In 1995, National Chi Nan University (NCNU) was founded in Puli, Nantou County, in central Taiwan. NCNU aims to distinguish itself through the following four vision statements:
“Infuse distinctive local features”- We conduct programs that address the unique needs of the local rural population, such as student-led community services, and tutoring programs for school children from remote townships. We also offer distinctive curricula that are synergetic with local economic activities, such as leisure and tourism, photo-electronics and the local industrial development.
“Integrate humanities and technology”- Through various interdisciplinary teaching programs, specialized courses and academic development projects, we encourage our students to embrace technology for the betterment of society, as well as humanistic enrichment that is in pace with technological advances.
“Aggregate traditional and foreign education”- Foreign students choose us thanks on the one hand to our traditional campus architecture and culture, and on the other hand to the efforts of the University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Students, which is organized annually by NCNU. As such, we have maintained the highest foreign-student ratio in the country.
“Combine ecology and environment protection”- NCNU campus is surrounded by a natural and ecological diversity. Thus, we have always valued and attached great importance to carbon reduction, and environmental education and conservation.
Under the current development trends of the global economy, Southeast Asia is rising economically as global factories move southward. NCNU houses the best Southeast Asia Research Institute and Southeast Asia Research Center in Taiwan. NCNU will soon establish a university-wide specialized curriculum on Southeast Asia. While we cultivate in NCNU graduates an international perspective, we particularly inculcate in them an emphasis on Southeast Asia so as to enhance their competitiveness for international employment.
In 2013, NCNU received a grant from the Ministry of Education for the “Plan to Encourage Pursuit of Academic Excellence in Universities”. This plan aims to develop university teaching and research programs with a focus on enhancing the international standings and professional competitiveness of our graduates. Execution of the plan follows two design paradigms: creating a niche based on our local characteristics, and widening our international perspective. Based on these, four principle programs have been created:
1. Shuishalian Campus:
The Shuishalian Campus stands for a concept that combines NCNU educations resources with the abundant natural and cultural resources of the region, so as to achieve a symbiotic relationship between the university and the local communities. Its development begins in Puli of central Taiwan and gradually extends to the Shuishalian region. Based on this concept, unique courses on ecology, rural sociology and natural conservation are formulated. Besides extramural lectures and practical trainings aimed at community participation, NCNU students also step out of the classroom into the local communities and industries. This is possible via curricula that are designed for learning through practice and service, and to cultivate community awareness.
2. Great Swan Initiative:
Shuishalian has a strong track record in its innovation of traditional industries, development of leisure and tourism industries, creative and cultural innovations, as well as incubation of aboriginal enterprises. Alliance between NCNU and the local industries has also been on the rise. Based on such an advantageous setting, NCNU has proposed the Great Swan Initiative for the local industries aimed at enhancing our students’ understanding of traditional and local industries, thus to enhance their professional competitiveness. Under this initiative, students can benefit from lectures by industry leaders, mentorship under industrial professionals, and take part in undergraduate research collaborations with industry partners.
3. Overseas Chinese Education Program
This program is aimed at making NCNU the university of choice for overseas Chinese students. It is founded on the unique advantages that NCNU possesses, in the form of dedicated Chinese language courses, academic counseling for overseas Chinese students, internships programs in native countries, Southeast Asian cultural links, etc.
4. Southeast Asian Focus
NCNU distinctively focuses on Southeast Asia with university-wide Southeast Asia general education courses that enable students to expand their global perspectives. Through interdisciplinary courses the program aims to produce professional elites with a Southeast Asian advantage. Thus, we hope to strengthen our cross-border ties and to enhance the competitiveness of NCNU graduates in the growing Southeast Asian region..
We aim to distinguish ourselves through the following four vision statements:
Infuse distinctive local features: We conduct programs that address the unique needs of the local rural population, such as student-led community services, and tutoring programs for school children from remote townships. We also offer distinctive curricula that are synergetic with local economic activities, such as leisure and tourism, photo-electronics and the local industrial development.
