National Taiwan University and National Sun Yat-sen University yesterday signed a memorandum of cooperation, agreeing to integrate their resources in a bid to improve research-development and academic performance.
"The signing of the memorandum is an important step toward cooperation between these two universities," said Chen Wei-jao (
Facing an increasingly competitive educational environment, Chen said that greater cooperation is needed.
Victor Liu (劉維琪), president of National Sun Yat-sen University, echoed Chen's remark, saying that "by integrating our resources, our competitiveness can be strengthened and research can be developed and carried out more effectively."
He added that cooperation would bring benefits to students by offering them a more diverse and flexible research environment.
While maintaining their independence as well as their original names and organizational structures, the two universities agreed to work together to improve the competitiveness of their academic research in areas such as biotechnology, oceanography, engineering, aeronautics, literature and social sciences, according to the terms of agreement.
"Integration of extracurricular activities, sporting events, e-learning and credit acceptance are also on our agenda of cooperation," Chen said.
In the near future, he added, instructors from both universities would be allowed to teach on each other's campuses. Students taking summer courses would also have their choice of campuses.
Chen said that he expects other universities will soon join the cooperative group.
"After further talks have been completed, National Cheng Kung University and National Chengchi University would also join our alliance within the next month, at the earliest," Chen said.
"[The alliance] will enable us to support one another while at the same time continuing to develop and strengthen our own advantages," he said.
The alliance between the National Taiwan University and the National Sun Yat-sen University announced yesterday was the second alliance formed within the past week among the nation's universities.
Last Friday, an alliance called the University System of Taiwan was formed among National Tsinghua University, National Chiao Tung University, National Yang Ming University and National Central University.
These four universities had agreed to share their academic resources and facilities in research as well as to accredit and coordinate courses and enlist students jointly.
Since the formation of the University System of Taiwan last week, Minister of Education Huang Jong-tsun (黃榮村) has given his endorsement to the creation of university alliances.
"[Cooperation among universities] is an effective way to keep local universities at the forefront of global competition, as their own academic advantages can be used to support each other's development," he was quoted as saying.
The formation of alliances among universities is expected to become a trend, with schools eventually fighting to become part of an alliance rather than stressing their individual assets.