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Memorandum on Academic Cooperation Signed Between NSYSU and UST
Publish date : 2017-07-24
NSYSU has recently signed an MOU of academic cooperation with the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas (UST), the oldest existing Catholic university in Asia. NSYSU expressed that a direct flight from Manila to Kaohsiung takes less than 90 minutes. In the near future, Taiwan will initiate the visa waiver program for travelers from the Philippines to enter Taiwan; NSYSU hopes to attract more exceptional students from the Philippines to come to Taiwan for academic exchange and further pursue higher education in NSYSU. In the future, NSYSU and UST will engage in collaboration to cultivate students who will have experiences in Taiwan to serve the bridges between Taiwan and Philippines’ development and become an important part in Taiwan’s southbound policies.

UST Vice-Rector Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P. leads UST administrators to visit NSYSU; he also represents UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P. in signing the MOU. The ceremony of signing the MOU is hosted by NSYSU Vice President for International Affairs Chih-Wen Kuo. Wen Sheng Tseng, the Director-General of Kaohsiung City Government’s Economic Development Bureau and Information Officer, Mary Anne Sioco, of Manila Economic and Cultural Office were invited to attend the ceremony.

Vice President Kuo states that the Taiwanese government is proactively pushing forward the new southbound policy; NSYSU’s partnership with UST through the signing of MOU allows sharing of academic resources, facilitation of student exchanges, bilateral visits of faculties, and the establishment of dual degrees.

NSYSU Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Director Hung-Jeng Tsai expressed that Taiwan and Philippines have always retained the awkward state of “nearest geographical distance, but farthest psychological distance.” When NSYSU CSEAS team visited numerous universities and think tanks in the Philippines at the start of 2017, UST recognized the collaboration intentions proposed by NSYSU representatives and suggested that UST will encourage graduates to pursue higher education in NSYSU. CSEAS will select issues that are bilaterally advantageous through the collaboration of universities, think tanks, government agencies, and industries, and establish regional research and instruction platforms and develop core courses based on these issues to cultivate southbound talents.

Director Tsai further indicates that the ASEAN countries have great variation in terms of their development. The spectrum spreads from the developed country, Singapore, the industrialized country, Malaysia, to countries that still mainly depend on agriculture, such as Myanmar and Laos. The Philippines can be found in the middle of the spectrum; its level of development can have excellent bilateral experience sharing with Taiwan. In addition, due to the country’s history, English is the working language in Philippines, thus it is likely to have low language gap in collaboration with Taiwan. Similarly, Taiwan can cultivate English-based higher education and industry development through collaboration with the Philippines, which can not only be the doorway to head Southbound but also a mile stone for Taiwan to become truly globalized. Finally, Philippines share similar geographical location with Taiwan and hence have similar climate conditions; therefore, opportunities for bilateral learning can occur in medical treatment and public health management for epidemic diseases, disaster management, city maintenance, and agricultural technology.
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