Kuai-Yuan Chan: Future University Breaks Tradition

As long as new trends in education start rolling, that is what NTU will look like in the future. What is the “future university” going to look like? No one has a definite answer for sure. With the changing times, plenty of variables and innovations have opened new possibilities for education in the future. College education in Taiwan is based on old systems adopted from abroad, so in many cases it deals with content that is evolving rapidly in research and industry, creating a gap between offerings of college education and the needs of the workplace.

Kuei-Yuan Chan, Deputy Vice President for Academic Affair

To develop the Future University Program, NTU has hosted a hundred workshops to collect feedback from students, the teaching staff, and alumni. Treated like references for a research project, the feedback was carefully analyzed to shape the outline of the program. For the moment, a more specific implementation plan is being drawn up based on all of the discussions. The preliminary ideas and directions include that the future college education will be open the way for students to master different fields of expertise. After being accepted by a specific department, students will be able to choose to be awarded the diploma by the department, the college or even the university. Throughout their time at the university, students will be free to take courses from different fields. Instead of stating their majors, the diplomas will feature their field of expertise to help them transition smoothly into the workforce.

Second, students will be granted sabbatical leaves just like the teaching staff. Taking a gap year usually means the students are labeled as bad students. However, Future University courses will offer students ample opportunities to explore the world on their own. They can take a week, a month, or a year off to pursue what matters to them away from campus while still earning credits.

Last but not least, NTU alumni will be given 20 to 30 credits for free, or a coupon to redeem for the fee. Not only will this give the alumni a golden opportunity to learn new things at their alma mater, they will be able to exchange different perspectives and fresh ideas with the current students. Please stay tuned as more details become available when the plan is released.

As messy as the experience is, the COVID-19 pandemic has showed us that nothing is impossible. It is actually an important stress test and driving force in innovating education. By breaking existing systems and frameworks, Future University grants students, the teaching staff and alumni unimaginable new opportunities, flexibility and space.

Source: National Taiwan University

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European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe.

The EHEO general plan stresses that:

  • Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected.
  • The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders.

Thus, EHEO plans:

  • improve academic and scientific interaction of universities;
  • protect the interests of universities;
  • interact more closely with public authorities of European countries;
  • popularize European higher education in the world;
  • develop academic mobility;
  • seek funding for European universities.