In its ongoing effort to promote campus internationalization and pursue contacts with universities around the globe, the Office of International Affairs (OIA) strives to boost NTU's visibility among the international higher education community by standing out as an active participant in the annual conferences of the NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
This year was no exception, as Deputy Vice President for International Affairs Bennett Fu led the OIA's Manager for Global Alliances Tzu-Yu Huang and Manager for International Students Yu-Jen Chen on their mission to promote NTU to the world at the 69th NAFSA: Association of International Educators 2017 Annual Conference and Expo, which was held in Los Angeles, California from May 30 to June 2.
As the largest international organization working to promote international education and exchange, NAFSA boasts a vast membership of more than 10,000 education professionals from every corner of the globe. Under the theme "Expanding Community, Strengthening Connections," the 2017 Annual Conference and Expo aimed to bring the participating educators together to consider and discuss approaches for strengthening contacts and exchanges as well as forming international education alliances with special features and of different scales.
As internationalization requires coordinated effort on parallel fronts, Deputy Vice President Fu's mission to the annual conference was a multifaceted one. In addition to his goals of strengthening global alliances, promoting summer programs, and pursuing the establishment of faculty exchange programs and dual/joint degree programs, Fu also sought out new approaches to raise the quality of NTU's student exchange programs. His mission also included bolstering the university's existing strategic partnerships with elite universities as well as meeting with potential partners.
Due to its status as the world's premier annual meeting for international education professionals, the event is attended by influential educators from more than 100 countries, making it an ideal venue for global educators to network with their peers. During this year's conference, the OIA team held meetings with the representatives of nearly 60 universities around the world. Among the universities the NTU representatives met with were such prestigious institutions as the University of British Columbia, University of Rochester, University of California at Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, Waseda University, Kyoto University, University of Bordeaux, University of Zurich, and Lund University.
Besides meeting with their global counterparts, the members of Deputy Vice President Fu's team also presented papers during the conference. Over the last four years, the OIA has made great effort to ensure it submits quality papers for presentation at the conference, and each year its papers have been accepted. It submitted two papers this year. Even though people from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa participated in the conference, NTU was the only university to have presented two papers as well as moderated two forums.
The OIA team delivered its first paper, called "Eliminating Barriers for Multilateral Borderless Education" in collaboration with two of its partner universities, the University of Bordeaux and University of Tsukuba. For its second paper presentation, "Venturing into Southeast Asia Programs and Partnerships," the OIA cooperated with Waseda University and the University of South Carolina.
Both presentations were met with positive reactions and drew numerous queries from participating representatives who hoped to learn more about NTU's experience and strategies for success regarding the development of its international education programs. The OIA's participation in the two forums helped raise NTU's international visibility and reputation, and provided practical approaches and goals for universities seeking cooperation in East and Southeast Asian countries.
Taking advantage of the occasion of the NAFSA conference, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles and the Foundation for International Cooperation In Higher Education of Taiwan teamed up to organize the 4th Taiwan Education Fair in US, which aims to encourage overseas ethnic-Chinese students to pursue an education in Taiwan.
NTU and 15 other institutions of higher education in Taiwan participated in the education fair, which was visited by nearly 500 people, including overseas ethnic-Chinese students, international students, and their family members. NTU provides an outstanding education and offers nearly 800 courses taught in English. During the fair, the NTU booth received an endless stream of curious students. The OIA team received valuable assistance from the members of the NTU Alumni Association of Southern California, who helped recruit students by sharing their experiences as students at NTU.
While in Los Angeles, Deputy Vice President Fu gave an exclusive interview to the local Chinese-language newspaper World Journal. In the interview, Fu called on students to recognize the advantages of higher education in Taiwan, and encouraged them to become a part of Taiwanese society and experience ethnic-Chinese culture. He added that students who study at NTU enjoy numerous opportunities for studying in other countries while at NTU due to the university's extensive international connections.