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Interview for GVM/ Creating top bilingual university, cultivating professionals with global mobility

2021-07-19

National Sun Yat-sen University is committed to its project of becoming a bilingual university by 2030. On July 6th, NSYSU President Ying-Yao Cheng was interviewed by Global Views Monthly and said that at present, the University is implementing a 10-year project to promote education in English. Besides establishing undergraduate courses in English at the Department of Electrical Engineering, the Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering, and the Department of Chemistry, the University will launch the Center for EMI Teaching Excellence on August 1 to improve students’ English abilities and make them become excellent leaders with global mobility.

Global Views Monthly conducted an online interview with NSYSU President Ying-Yao Cheng, Vice President for International Affairs Chih-Wen Kuo, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Po-Chiao Lin to discuss and analyze challenges faced by future professionals. President Cheng pointed out that in the past, Taiwan’s education focused on the individual’s performance. He believes that when facing complicated current and future social problems, it is not possible for one person to take care of everything and thus teamwork is necessary to integrate resources of different fields. As for international mobility, “language skills are essential.” Thus, NSYSU is paving its way to becoming a bilingual University in the future. It launched a 10-year project to promote education in English in response to the government's Bilingual Nation by 2030 Policy announced by the Taiwan government last year.

Regarding the 10-year project to promote education in English, Vice President for Academic Affairs Po-Chiao Lin said that this is the first year of the implementation of the project and that 3 departments – Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering, and Chemistry will launch undergraduate programs taught entirely in English as the first units among higher education institutions in Taiwan, and the College of Management will follow in the academic year 2022-2023 with an undergraduate program in English. The next, starting from the academic year 2023-2024, will be the Department of Materials and Optoelectronic Science. Vice President Lin emphasized that as more and more colleges and departments establish programs and courses in English, NSYSU students and faculty have already clearly felt the University's commitment to creating an international teaching environment.

To create an all-English teaching environment and reduce students' insecurity when speaking English, NSYSU Si Wan College will establish the Center for EMI Teaching Excellence on August 1 for all students to develop their confidence and interest in learning English through lively general English courses in their freshman year, develop their English listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and get prepared for professional English courses in their sophomore year, said Vice President Lin. Besides, the Center will establish the English General Excellence Program for students of English-language programs and those with excellent English language skills to help them enhance their English-language skills for self-expression, analysis, criticism, and practical abilities.

“With the trend of internationalization, exchanging abroad will be NSYSU’s graduation requirement for doctoral students!” Vice President for International Affairs Chih-Wen Kuo said that besides professional skills, NSYSU expects Master students to develop professional field English, cross-cultural skills, communication abilities, and lifelong learning habit; exchanging abroad can help students broaden their international perspective and connect with the world. As for undergraduate students, the University encourages students to study joint dual-degree programs. In the future, students of English programs at 3 departments – Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering, and Chemistry will exchange abroad to pursue dual degrees, while improving their English and professional skills, and broadening horizons. The University also hopes for 30% of NSYSU undergraduate students to gain the experience of exchanging abroad.

Vice President Kuo further explained that NSYSU is the only university in Taiwan to provide stipends for all students exchanging abroad; if only a student wants to pursue studies at a university or an internship abroad, the University will offer a monthly allowance of NTD 10,000 to help each student cover their living costs for a maximum period of one year. Economically disadvantaged students can apply for a stipend of the Soaring Far and Wide Project and have the University cover their full costs of exchanging abroad up to the amount of NTD 1,000,000. “The University hopes to do its best to help students go abroad and concentrate on their studies without worrying about financial matters”. When back in Taiwan, the students can share their overseas experience with the University community and help create a more internationalized environment on campus.
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