Following the success of the 1st “Taiwan-UK Higher Education Forum” in London in 2019, the Taiwan-UK Virtual Higher Education Delegation 2020 was successfully held from December 7th to 9th this year. The event was jointly organized by the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan, the British Council Taiwan and Universities UK International. In addition to building on collaborations established in the previous year, the event also set the stage for the 2nd Taiwan-UK Higher Education Forum in 2021. This virtual event boasted over 500 attendees for 3 days.
In his opening remarks, Professor Mon-Chi Lio, Deputy Minister from the Ministry of Education, stated that in the era of globalization, transnational education and research are the keys to exposing students to the latest knowledge and skills, ensuring they are able to meet the emerging challenges of the social environment. In addition, Taiwan and the UK recently signed a Letter of Intent to cross-cultivate foreign language skills, thus promoting Taiwan’s 2030 national bilingual policy, enhancing Taiwan’s international competitiveness and further facilitating future bilateral cooperation.
Ambassador Hsieh Wu-Chiao, Taiwan’s representative to the United Kingdom, also emphasized the need to further deepen cultural exchanges between the two sides. To this end, the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide 100 scholarships to encourage British students to study Chinese in Taiwan, thereby strengthening academic exchanges between Taiwan and the UK.
Ms. Catherine Nettleton, the Representative of the British Office in Taiwan said that the United Kingdom will assist Taiwan in promoting the 2030 national bilingual policy to improve all-round English proficiency, while simultaneously working to further encourage British elites to study Chinese in Taiwan, thereby promoting bilateral language and cultural exchange.
This event focused on 4 topics including “The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Higher Education”, “Cultivating English Language Proficiency”, “Cultivating Chinese Language Proficiency”, and “Opportunities for Research Partnership”. The global pandemic has significantly slowed international mobility at a time when both Taiwan and the UK are deeply committed to deepening higher education partnerships between the two countries. The 3-day conference featured broad and diverse dialogues on topics ranging from campus transmission prevention measures to language proficiency training and from teacher support to the development of new models for cross-border research cooperation. These discussions and the ongoing collaborations have opened a new page for future education and academic partnerships between Taiwan and the UK.