Here at Taida, we offer a full spectrum of disciplines to more than 30,000 students. To help our students transform their knowledge into products of real economic value, we set up the NTU Garage program as a platform that allows students apply their academic accomplishments to give back to society. Besides encouraging students to uphold an ecological spirit in creating their businesses, the program urges its participants to seize opportunities to work with others from different disciplines so they can benefit from the synergistic integration of knowledge and techniques and form startup teams of unparalleled abilities.
Most participants in NTU Garage are NTU students and professors. As their skills remain concentrated in academic disciplines, many lack the marketing experience to go up against other startups in the real world of business. Therefore, the program has invited lecturers from the business community to present their experiences to help our startup teams acquire skills that will enable them to promote the fruits of their R&D to a global market.
Meanwhile, Taida is also expanding its student exchange programs with its international partners. For example, I traveled to Australia in February to sign student exchange agreements with a number of our Australian counterparts, including the University of Sydney. While there, I noticed that a majority of Australia’s universities share a trait: international students comprise 15-30% of their student bodies. I believe that NTU should emulate this policy by more actively recruiting international students.
Some might challenge this proposition by asking why Taida, as Taiwan’s leader of higher education, would not instead offer more openings to Taiwanese students. I believe that installing students with a diversity of stimulation can advantage their futures, whether in academics or business; therefore, increasing our international enrollment channels helps to expose NTU students to a wider range of stimulation from overseas. It is in fact due to NTU’s leadership position that the university’s local students have an even greater need to understand the international academic community as well as issues concerning the international society.
It is also our mission to inspire Taida’s international students to become citizens of the world. While at NTU, students from abroad discover that Taiwan’s welcoming English-language environment and free and democratic society facilitate their efforts to learn about Taiwanese society and experience the nation’s mix of cultures. I encourage international students to not only develop their knowledge while here, but to also take advantage of the university’s wide offering of student clubs to cultivate friendships with Taiwanese students and make the most of their time at Taida.