Educational officials yesterday declared that Taiwan was entering an era of "university alliances" as the third alliance was formed among the nation's universities.
A memorandum of cooperation was signed by National Taiwan Normal University, National Chung Cheng University, National Taipei University and National Chungshing University as they agreed to integrate their resources to enhance academic performance.
"By integrating our resources and the talent of our teachers as well as supporting each other's development with each of our academic advantages, we are confident in our ability to compete with branches of foreign universities after Taiwan's recent WTO accession," said Lo Jen-chuan (羅仁權), president of National Chung Cheng University.
The alliance, named the University System of Formosa (USFO), is the third alliance formed within the past month, following the University System of Taiwan and Taiwan University System.
National Tsinghua University, National Chiao Tung University, National Yang Ming University and National Central University make up the University System of Taiwan, while the Taiwan University System consists of National Taiwan University, National Sun Yat-sen University, National Chengchi University and National Cheng Kung University.
Other than integrating resources and instructors, Yen Tzong (顏聰), president of National Chungshing University, said that the USFO would also establish cross-campus research centers on subjects such as biotechnology and information technology.
"Students will also benefit from the the alliance because they will be able to choose curricula from the participating campuses and will enjoy a more diverse research environment," he added.
After the integration of these four universities, Yen said, the USFO will have more than 300,000 students and approximately 3,000 instructors.
"Though so far the USFO consists of just the four schools, we welcome the idea of having other universities join our alliance in the future," said Chien Maw-fa (簡茂發), president of National Taiwan Normal University.