National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Illinois System on March 15, one of the top public universities in the United States, which includes student and faculty exchanges as well as joint research in areas such as semiconductors, biomedicine, electric vehicles, materials science, and Chinese-language education.
The University of Illinois System includes three universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield. The university system has a wide range of programs, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which was the earliest one established in 1867, has produced 18 Nobel Prize winners over the years.
NTHU first signed a memorandum of cooperation with the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 2020 and 2021, respectively, and will soon extend this collaboration agreement to include the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS).
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by NTHU President W. John Kao (高為元) and University of Illinois System President Timothy L. Killeen.The signing ceremony was held at NTHU and was witnessed by representatives of the Ministry of Education.
The ceremony was followed by a dialogue on the topic of “Global Higher Education-Opportunities and Challenges.” Both presidents emphasized the importance of cultivating students' ability to engage in interdisciplinary and diverse learning in order to face the challenges of the next generation.
Kao pointed out that one of the key elements of NTHU’s development strategy is education with interdisciplinary and diversity. Both schools are highly rated in terms of academic performance, and the latest memorandum of cooperation expands their existing relationship in breadth and depth for students and faculty alike.
“The world shares many challenges and opportunities, few of which we’ll satisfactorily meet standing alone,” University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen said. “This agreement will allow our universities to pool our talents and ideas, leveraging each other’s strengths and building on our strong relationship as we navigate the years ahead.”
Killeen said this was the fifth or sixth time he visited Taiwan. "The University of Illinois System values the partnership with NTHU as well as cultivating students' diverse abilities. For example, when COVID-19 broke out, we need a comprehensive solution combining knowledge of medical and social economics. This MOU is vital for us to develop new collaborations to increase interactions between our faculty and students, such as semiconductor and environmental sustainability."
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the extent of collaboration between the two institutions was relatively less during the past few years, but now that borders are beginning to reopen, the number of student and teacher exchanges is expected to increase rapidly. In fact, three NTHU students are currently getting ready to begin exchange programs at UIUC and UIC.
Beginning in the fall semester 2023, Yu-he Liu, a second-year M.A. student of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, will spend a year at UIC. She said that UIC has one of the best medical schools in the United States, adding that, “my research field is visual imaging and sensing, and I expect to learn a lot in this area during my time in the United States.”
Yen-chi Chen, a junior in the Department of Electrical Engineering, will spend one semester at UIUC next spring. He said that UIUC has a long history and is one of the top universities in the United States in the fields of science and engineering. He plan to pursue graduate studies in the U.S., and now, with the help of a strong recommendation from one of his teachers, he is going to get an early start.
This semester one graduate student and one undergraduate student from UIUC are studying at NTHU. Both are recipients of the Chinese Proficiency Scholarship from the Ministry of Education.
In addition to Killeen, the delegation from the University of Illinois System included UI System Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs Nick Jones, Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation Jay Walsh, UI System Associate Vice President for International Engagement Pradeep Khanna, UI System Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation Jisu Hong, Executive Associate Dean, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Janet Jokela, Director of the Micro and Nano Technology Laboratory of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Minjoo Lawrence Lee and Brooke Weisenbeck, vice president of the University of Illinois Foundation.
The agreement was signed during a multiday trip to Taiwan by President Killeen and a delegation of other U of I System leaders. During the trip, the delegation met with Taiwanese Prime Minister Chen Chien-jen; leaders from National Taiwan University and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University; Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute and Ministry of Education; and companies such as Hon Hai, AUO and TSMC.
Story adapted from NTHU news release, original found here.