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The First “Taiwan-UK Higher Education Forum” ends successfully, opening new opportunities for the exchange of high education between Taiwan and Britain

The "2019 Taiwan-UK Higher Education Forum" was held on Friday, September 20 in London, England, jointly organized by the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan and the Universities UK. The event brought together 87 participants (Taiwan: 49; UK: 38) from 47 universities (Taiwan: 17; UK: 30) from both sides with 23 presidents and vice presidents. The delegations led by Mon-Chi Lio, Deputy Minister of the Minister of Education include 44 representatives from 17 top ranked universities and among them 18 presidents and vice presidents from a diverse spectrum of universities.

Largest Ever University Delegation from Taiwan Visits the UK, gathering academics elites of both sides

Mon-Chi Lio said that the Ministry of Education wants to build a long-term partnership in higher education with the UK. He informed the audience that with more than 259 partnership agreements between 66 universities in Taiwan and 125 universities in the UK, and more than 7,000 UK-Taiwan joint research papers published between 2014 and 2018 there is already a strong foundation on which to build.

David Lin, Taiwan’s representative to the UK, said that education exchanges between Taiwan and UK have been steadily increasing over the last few years, with the number of Taiwanese students in the UK rising to around 12,000 in 2017 including nearly 4,000 degree students, and with 451 British students in Taiwan in 2018. In addition to cooperating with the top three universities in the UK to establish a Taiwan research project, the UK has signed a youth mobility scheme since 2011, which has effectively increased the student mobility between both courtries.

According to Dame Janet Beer, former UUK President currently President of the University of Liverpool said that she and Vivienne Stern, Director of UUKi were invited by the Ministry of Education to visit Taiwan in January 2018, deeply convinced that Taiwan is an important academic research partner of the UK, especially in the fields of physics, astronomy, medicine, engineering, biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology. She believes that the British government has recently announced that it will relax the immigration policy of foreign students who have graduated from the UK for two years, which will help the breakthrough in the number of exchanges between Taiwan and UK students.

The discussion topics of this forum include:

(1) Governance, Autonomy and Internationalisation in the UK and Taiwan;

(2) UK-Taiwan Research Partnerships;

(3) Increasing UK-Taiwan student and research mobility

Chris Chang, Pro-Vice Chancellor at The University of Portsmouth stated that the need to internationalise was clear to all universities in the UK. He declared that students in the UK are demanding it and rankings depend on it. He advised the delegates that universities in the UK all approach internationalisation differently, it is not one size fits all, so Taiwanese universities have the ability to decide what kind of engagement they want to have with UK universities, and can then find the partner that suits them.

Steven Shute, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Sussex said that international research is a priority because global challenges need global solutions.

The school's visits are rich in content, strengthening future cooperation.

On September 23rd, the delegation visited the two most important universities in the UK: Queen Mary University and Imperial College London. The British President and Vice President personally attended the exchange with our members. The two sides held a discussion on topics including university governance, internationalization strategy, and academic cooperation.

The total number of students in Europe in 2018/19 is 6,943, accounting for about 5% of the total number of international students. Among them, the total number of students in the UK is 451, ranking third. It is expected that through this exchange and visits, bilateral cooperation and student mobility will continue to deepen between both countries.