A delegation of NTU officials attended the 21st Annual Presidents' Meeting and Presidential Retreat of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney in June. While in Australia, the officials also formally established a strategic partnership with the University of Sydney (USYD).
NTU is a founding member of APRU and actively participates in APRU meetings, conferences, and workshops. NTU will be the host of the 22nd APRU Annual Presidents' Meeting in 2018, the year of our 90th anniversary. In 2016, Prof. Pan-Chyr Yang, the then president of NTU, became the first NTU president to be elected to the APRU Steering Committee.
Around 80 presidents and other officials from 20 universities attended this year's meeting. Prof. Yang attended the meeting at the invitation and request of NTU Interim President Ching-Ray Chang. During his four years as president, Yang maintained close contact with APRU presidents and committee members.
As a member of the Steering Committee, Prof. Yang recommended several Taiwanese universities as candidates for APRU membership. Prof. Yang also extended an invitation to the presidents and international affairs directors of the 43 APRU member universities to visit NTU in 2018 for the 22nd Annual Presidents' Meeting and the celebration of NTU's 90th anniversary.
Meanwhile, USYD President Michael Spence invited the presidents, international affairs directors, and other officials of NTU, Yonsei University, and the University of California at Davis to his residence to share their universities' goals for research and teaching development and discuss strategies and disciplines for cooperation. Among the three invited universities, NTU was the only one to have previously initiated cooperation programs with USYD.
During the visit, Prof. Yang and President Spence exchanged the agreement officially making USYD NTU's sixth strategic partner. NTU's other strategic partners are the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Peking University, and University of Hamburg.
In addition, NTU Vice President for International Affairs Luisa Shu-Ying Chang and Director for Global Engagement Andrew Tsung met with USYD Pro-Vice Chancellor (Global Engagement) Katherine Belov to discuss research cooperation. They selected seven research projects, which will rely on funding previously allocated by then-President Yang for collaboration between the faculty members of both universities.
In recent years, NTU has made substantial progress in promoting teaching and research collaboration with universities in Australia. In March of 2014, USYD President Spence led a delegation to visit then-President Yang and the College of Liberal Arts, initiating the first cooperation between USYD and NTU. Subsequently, the Australian Government has launched its New Colombo Plan, which encourages Australian students to pursue further studies at prestigious universities in Asia. Moreover, NTU, USYD, and Harvard University jointly announced partnership strategies during the annual conference of the Association of International Educators.