maintains a Residence Life Blog that offers tips for roommate relations, healthy eating habits, and mental healthcare as well as additional support by appointed professors-in-residence and counsellors-in-residence.

Additionally, Purdue staff and faculty introduced aspects of Purdue’s virtual reality developments for K-12 education through tours of the Purdue Center for Serious Games and Learning in Virtual Environments and Envision Center. The NTNU delegates also learned more about Purdue University’s strategies in pursuing Physical AI research with a tour of Purdue Polytechnic Institute’s Smart Manufacturing Ecosystem as well as evidence-based instructions in Purdue’s School of Engineering Education. NTNU and Purdue University discussed the possibility of dual degrees or bilateral short-term study programs such as through the Purdue Academy of Global Engineering. Purdue’s missions in undergraduate research are especially relevant for NTNU’s promotion of student-initiated study plans.

Last but not least, the NTNU delegation met with over 50 NTNU alumni of Vancouver BC Alumni Association. President Wu shared about NTNU’s ongoing projects and vision. Overseas Community Affairs Council members present at the gathering also provided details about scholarships for overseas students, English language service camps, and other programs so that NTNU alumni abroad are aware of the study opportunities available to their family members as well. This January visit led by President Wu successfully navigated the numerous travel disruptions caused by the rare snow conditions in Vancouver British Columbia and extreme cold of the US Midwest to solidify NTNU’s presence in North America.

President Wu addressing around 50 NTNU alumni in the Vancouver area

The NTNU delegation also met with Purdue University President Mung Chiang

SFU President Joy Johnson leading a morning meeting for the NTNU delegation

The delegates experiencing the SFU student dining experience firsthand

UBC President Benoit-Antoine Bacon welcoming NTNU