The cultivation of talent is at the core of education and the key to national development and increased international competitiveness.
NCU’s SPROUT project aims to cultivate and equip students with the key competencies for the new generation. Accomplishment highlights are detailed: In advancing professional competencies, Chinese reading and writing skills are enhanced by promoting practical courses and organizing various inter-collegiate contests. Freshmen made a 17% improvement in the reading and writing test results. EMI courses (English as a medium of instruction) constitute 16.62% of all NCU courses, and 88% of graduates in 2020 passed English proficiency certifications. Diverse foreign language requirements for graduation are adopted to encourage the improvement of students’ foreign language ability. As many as 79% of the undergraduate students passed digital literacy certifications. In terms of cultivating core and key competencies, the customized teaching and learning innovation support system and the pass rate of Teaching Practice Research Program reached 62.85%. Teaching innovations were incorporated in the project-based practical work, and students won the first prize in the 2021 International Capstone Design Contest as well as the gold medal in the APICTA Awards representing Taiwan.
Students from the Department of Civil Engineering won the first prize in the “2021 International Capstone Design Contest”.
Students from NCU’s Department of Information Management participated in the “2021 APICTA Awards”. 260 teams from 15 countries participated in the competition, and the NCU team won a gold medal on behalf of Taiwan.
The University has been actively promoting gender-balanced cross-disciplinary studies, and the new micro-programs of intelligence innovation have nurtured non-IT female students to win first place in the college and university group of the GiCS (Girls in Cyber Security) Competition, after which they were received and recognized by the President of Taiwan. The number of non-STEM female students enrolled in the cross-disciplinary application of artificial intelligence programs has increased nearly four times compared to the previous academic year.
The interdisciplinary female student team won first place in the “2021 GiCS Competition” organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
By cultivating core industry talents through knowledge-action-innovation integration, the team has achieved remarkable results. The school has defended its champion status in the international BioASQ Challenge (Biomedical Semantic Indexing and Question Answering), won third place in the global MEDIQA 2021-QS, and third place in the Kibo Robot Programming Challenge representing the Taiwan team. NCU has also added three additional credit-bearing internship courses. 90% of the students responded that the UCAN Career& Competency Assessment Network course helped them identify and understand their career goals.
Students from the Department of Electrical Engineering participated in the “International ACL BioNLP Competition MEDIQAMEDIQA 2021-QS” and won third place out of all participating teams around the world.
The Paraguayan students from the Department of Space Science and Engineering participated in the “Kibo Robot Programming Challenge” and won third place on behalf of the Taiwan team.
The University has abundant academic capabilities, with nine areas of strength, including geosciences, engineering, materials science, computer science, physics, chemistry, social sciences, clinical medicine, and environment and ecology, entering the top 1% of the global ESI. The total number of published Nature and Science articles by NCU in the past 10 years is ranked third in Taiwan, and the average number of published faculty articles is the first in Taiwan. In 2021, Google Scholar citations ranked No. 4 in the country, maintaining the momentum of quality academic research and activity. NCU's cross-country collaborations span Asia, Europe, America, and Australia. U.S. News & World Report 2022 ranked NCU the fifth best University in Taiwan, and ranked NCU first in the country in the “international cooperation” index for eight consecutive years.
The University has established close cooperation with about 30 international research institutions in Asia, 15 in the Americas, and 20 in Europe, with major cross-country programs spanning the globe.
NCU is actively linking academia and industry to create greater research value. 13 technical submissions were awarded in the Ministry of Science and Technology's “Future Tech Award” in 2021, and another 13 technologies were shortlisted for exhibition. NCU is highly recognized in the fields of space technology, atmospheric science, materials science, biomedical science, cognitive neurology, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. A permanent joint research center with German company Covestro (formerly DSM) has been established at the University, and more than 30 researchers are already embedded. The research lab is ranked as the fifth most advanced laboratory the company operates globally, serving as a new cooperation model between universities and international companies.
In collaboration with Covestro (formerly DSM), a permanent joint research center has been established at NCU. Covestro has more than 30 researchers on-site and is its fifth most advanced technology lab in the world.
In the area of public education, NCU is actively working with corporations and alumni to contribute to the NCU Fundraising Project. The University has also introduced data analysis of campus research to track student learning outcomes. Through interviews with the Student Study Assistance Task Force, it has integrated campus-wide resources to help economically and culturally disadvantaged students attend school.
In collaboration with the University Library, the Office of Academic Affairs and the Faculty Calligraphy Club jointly organized the “Spring Warmth” charity sale, with the NCU President and his wife participating in the event.
The percentage of economically disadvantaged students enrolled in first-year undergraduate classes increased from 7.66% to 9.62% in the 2020 academic year.
