Soochow University and Western Sydney University Co-host the 2016 Cross-Strait and Australia Higher Education Forum
Soochow University and Western Sydney University co-hosted the 2016 Cross-Strait and Australia Higher Education Forum on April 21, 2016. Invited attendees included related specialists in international affairs and institutional heads from the following organizations:
Soochow University (co-host)
Western Sydney University (co-host)
Australian Catholic University
China University of Political Science and Law
Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET)
Fu Jen Catholic University
Hong Kong Baptist University
Soochow University (Mainland China)
Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology
Taiwan Ministry of Education
Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tamkang University Xiamen University
Yuan Ze University
Soochow University’s President Wei-Ta Pan began by welcoming all the honored guests and expressed his high hopes for the forum, which was the first cooperative event co-hosted by Soochow University and Western Sydney University.
The day-long event’s topics covered the respective trends of internationalization occurring in the higher education systems in Taiwan, China, and Australia, the New Colombo Plan, methods for motivating students to seek further study, and Asia-Pacific academic cooperation and development. President Pan’s wish was that this event would facilitate more opportunities and a greater orientation toward cooperation among institutions of higher education in the three regions.
The forum’s first session was a lecture given by Professor Sy-Sang Liaw, CEO of FICHET, entitled “The Trends in International Higher Education: Aspects of Taiwan’s Higher Education”. In the talk, Professor Liaw provided an analysis of the Taiwan education system to enable a policy of internationalization in higher education, which he hopes can attract attention and even larger numbers of international students to Taiwan and provide greater opportunities for Taiwanese students to study abroad.
Next, President Si Dong Xiong from Soochow University (Mainland China) shared the developmental direction of higher education in China. Through establishing overseas offices and expanding them as a base of operations, Chinese institutions are looking to orient themselves toward increasing research and communication and thereby enhance their international character.
Following President Xiong was a seminar by Professor Barney Glover, Vice-Chancellor & President of Western Sydney University. In his analysis, he said there is a strong interest in Asian universities and colleges in Australian universities and hoped there could be more proposals for cooperation in teaching, study, and research. This focus can give rise to increased opportunities for cooperation among schools specifically in Australia, Taiwan, and China.
During the afternoon, Mr. Richard Neumann, Deputy Representative of the Australian Office, hosted a session by describing the New Colombo Plan. Through this government initiative, the New Colombo Plan is planned as a platform for cooperation between colleges and universities from Australia and the surrounding regions to select students to travel to areas of Asia for study and internships (with a special focus toward Taiwan and China) and encourage participants’ international competitiveness.
Distinguished Teaching Fellow and Associate Professor Catherine Attard from Western Sydney University followed-up with a brilliant presentation highlighting her personal examples and results from research on enhancing learning through better engagement of students. This session resulted in various insights and new viewpoints by the attendees.
The forum’s final joint research discussion segment was entitled “Asia-Pacific Academic Cooperation and Development”, with participants from each school enthusiastically discussing proposals for further cooperation. Finally, President Pan again thanked all of the attendees and expressed his hope that the academic exchange and sharing of opinion during the day’s six sessions would lead to further academic research and opportunities for cooperation among these schools from the three regions. He stated that the ideas gained from the event could also open up new horizons for the breadth and depth of development in Taiwanese higher education.