Following the success of the first Higher Education Forum in Berlin, Germany 2016, the 2nd Taiwanese-German Higher Education Policy Forum was held on November 5, 2019 at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. The German delegation led by Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt, President of German Rectors’ Conference include 10 dignitaries from 8 Germany’s most prestigious institutions. 89 participants from Taiwan attend the forum including Deputy Minister Mon-chi Liu, Director General Cheu-An Bi from the Ministry of Education, Presidents, Vice Presidents and Deans of Office of International Affairs, representing a broad spectrum of Taiwan’s leading institutions of higher education. The active participation will bring new vitality to the collaborations for the higher education institutions of both countries.
Deputy Minister Liu acknowledges the joint efforts from the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan, German Rectors’ Conference and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology for co-organizing the event. He emphasized that international cooperation is vital to equip Taiwanese students with the knowledge and skills to participate in global society and to respond to the challenges of the future. With hundreds of research collaborations and partnership agreements already established between the Germany and Taiwan, Deputy Minister Lio hoped the conference would boost numbers engaging in research and innovation exchange even further.
The keynote speeches focused on the higher education, research trends , technology innovation and government policy of both countries. The Forum encompassed three separate sessions, each with a nominated Chair and featured speakers. The first session was entitled “The knowledge triangle: Cooperation and transfer between university, business and society” and the second session, “Safeguarding university autonomy and academic freedom.” The final session “Future prospects for collaboration” took the form of interactive roundtable discussions. These closer ties and dialogues among the top universities leaders of the two countries are sure to benefit university developments from both sides.
The German Rectors' Conference (HRK) is the association of public and government-recognized universities in Germany. The HRK currently has 268 member institutions, representing all types of higher education institution. The HRK functions as the voice of the universities in dialogue with politicians and the public and as the central forum for opinion-forming in the higher education sector, especially teaching and studying, research, innovation and transfer, scientific further training, internationalisation, and university self-administration and governance. In addition to participating in the 2019 higher education forum, the German delegation also called on the Ministry of Education to understand the most important issues facing higher education and the direction of future developments. At the same time, the delegations also called on the Presidential Office, Ministry of Science and Technology to understand the current situation of our research and the technology that the two countries can further cooperate with. The Higher Education Foundation will also arrange further exchanges opportunities with Taiwanese universities to deepen mutual cooperation.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Education, 462 academic agreements have been signed between the universities of both sides including student, faulty exchange and joint research. In 2018/19, 1,351 German students are studying in Taiwan, only second to France among other European countries and the student number keeps increasing. According to the statistics from Statistisches Bundesamt, Taiwan has around 1,500 students studying in Germany during the 2014/15 winter semester. By 2017/18, the number of students registered at winter semester has climbed to about 2,500, which truly evidenced that in recent years, Germany has become a popular study destination for young students in Taiwan. Through this forum, it is hoped to deepen mutual understanding, strengthen partnership and research collaboration in the higher education sectors of both countries.