The cumulative grade point average of economically disadvantaged students who participated in the Student Study Assistance Program was better than that of non-participating students.
Economically disadvantaged students graduating in the 2019 academic year outperformed all students in job attainment by 8% one year after graduation.
The “Sustainable Earth Environment” Academy has established the first critical zone observatory in Taiwan. The academy has signed an MOU with the National Academy of Marine Research to promote marine environmental data investigation. The academies will also jointly start an international laboratory for polar climate change observed in the North Pole. Together with the National Institute of Marine Research and the University of Copernicus, Poland, the University is conducting cross-disciplinary integrated research on sea and land, completing the deployment of seismometers and ocean buoys, and conducting unmanned flights and geological surveys, all of which will bring Taiwan’s climate change research to the frontier. NCU has also signed an MOU with the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research, Atomic Energy Council, Executive Yuan for joint effort in the “research and development of radioactive waste disposal technology” to solve the problem of nuclear waste; collaboration with the Central Weather Bureau is also made for meteorological observation using UAV and thereby finding direct evidence of air pollution. By using 13 years of long-term observation data from NASA satellites and the ground, the team found that air pollution in the fall and winter may cause less rainfall in the Taoyuan area and indirectly affect the storage capacity of the Shihmen Dam. The results were published in the top journal of atmospheric science. NCU has also launched the “Rain Forecast Helper” App for the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction, Ministry of Science and Technology, which updates data every 10 minutes and informs the people of rainfall information in an hour, so people’s weather forecast capability can be greatly improved. NCU has also assisted Hong Hua Construction Co., Ltd., the largest maritime project developer in Taiwan, in developing offshore wind and power technology and talent training. Faculty members in this team had two groundbreaking research projects passing the MOST Shackleton Program; they were “Geological Uncertainty and Societal Risk: The Perspectives of Engineering, Environment, and Geohazards” and “Muon Imaging for Particle Geophysics and the Next Generation of High Energy Physics Experiment”. (Only 22 projects passed the review nationwide). Faculty in this team also won the 2020 “MOST Ta-You Wu Memorial Award” and 2020 MOST Young Scholar Fellowship. The faculty members in this field received 8 Future Tech Breakthrough Awards for three consecutive years (2019~2021) and received the Gold Medal Award in 2019 and the Highlight Technology Award in 2020. The team faculty’s innovative results had been published consecutively in the June, September, and October issues of The Astrophysical Journal in 2020.
The NCU Arctic Expedition Team is the first Taiwanese team to conduct geological observation experiments in the Arctic.
The project team is working with the National Institute of Marine Research and the University of Copernicus on international collaboration in Arctic marine science. The data collected from the surface micro-buoys will be applied to the study of Arctic ocean currents, sea surface temperature, and wave effects on Arctic ice melt, among other important marine issues.
NCU is also assisting Hong Hua Construction, the largest marine engineering company in Taiwan, to develop offshore wind and power technology and talent cultivation by using the 8,000-ton marine research vessel “Orient Constructor” as a platform.
Illustration of the impact of PM2.5 air pollution on rainfall characteristics in Taoyuan. The change in cloud and rainfall characteristics in Taoyuan caused by air pollution indirectly affects the storage capacity of the Shihmen Dam.
The research and development achievements of “Intelligent System Care Technology”: “Comprehensive Blood Cell Imaging and Biochemical Analysis System”, “Method and Kit for Assessing the Risk of Uroepithelial Cancer of Patients”, and “Highly Efficient Industrial Soil and Groundwater Remediation Technology with Innovative Green Technology” have won the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) 2021 Future Tech Award, Taiwan Innotech Expo 2021 - Gold Medal Award and Silver Medal Award, and the 18th National Innovation Award - Academic Innovation Award. The “Wireless Multiple Physiological Signal Monitor” developed by our faculty members was recognized at a press conference held by MOST to announce achievements in smart medical technology and continue to promote remote community care. The Taoyuan City Government, the Rotary Club of Taipei and National Central University jointly signed the “Taoyuan Atrial Fibrillation Community Screening Program MOU” to provide Taoyuan seniors with an additional free “heart” screening service for stroke prevention; the College of Health Sciences and Technology of NCU joined forces with the University of Oxford to form the “Multinational Team for Cognitive Neuroscience”, working together to develop a bilateral collaborative academic strategy alliance. The University also introduced the FESTO integrated system and completed the opening of the Smart Factory, established the “Robotics Joint Teaching and Research Center” in cooperation with Delta Electronics, and signed a cooperation MOU with Chunghwa Telecom to build a 5G-based Industry 4.0 Smart Factory.
