Visit by Taipei Economic and Cultural Office

From left: Director Jiang, Representative and Head of Mission Chang, Prof Chuah, Prof Goi, Dr Tan, and SW Ong

Representative and Head of Mission James Chang Chi-Ping and Director William C. Jiang from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Malaysia paid a courtesy visit to UTAR Sungai Long Campus on 30 December 2015. The visit was set to foster mutual ties and to explore more possibilities for collaborations with Taiwan.

The delegates were welcomed by UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato' Dr Chuah Hean Teik, accompanied by Division of Community and International Networking (DCInterNet) Director Dr Tan Sin Leng, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science Dean Prof Ir Dr Goi Bok Min, Division of Corporate Communication and Public Relations Director Ong Soo Weon, and DCInterNet Senior Assistant Manager Ong Yoon Furn.

The meeting commenced with Prof Chuah’s warm welcoming address which expressed his gratitude to the TECO delegates for their visit to UTAR Sungai Long Campus. Citing the history of the university, Prof Chuah emphasised that the establishment of UTAR is a collective effort of multiple parties through funding and other forms of support from society. He also extended his invitation to Representative Chang to visit the majestic UTAR Kampar Campus.

Prof Chuah also stressed that UTAR’s partnership with Taiwan has brought about many successful joint collaborations with various Taiwanese universities over the years. “The close ties between the two parties have grown stronger through a variety of collaborations on R&D, dual degree programmes, student and staff exchanges, study tours, and new village projects. As of 2015, UTAR has signed 36 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with Taiwanese universities and institutions.”

In addition, Prof Chuah highlighted that the collaborations with Taiwan reached a new milestone with the setup of the UTAR Taiwan Resource Centre for Chinese Studies and the Taiwan Education Centre located in UTAR. He continued, “UTAR was one of the 14 Malaysian higher institutions at the Malaysia-Taiwan Higher Education Forum held in Feng Chia University in 2014. As a result of the fruitful meeting, UTAR will host the next forum in its Kampar Campus in October 2016. I believe this will bring the partnerships with Taiwan to greater heights.”

Impressed by the robust growth of UTAR in mere 13 years, Representative Chang enthused, “I admire the university’s endeavour in striving for educational excellence though meaningful international interactions. I have also learnt that the medium of instruction in UTAR is English, which Taiwan yearns to implement to further globalise its education system.”

“The main role of TECO in Malaysia is to strengthen mutual understanding and enhance the relationship of both parties in all aspects including education, culture, and economy. We are the bridge that facilitates the association of the local institutions, people, and organisations with Taiwan,” said Representative Chang.

Representative Chang also shared some current developments in Taiwan’s education system and said, “Malaysian students contribute approximately 50% of the international student population in Taiwan. This figure shows that Malaysia is a major source of international exchanges in education.” He added, “We hope to continue receiving multi-faceted inputs from Malaysia as well as UTAR in the future as a key to building stronger ties between Malaysia and Taiwan.”

In addition, Representative Chang expressed his intention to cooperate with UTAR to promote culture and arts. He proposed, “Following the success of the existing collaborations in engineering and science, joint efforts on cultural studies and arts could be an interesting and meaningful area to explore further. Malaysia and Taiwan could assist each other to facilitate more successful educational ventures as the way to move forward.”

The meeting ended on a positive note with both parties agreeing to further joint collaborations.

Prof Chuah (left) presenting a souvenir to Representative Chang

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