Integrate humanities and technology: Through various interdisciplinary teaching programs, specialized courses and academic development projects, we encourage our students to embrace technology for the betterment of society, as well as humanistic enrichment that is in pace with technological advances.
Aggregate traditional and foreign education: Foreign students choose us thanks on the one hand to our traditional campus architecture and culture, and on the other hand to the efforts of the University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Students, which is organized annually by us. As such, we have maintained the highest foreign-student ratio in the country.
Combine ecology and environment protection: Our campus is surrounded by a natural and ecological diversity. Thus, we have always valued and attached great importance to carbon reduction, and environmental education and conservation.
Straddling rural, urban, and indigenous communities, we espouse diverse cultures and lifestyles. Proximity to top Taiwanese sightseeing destinations such as Sun-Moon Lake and Mount Hehuan has also helped us develop advantages in tourism and marketing, water sports, social participation, and community empowerment. With roots growing ever deep through regional networks, we seek to also continue expanding our global partnerships, with a special focus on the talents and opportunities in Southeast Asia.
NCNU blossoms to life at the advent of spring, as vibrant red, pale pink, and bright white cherry blossom petals greet visitors who picnic and drink tea on the grassy lawns. The campus is home to over 1,000 Formosan and Japanese Sakura trees.
This environment is cherished by the school, which champions sustainability through the reduction of carbon emissions and other green measures. As a school recognized as 54th worldwide by the UI Green Metric World University rankings in 2018, our school is an inviting place for learning and teaching.
These advantages serve as inspiration for our pursuit in delivering innovative teaching and participatory learning while serving the local community. Recent programs and partnerships have extended into areas such as engaging migrant workers and immigrants from Southeast Asia, improving air quality, boosting the economic livelihood of indigenous villages, and refining agriculture through applied technology. This stands witness to our conscious embracement of the social responsibility borne by universities.
Sister to 102 overseas and 44 Chinese academic institutes, we host an average of 800 international students every year who come to study from its 160 language courses. We also have one of the most comprehensive programs for training talents for the Southeast Asian markets.
We have been nurturing ties with local communities through education programs fostering tourism and culturally creative talents. Outreach centers have also been set up to care for disadvantaged children and indigenous elders.
We are embarking on a five-year plan to embrace innovative teaching, public and community services, and social responsibilities. With the support of the Ministry of Education, the goals are to bolster the quality and sustainable management of Taiwan’s higher education.
We rank 7th nationwide for the rate of employment of its new graduates, who receive an average starting salary of NT$30,000. Around 206 students pass civil service exams or are certified every year, and the university faculty hold 9th place for their contributions to international academic publications and scientific research.
We map the way for our students and faculty members to learn beyond the confines of the campus by working with civil groups to service local communities. The objective is to expand the scope of influence and exchanges of this borderless college town.
Combining scientific breakthroughs with a humanistic approach, we have engineered patented inventions such as elevated LED lighting systems for nighttime farming to fight light pollution and economize power consumption.
We look to empowering regional communities by pairing its students with vocational programs for local residents who wish to learn more about Nantou’s unique strengths and engage in eco-tourism and agricultural transformation.
We have taken steps to help monitor air pollution by deploying over 200 micro-sensors across central Taiwan. These devices help residents keep track of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels and are a valuable resource of reliable information for neighborhood air quality patrols.
We are dedicated to documenting the heritage of nearby indigenous groups and working with tribe members to revitalize their culture and economy. Local resources are being mobilized for tribal development, elderly care, and heritage revival.
With close access to the waters and trainers of Taiwan’s famed Sun-Moon Lake, the school is home to collegial teams competing in rowing, archery, softball, golfing, and ballroom dancing. Team spirit is bolstered by a high degree of sportsmanship and medals from recent international sporting events.