Four prestigious universities in Taiwan are hoping to emulate the University of California (UC) cooperative education system to raise the level of higher education in Taiwan.
A delegation of Taiwanese university presidents and a ranking educational official are visiting UC headquarters in Oakland and the University of California campuses at Berkeley and San Francisco, hoping to use the UC university system as a reference for higher education in Taiwan.
The visiting academics were Vice Minister of Education Lu Mu-lin (
The four presidents are all members of the Academia Sinica, Taiwan's highest academic research institute, and are highly respected in academic and educational fields. They said that the four Taiwanese universities excel in their respective areas and would complement each other if a unified university system could be set up similar to the one in California. Cooperation would add much to research activities and instruction in Taiwan, they said.
The location of the headquarters of the proposed Taiwanese university system has yet to be decided.
Lu said that if the four institutions wanted to form a public university system, they would first have to meet certain legal requirements.
Chang said that the four universities have started planning for the formation of a university system and will work together to overcome any legal hurdles.
Several cooperative projects are already in the works, but details of the plan will not be made public until concrete discussions regarding implementation have been made, officials said.
The goal is to establish a world-class university system in Taiwan, on a par with the best schools in the world. There will be basic changes to Taiwan's higher-educational system, and the function of universities will be clearer, with those schools that produce students who excel academically becoming even better, officials said.
But they also pointed out that the four schools would not be able to copy the UC system. For instance, they would not be receiving blanket funding from the state as is the case in California.
Shu, a world-renowned astrophysicist who took over the helm of National Tsinghua University this month after serving in the UC system for more than three decades, said that among all US state university programs, the UC system is one of the most successful.
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