National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan convened a meeting of the Institutional Development Advisory Committee on December 4, chaired by former NTHU President Dr. Chao-Shiuan Liu (劉兆玄). The committee lauded NTHU's interdisciplinary initiatives and recommended further integration to cultivate a unique educational identity. Several committee members also recommended that NTHU address the impact of generative AI, emphasize energy and social responsibility, and accelerate progress towards the goal of a "sustainable NTHU."
The 10-member committee is comprised of academicians Yu-Shan Wu (吳玉山) and Kung-Yee Liang (梁賡義), Vice President of Academia Sinica, Mei-Yin Zhou (周美吟), CommonWealth Magazine Chair, Ying-Chun Wu (吳迎春), and former NTHU President Dr. Chao-Shiuan Liu (劉兆玄).
Other members of the committee include the Chairman of Acorn Campus, Wu-Fu Chen (陳五福), former President of Taipei Medical University, Yun Yen (閻雲), Chairman of Pegatron Corporation, Tzu Hsien Tung (童子賢), Vice President of the National University of Singapore, Tsuhan Chen (陳祖翰), and Chairperson of Materials Analysis Technology, Yong-Fen Hsieh (謝詠芬).
Enhancing Interdisciplinary Learning
Committee members emphasized the need to boost interdisciplinary learning, aiming for an 80% undergraduate engagement in interdisciplinary studies by 2026.
Kung-Yee Liang (梁賡義) endorsed NTHU's fundamental concept of "colleges" and advocated dismantling departmental barriers to foster interdisciplinary collaboration.
Yu-Shan Wu (吳玉山) highlighted NTHU's transformation into a comprehensive university and proposed capitalizing on these mature conditions to facilitate cross-disciplinary learning between the sciences, humanities, and social sciences.
Yan Yun (閻雲) hoped that NTHU would foster increased collaboration between science, engineering, and disciplines in the arts, such as the humanities, music, and aesthetics. He proposed achieving this by increasing the number of scholars-in-residence and by establishing an interdisciplinary collaboration center within the College of Biomedical Science.
Yong-Fen Hsieh (謝詠芬) recommended motivating students by highlighting the practical applications of interdisciplinary study.
Dr. Liu commended the robotics team and racing factory at the College of Engineering as exemplary activities fostering student engagement.
Mei-Yin Zhou (周美吟) mentioned the use of tools such as digital courses, bilingual learning, internships, and microcredit courses to enhance the effectiveness of interdisciplinary learning.
Facilitating Student and Faculty Growth
Committee members praised NTHU's focus on student counseling, creating a campus conducive to well-being, and strengthening faculty-student connections.
Ying-Chun Wu (吳迎春) praised NTHU for prioritizing students in its mid-to-long-term plan, focusing on enhancing interdisciplinary learning and improving student counseling—a rare emphasis among universities.
Kung-Yee Liang (梁賡義), an alumnus, appreciated NTHU's shared values and people-oriented governance, emphasizing the vital role of mentors in student growth.
Dr. Liu proposed a student counseling focus on psychological well-being and career planning. He suggested that the College of Biomedical Science expand its counseling tasks to include the planning of proper dietary habits, weight management, and physiological big data.
One aspect of the plan involves enhancing teachers' self-development, a goal supported by committee members. Wu-Fu Chen (陳五福) pointed out the demanding conditions of current professors who juggle teaching, research, and service. He underscored the importance of fostering faculty self-development to create increased personal value.
Strengthening Interdisciplinary Collaboration Among Colleges
Several members raised questions about the rapid growth of NTHU, including the addition of the Semiconductor College, the Taipei School of Politics and Economics, and the post-baccalaureate Medical School. They questioned whether there was an overarching plan, if better integration was possible, and how to secure more resources to respond to future needs.
Liang proposed that colleges strengthen horizontal connections.
Ying-Chun Wu (吳迎春) hoped that the newly established colleges would strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration with existing colleges to meet future demands.
Tsuhan Chen (陳祖翰) recommended considering various world university ranking indicators and emphasized the need to educate faculty and students on how these systems collect data and the weight given to different types of information.
Responding to Societal Needs and Industry Trends
Tzu Hsien Tung (童子賢) recommended that NTHU's research address societal needs and industry trends, like AI, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), electric vehicles, and energy, recalling Berkeley's success in cultivating AI talent.
Dr. Liu cautioned against Open AI's impact on higher education, urging careful consideration of its positive aspects. Hsing-Fen Hsieh (謝詠芬) recommended including IT, AI, statistics, law, and environmental protection in the general education curriculum.
President W. John Kao (高為元) conveyed his appreciation, emphasizing the pivotal role that the committee's recommendations will play in NTHU's future development. He underscored NTHU's commitment to fostering an inclusive, fair, and diverse environment to assist faculty and students in shaping their distinctive values.
NTHU convened the Institutional Development Advisory Committee.
NTHU convened the Institutional Development Advisory Committee.
President W. John Kao (高為元)(right) listens to the suggestions of Committee Member Dr. Chao-Shiuan Liu (劉兆玄).
President W. John Kao (高為元)(left) listens to the suggestions of Committee Member Kung-Yee Liang (梁賡義).
Committee Member Dr. Chao-Shiuan Liu (劉兆玄) provides suggestions.
Committee Member Yu-Shan Wu (吳玉山) offers suggestions.
Committee Member Ying-Chun Wu (吳迎春) presents recommendations.
Committee Member Mei-Yin Zhou (周美吟) puts forward suggestions.
Committee Member Kung-Yee Liang (梁賡義) proposes recommendations.
Committee Member Wu-Fu Chen (陳五福) provides suggestions.
Committee Member Tzu Hsien Tung (童子賢) offers recommendations.
Committee Member Yun Yen (閻雲) presents suggestions.
Committee Member Yong-Fen Hsieh (謝詠芬) puts forward recommendations.
Committee Member Tsuhan Chen (陳祖翰) delivers suggestions via video.