Taoyuan City Government, Rotary Club of Taipei and National Central University sign MOU for “Taoyuan Atrial Fibrillation Community Screening Program MOU”
Prof. Huang Chen-Han presented research and development results on a portable deep learning imaging system
Prof. Ma Nian-Han received the Silver Medal Award at the 2021 Taiwan Innotech Expo and the Academic Innovation Award at the 18th National New Innovation Award
NCU signed a contract with Chunghwa Telecom and ORing Industrial Networking to build a “5G Smart Factory”
Collaborating with ITRI College to promote the “Smart Manufacturing Talent Training Program” and design the Industry 4.0 Foundation Course with FESTO Smart Factory-related resources
The second phase of the USR program was launched in 2020. NCU's 2021 University Core Plan 3 is based on “Humanistic Care and Social Sustainability”. It is designed to link the 5 USR programs and 4 practice hubs of NCU to implement sustainable actions among NCU's administration, teaching, research, and student communities. The OKR (Objectives and Key Result) strategic performance management map is used to align NCU's USR program with the SDGs sub-projects to further assist USR program teams in setting their own goals and SDGs action indicators, as well as to drive the direction of NCU's overall campus development program. In addition, in 2021, the NCU Office of University Social Responsibility was renamed to the “NCU Office of Sustainable Development and University Social Responsibility” to continue to lead the USR Alliance in Taoyuan and the NCU USR program to promote the concrete implementation of sustainable development goals.
In 2021, due to the impact of the epidemic, the USR program at NCU was also affected, so the activities of the program teams, such as relocation studies, workshops, and seminars, were completely reorganized online. This year, the project team “Taoyuan Coastal Living: Cultivating a sustainable coastal environment and develop a prosperous local community through the integration of ecology, living and economy in Taoyuan” has continued to build an air quality monitoring database and expand actions and technologies to address climate change in New Southbound Policy countries. The team has also adopted bilateral video courses, cross-country video seminars, and other synchronized remote activities to promote the cross-country air pollution network in order to implement the cross-country environmental education initiatives under SDGs 17 and 13. The team for “From Atayal Reading to Interest-Driven Tribal Learning” continues to connect school-based and ethnic curriculums of primary and secondary schools in Fuxing District, and also leverages teacher training, interactive board games, science fair guidance, and the introduction of the Planet of Tomorrow platform for synchronized classroom support as the basis for learning data analysis and curriculum revision to implement the SDGs 4 of providing resources for public learning and participation in local communities. The project team of “Arts and Culture for Sustainable Communities - Rooting and Co-prosperity of Local Cultures in Zhongli and Pingzhen Township” not only allows students to visit local communities and construct local historical memories through social participation courses, but also organizes Hakka language workshops for healthcare workers, sustainability seminars, and hand-drawn maps to implement SDGs 11, which aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The “Sustainable Fuxing - Building a Smart and Resilient Tribe”, the project team utilizes the theme of “tribal revitalization” to build community empowerment against natural disasters in the form of smart disaster prevention, smart energy, and sustainable water, and to foster tribal resilience and sustainability after disasters. This is done to implement SDGs 13, 6, and 7, create sustainable and affordable energy and water resources for tribal residents in Fuxing District, and establish emergency measures to respond to climate change. The project team for “Yangmei Community Impact Project Reengineering” leads student groups to collaborate with local organizations to conduct online workshops on design thinking, impact mapping tools, and social value measurement to extend their actions to the local community. This year, the team also held various “Scholarship Online Competitions”, through which related social welfare and welfare organizations can demonstrate the social impact value of their teams, which fosters SDGs 5, 8, and 12 that further empathizes with the new immigrants living in the local Hakka communities of Yangmei, and to launch design and multimedia promotions for community issues, presenting the diverse and abundant cultural resources of the local community.
In the face of “post-epidemic new normal,” the Office of University Social Responsibility will continue to integrate and promote the collaborative capacity of NCU's USR team in community engagement and international cooperation, and work together to promote the integration of resources for NCU's sustainable circular campus, and provide positive and concrete suggestions for the future vision of NCU's carbon-neutral campus development.
The USR Office, the Office of Research and Development, and the Computing Center jointly set up the “NCU Reporting System” in Sep 2021 to take stock of the SDG initiatives undertaken by the University’s administrative units, 8 university colleges, and research centers on campus and in the local community.
Nov 19, 2021 NCU hosted the Taoyuan USR Alliance's “Workshop on Leading USR Practices for Sustainable Development” and invited 9 alliance partner schools in Taoyuan and Secretary-General Lu Pei-Jung of National Cheng Kung University, to conduct cross-campus and cross-disciplinary exchanges of results.