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NSYSU and UCLA signed an MOU to jointly collaborate in cultivating educational talents in Taiwan and the United States


Taiwan and the United States jointly cultivate educational talents through international exchanges! The College of Social Sciences at National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on transnational academic exchange and cooperation with the School of Education & Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In the future, the two sides will collaborate in faculty and student exchanges, academic research, and course studies. NSYSU Institute of Education's faculty and students also went to UCLA in 2023 for summer studies and on-site visits to broaden their international horizons.

Established in 1919, UCLA is academically sound and full of multicultural atmosphere, ranking 10th in the 2023 QS World University Rankings in Education and Training and 11th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings globally. Paichi Pat Shein, Chair of the Institute of Education at NSYSU, stated that signing an MOU with UCLA will deepen academic and research exchanges between the two institutions. Affected by the pandemic in the past two years, most international exchanges have been conducted online. As the pandemic has soothed, campus activities have resumed and become active, providing students with opportunities for off-site learning and experiencing foreign cultures. Through on-site visits to UCLA, summer course studies, and other methods, students can expand their international perspectives and research horizons, assisting them in creating a life path. In the future, global cooperation will be further promoted to achieve win-win talent cultivation.

Last summer, Paichi Pat Shein led doctoral and master's students from the Institute of Education, and pre-service teachers from the Center for Teacher Education to the United States for the first teacher-student exchange and participated in the Paulo Freire Institute Summer Program at the UCLA School of Education & Information Studies. In addition to being taught by UCLA professors and participating in courses planned for international students and classroom discussions, they also had in-depth dialogues with young scholars and visited local schools and museums. These immersive experiences helped students explore the connections between theory and practice, enhance their cultural literacy and English communication skills, and apply what they learned to teach and curriculum design to lay the foundation for internationalized thinking and direction in future research.

Paichi Pat Shein mentioned that the content of the summer program reflects the core values that the UCLA School of Education & Information Studies puts vast importance on, emphasizing personal responsibility, social justice, and caring ethics as the starting point, and is committed to serving the community where it is located. The course design is superficial to deep, from basic concept exploration to practical application levels. The course establishes a teacher-student dialogue platform, and the group discussion topics are diverse, mainly arising from issues observed by students at the teaching site, such as AR/VR reality technology, 12-Year Basic Education, participatory project-oriented courses, bilingual education, and the further education system, etc. Students use their acquired knowledge and educational philosophy theories to analyze and discuss these issues, propose possible solutions to breakthrough teaching difficulties, and expand the breadth of thinking. Teachers and students in Taiwan and the United States collaboratively reflect on the problems that the different education systems in Taiwan and the United States may face.

UCLA Professor Carlos Torres expressed that educator Paulo Freire's educational philosophy has significantly impacted the world. He hopes that after students complete the summer program, they can bring these concepts back to the teaching site to improve education. Professor Daniel Schugurensky from Arizona State University also stated that it was a fantastic experience to interact with Taiwanese students in the classroom. The questions from their different backgrounds brought diverse perspectives and voices into the class.

Wei-Ting Li, a doctoral student in the Institute of Education of NSYSU who participated in the summer program, mentioned that he felt the collision of multiculturism on the UCLA campus, which inspired different aspects of thinking and provided him with a macro and specific blueprint for future research planning. Hung-Wei Kao, an in-service master's student at the NSYSU Institute of Education, and Shuo-Chien Hsu, a teacher trainee at the Center for Teacher Education, believe that this participation has enabled them to see the academic vision of a top university and deepen the depth and breadth of learning through exchanges and dialogues between teachers and students.
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