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Taiwan-Germany Higher Education Policy Forum held at Taiwan Tech
From left to right:  MoE Director General Andy Bi, Taiwan Tech President Ching-Jong Liao, FICHET Chairperson Huey-Jen Su,  MoE Political Deputy Minister Mon-Chi Lio , President of the German Rectors' Conference Peter-André Alt, Director General of German Institute Taipei Dr. Thomas Prinz 
 
The Taiwan-Germany Higher Education Policy Forum is an important platform for high-level university administrators from both countries, set up to discuss current developments and chances for further cooperation. While the last forum took place in Berlin 2016, it was Taiwan's turn this year and it was decided to host the event on 5 November 2019 at Taiwan Tech. This choice was made for a good reason: Taiwan Tech boasts numerous successful programs with German partners, both in research and in student exchange.
   
Organized by FICHET, the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan, and the HRK, the German Rectors' Conference, the one-day event explored the latest higher education policies and trends in Taiwan and Germany. A strong German delegation of ten university leaders took part in this forum – “the biggest delegation of university administrators in Asia, that I have ever seen in my 30 years of diplomatic service”, said Dr. Thomas Prinz, the Director of the German Institute Taipei, in his welcome speech. The forum that attracted more than 80 senior university administrators from all over Taiwan, was attended by government officials from the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Science and Technology. Lio Mon-Chi, the Deputy Minister of Education, emphasized in his welcome remarks that Taiwan and Germany would benefit from a robust collaboration between educators and policymakers. 
 
The morning session saw three keynote speeches which gave overviews of the recent higher education and research trends in Taiwan and Germany. The speeches highlighted some problems that both countries are facing, with declining birth rates being identified as the most urgent challenge. The afternoon featured discussions on the transfer between university, business, and society, and on safeguarding autonomy and academic freedom.
The forum ended with a roundtable discussion on future prospects of collaboration where challenges and opportunities were highlighted. Most prominently, political constraints imposed through Taiwan’s international isolation were deplored. Another problem is a lack of knowledge of Taiwan’s higher education system in Germany. It was unanimously agreed, however, that the high degree of academic freedom and the quality of its education and research in Taiwan offered excellent chances for cooperation. “Taiwan is the door to the Chinese world”, said Taiwan Tech president Ching-Jong Liao said in his statement. And Dr. Josef Goldberger, the director of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Taipei added: “As a matter of fact, Taiwan is Germanys closest partner in academic collaboration in East Asia, when taking its size and population into consideration. And I see an immense potential for further collaboration.”
  
The intensive day was wrapped but with a Gala dinner at Taiwan Tech with home-brewed beer from our Department of Chemical Engineering and artistic performances that showcased our  students' talent and creativity. The German guests were charmed, and thanked everybody profusely with enthusiastic applause. 
 
 
 
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