On April 14, 2021, the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education Taiwan (FICHET) and The Russia Rectors’ Union (RRU) held the Taiwan-Russia Higher Education Online Roundtable, a forum for dialogue between universities and colleges, marking an important milestone in higher education exchange between Taiwan and Russia.
The Roundtable opened with opening remarks from Mr. Keng Chung-Yung, Representative, Representative Office in Moscow for the Taipei-Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission and Mr. Sergey V. Petrov, Representative, Representative Office in Taipei for the Moscow-Taipei Coordination Commission on Economic and Cultural Cooperation. In their remarks, they both mentioned the 2007 joint signing of the “Taiwan-Russia Education and Cultural Cooperation Memorandum”, laying an important cornerstone for educational and cultural exchanges between the two countries. Mr. Petrov mentioned that the Rossotrudnichestvo scholarship, covering more than 400 Russian universities, had been awarded to an increasing number of outstanding Taiwanese students studying in Russia, from 3 in 2018 to 12 in 2021. Mr. Keng also noted that, since 1990, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education provided Taiwan Scholarships and Fellowships to encourage Russian students and scholars to come to Taiwan for instruction or research, and sending Chinese language teachers to instruct in select Russian universities. In recent years, Taiwan has actively promoted the “5+2 Industrial Innovation Plan” which facilitates expanded academic collaboration in specific fields and the joint cultivation of outstanding talent.
Seven universities from either side participated in the first roundtable. Taiwanese participants included I-Shou University, National Cheng Kung University, National Chengchi University, National Chung Hsing University, National Dong Hwa University, National Taiwan University and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University. The Russian participants included Far Eastern Federal University, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Pacific National University, Saint Petersburg State University of Economics, Tomsk State University and Ural Federal University. In-depth discussions were held on two major issues: “Educational and Scientific Cooperation between Russian and Taiwanese Universities: Achievements, Priorities and Plans for Long-term Cooperation” and “Russian and Taiwanese Universities and COVID-2019 Challenges: Experience and Best Practices”. The discussion helped promote exchange of campus epidemic prevention measures, academic and scientific research results, and prospects for future cooperation between the two countries in the field of higher education.
Cooperation between Taiwan and Russian institutions of higher education began with the 1991 signing of the first “Taiwan-Russia Academic Cooperation Memorandum”. In 2007, the representative offices of both sides signed the “Taiwan-Russia Education and Cultural Cooperation Memorandum”, laying an important cornerstone of Taiwan-Russia educational and cultural exchanges. In the past three years, more than 400 Russian students have come to study in Taiwan each year, with more than 100 Taiwanese students going to Russia, making this an active and ongoing cooperation initiative. Participating universities all expressed strong interest in developing opportunities for joint research and short-term exchanges, and expressed strong desire that the roundtable will continue to strengthen the foundation for bilateral education cooperation and find new ways to jointly collaborate on learning, instruction and research.