MIT dean expects more faculty and student exchanges

Staff writer, with CNA

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 - Page 3

An agreement between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and various local universities to send Taiwanese students and faculty members to MIT could facilitate more exchanges between the two sides, a dean of the renowned school said on Tuesday in Taipei.

MIT entered into partnership with 17 Taiwanese universities last year under Taiwan’s Top University Strategic Alliance, a project funded by the Ministry of Education since 2010.

Under the terms of the alliance, the ministry offers about US$23 million (US$790,000) in total subsidies to send 72 Taiwanese students and about 150 faculty members to world-class institutes, including Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Chicago and Imperial College London.

Three visiting academics from Taiwan are currently at MIT under the program, while the first Taiwanese students are expected to arrive next year, said Deborah Fitzgerald, the Kenan Sahin Dean of MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

“That’s a good way for us to start to have relationships with people that are longer term,” Fitzgerald said.

She added that the partnership would allow students and faculty members from both sides to collaborate on projects and papers, and make exchange visits.

She said she had received many inquiries from Taiwanese students with economics or political science backgrounds and from those eager to get into either field. She described these areas of study as “very promising” for future cooperation between MIT and Taiwan.

Fitzgerald visited National Taiwan University and National Cheng Kung University to talk to students during a five-day visit to Taiwan.