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Taiwan Tech assists Paraguay in nurturing talent
Taiwan-Paraguay Polytechnic University a model for technical and vocational education
Taipei 8 July 2022 The Taiwan-Paraguay Polytechnic University (UPTP), jointly established by Taiwan and Paraguay, is Taiwan first transnational higher education project in Latin America. In July 2022, the first intake of 101 students completed their one-and-a-half-year study program at Taiwan Tech. On this occasion,Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen and the Ambassador of Paraguay in Taiwan, Carlos Jose Fleitas Rodriguez, attended a farewell ceremony for the Paraguayan students which was held today on July, 8th on the Taiwan Tech campus.
In front of more than hundred students, Taiwan Tech faculty, and distinguished guests from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, acknowledged the achievements of this unique international higher education cooperation. In her speech, President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the university’s achievements. Taiwan Tech has overcome cultural, linguistic and geographic barriers to help foster educational excellence in Paraguay, one of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, and thus not only established a milestone in higher education cooperation between the two countries, but also a model for the export of Taiwan’s technical and vocational education to other countries. President Tsai expects UPTP to become an excellent young university, that will produce the most outstanding engineers.
Taiwan Tech’s President Jia-yush Yen pointed out that UPTP was established with four engineering departments, namely departments for construction, mechanical, industrial and information engineering. The first preparatory courses were launched in August 2018, taught by Taiwan Tech “flying faculty”. In February 2021, the first intake of students, now in their third year, flew to Taiwan to continue their education at Taiwan Tech. While they had to overcome difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, they finally had the chance to experience Taiwan's excellent engineering education, and to visit some of Taiwan’s most impressive infrastructure projects. President Yen urged the students to contribute to their country's development after their return to Paraguay with the knowledge and skills they acquired in Taiwan.
Cristhian Samudio, a mechanical engineering student, enjoyed studying in Taiwan Tech’s English-speaking environment which he deems helpful for his future career. Meeting and interacting with students and professors from different countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and Taiwan was an experience that cannot be made in Paraguay. He expressed the hope that he would be able to work remotely in the future, taking on projects from all over the world. Sofia Ramos, from the Department of Industrial Management, said with a smile, "I don't want to leave, and I hope I can come to Taiwan in the future to pursue my master's degree. And María Jose Olmedo added, "It did take time to get used to this place, but now it feels like home.”
Yvonne Yeh, Taiwan Tech’s Dean of International Affairs, stressed the importance of the international atmosphere that Taiwan Tech’s campus offers to UPTP students: “Meeting graduate students from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Vietnam etc. broadened their horizons and gave them more ideas for the future.”
For Dean Yeh, today’s ceremony was not only held to give farewell blessings to the students, but also to showcase Taiwan Tech’s achievements. “The UPTP is a highly complex project that combines education and diplomacy. It has been entirely new territory, so that we could not draw on previous experiences. The know-how that we accumulated in managing this transnational education project is certainly Taiwan Tech’s biggest gain”.
The last speaker was UPTP student representative Ivan Ayala who thanked Taiwan Tech professors for their professionalism and for giving them first-hand experiences of work ethics. “Taiwan is the most distant place from Paraguay, which has now become our home”, he concluded his emotional speech.
Finally, President Yen conferred Recognition Pins, gifts from the Taiwan Tech Alumni Association, to the students. When they return to Paraguay, they will have to do an internship for one semester as a requirement for graduation scheduled for the end of this year. With the blessings of the faculty members, the students were sent off from Taiwan Tech to fly high again in the future.