New MOU with NCKU
Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University and the World Vegetable Center are ready to work together to engage students in bioscience research to improve lives and livelihoods worldwide.
The World Vegetable Center and Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) entered a new era of collaboration when NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su and WorldVeg Deputy Director General David Johnson signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 20 September 2018 during the opening ceremony of the university’s new Bioscience & Biotechnology Teaching Building on the Li-Hsing Campus in Tainan City.
The agreement will foster academic exchanges for students, cooperative use of equipment, joint hosting of symposia, and extend collaborative research opportunities throughout Asia and beyond.
“NCKU has the largest percentage of degree-seeking students from South and Southeast Asia of all Taiwan universities,” said Dr. Su. “We are trying different ways of linking the university and society to reach out to these regions, and the World Vegetable Center is part of that. I have full confidence that we will have a meaningful and fruitful partnership.”
Although WorldVeg has had student exchanges with NCKU in the past, notably through the joint efforts of Dr. Ruey-Hua Lee in the NCKU Institute of Tropical Plant Sciences and WorldVeg Flagship Leader for Vegetable Diversity and Improvement Dr. Roland Schafleitner, there is much more for both institutions to explore together.
“When you think about collaboration, consider our scholarship program to attract students from South and Southeast Asia in support of Taiwan’s Southbound Policy,” said Dr. Johnson. “Students from these countries enroll at NCKU and other Taiwan universities, conduct their research at WorldVeg, and return to their countries with knowledge, experience and links to Taiwan.”
“NCKU is our neighbor,” he said. “I look forward to seeing students in the audience at WorldVeg, and to interacting with NCKU faculty members here in your beautiful new building and at the WorldVeg campus.”
The NCKU College of Bioscience and Biotechnology covers five main disciplines (Genomics, Biomedicine, Agriculture, Ocean Biology, and Environmental Science / Climate Change) and serves 400 students from Taiwan and many other countries. The new Bioscience and Biotechnology Teaching Building, constructed in an angled “U” shape, has 12 floors of laboratory space and four floors of classrooms. Special window louvers shift with the angle of the sun, allowing for improved indoor temperature and light control. On the ground floor, the Hooke Creative Classroom, a space for educational displays, currently features “Listening to the Sea,” a collection highlighting the diversity of shells and marine life.
Story and photos: Maureen Mecozzi
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