NATIONAL CHENG KUNG UNIVERSITY, TAINAN, TAIWAN
BANYAN
Volume 6 Issue 10 - December 12, 2008
Commentary
Prof. Da Hsun Feng
Presidents’ Forum on Internationalization of Universities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Mainland China  Organized by Hong Kong City University
Article Digest
Chung-Hsien Wu
HAL-Based Evolutionary Inference for Pattern Induction From Psychiatry Web Resources
Shu-Hui Chen
Dimethyl Isotope-Coded Affinity Selection (DICAS) for the Analysis of Free and Blocked N-termini of Proteins Using LC-MS/MS
Yan-Kuin Su
White Light Emission From DBPPV and CdSe/ZnS Quantum Dots Dually Hybridized on InGaN Light-Emitting Diodes
Rong-Fu Wu
Book of Heart and Ink
Article Digest
Tsair-Fuh Lin
Effects of surface characteristics of activated carbon on the adsorption of 2-Methylisobornel (MIB) and geosmin from natural water
News Release
News
NCKU Launch Pioneering Green Technology on Solar-Powered Device
News
NCKU Faculty Develop Potent Anticancer Prodrug
Opportunities
Activities
Editorial Group
Presidents’ Forum on Internationalization of Universities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Mainland China  Organized by Hong Kong City University
Prof. Da Hsun Feng

Senior Executive Vice President, NCKU

18/07/2008
A Speech given in the 3rd Session: “Promoting Chinese Culture’s Impact on the World and Enhancing Collaboration and Progress among Chinese Universities in an Internalization Era”

President Way Kuo and colleague who are leaders of higher education in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Mainland China, I confess that I’m the least eligible speaker in this conference, because the theme of the conference is about higher education in the above mentioned four areas. I did not grow up from this region, not did I receive a single day of education from the region. Therefore when President Kuo assigned me to speak about this issue, I was absolutely astonished.

“Promoting Chinese Culture’s Impact on the World and Enhancing Collaboration and Progress among Chinese Universities in an Internalization Era” is a topic of a grand scale. In English, we would refer to it as “a mouth full”. This is a huge challenge for me, but I’ll do my best.

Today, all of you have introduced your institutions, so I’ll introduce National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) briefly.

National Cheng Kung University is a large scale university, and in terms of history of universities in Taiwan. it has a long history. It is one of the four leading universities in Taiwan, namely, National Taiwan University (NTU,) National Cheng Kung University (NCKU,) National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) and National Chiao Tung University (NCTU.) In my opinion, NCKU, as well as other Asian universities, are faced with a profound challenge by the global circumstances in the 21st century, and we must educate a large cadre of leaders with global perspective in this century. If NCKU can maintain her status as the cradle for world class educators, scientists, entrepreneurs, and modern literary writers, such as outstanding alumni  Prof. Pual Chu (Ching-Wu Chu, 朱經武), Bruce C. H. Cheng (鄭崇華) and Lung Yingtai (龍應台), then the day in which NCKU is a world class university is within reach.

NCKU has some 10,000 undergraduate students, some 10,000 graduate students, and around 1,400 faculty members. These numbers immediately tell us that there is a problem, namely on the average, each professor has to mentor seven to eight graduate students. Such a workload, in my opinion, is too heavy. When I was a professor, at any point in time, I could come up with two to three good topics for my research students. So to supervise eight research students is a serious and significant challenge for a faculty member. It tells me that we are in serious shortage of faculty members.

After I came to NCKU, I realized that the research funding of NCKU is comparatively quite healthy. The annual research funding of NCKU is approximately USD 100,000,000. Before I came to NCKU, I was in Texas, so I am quite familiar with the conditions there. In Texas, as far as comprehensive universities are concerned, only University of Texas in Austin and Texas A & M University have significantly more research funding than NCKU (three to four times). Other comprehensive universities in Texas have either similar level of research funding or far less than NCKU does. Therefore from the perspective of research funding, leading universities in Taiwan do seem to be relatively adequate.

Now I will divide what I am supposed to speak on, namely “Promoting Chinese Culture’s Impact on the World and Enhancing Collaboration and Progress among Chinese Universities in an Internationalization Era” into three topics.

First, what is “an internationalization era”? For me, the 20th century is remarkable. I wonder if you have noticed that the first Asian Nobel laureate is neither Chinese, nor Japanese. He was an Indian literary giant called Rabindranath Tagore, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. All of you know that the Nobel Prize Committee always provides for the world a succinct by-line as to why a Noble prize is awarded . For Tagore, the reason is “he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of literature of the west”. What stares one in the eyes is that this by-line did not specify that Tagore was a great Indian writer. Rather it was that his literary contribution was “a part of the literature of the West.” To me, that has the smell of naked colonialism and in many ways, this was indeed the global conditions in early 20th century.

Copyright National Cheng Kung University