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2019 Taiwan-Thailand Higher Education Forum and Education Fair

2019 Taiwan-Thailand Higher Education Forum and Education Fair

Under the commission of the Taiwan Ministry of Education, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) has been hosting the “Taiwan Education Center” in Thailand for many years, working to add depth and strength to the friendly international partnership that the two countries share. For seven consecutive years NPUST has also been cooperating with Thailand to host both the “Taiwan-Thailand Higher Education Forum” and “Higher Education Fair”.

The 7th Taiwan-Thailand Higher Education Forum took place this year as a result of the concerted efforts of NPUST and Thai sister-school, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). The forum took place on July 22 and 23 at the Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok and was centered around the topic of “industry-academic cooperation and the advancement of innovative learning, results oriented education and technological development”.

After Thailand’s former Minister of Education, Dr. Wichit Srisa-an, provided the opening remarks, the representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand, Chen-yuan Tung, and deputy-representative of the Ministry of Education, Cheng-Wu Liu, also addressed the participants. From there, NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai and KMUTT Vice-President Bandit Thipakorn moved things forward by delving into the topic of “Cooperation for Smart Integration”.

NPUST has been contributing to the cultivation of Thailand’s higher education for many years through the promotion of a wide variety of bilateral cooperation and exchange initiatives. In addition to the Higher Education Form, ever year the university is involved with the organization of a Higher Education Fair, which attracts many prospective students who are interested in learning more about education opportunities in Taiwan. This year (‘19) in addition to hosting the event at its long-time venue in Bangkok, NPUST cooperated with Montfort College and Maejo University to host the fair in Chiang Mai.

The Chiang Mai sessions of the fair were organized to take place on the July 24th and 25th, immediately after the forum. Then, on the 27th the activities moved back to Bangkok where the fair was held from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM at the Sheraton Grande Hotel.

About 30 universities from Taiwan were present for the event, with booths set up to provide information on recruitment and scholarships for international programs in a wide variety of fields. It could be said that this year’s recruitment efforts were among the most successful to-date, with over 1000 students, parents and educators visiting the venue to make inquiries. In comparison to prior years, it was evident that the visitors were very clear about their motivations and goals and were ready to make plans for their future studies. The success of the event was a demonstration of the solid partnership that exists between NPUST and KMUTT.

Taiwan’s higher education has already received international affirmation and is an important driver of the growth of Taiwan’s economy. In recent years, Taiwan has been the number one choice for students from ASEAN countries looking to study abroad. In 2018, more than 120,000 international students came to Taiwan for studies — and in the same year, students coming from Thailand reached a new high of 3,236. This was an increase of over 50% for Thailand, and has made it into the 10th largest source of foreign students to Taiwan. Taiwan’s excellent learning environment allows students to improve their English and Chinese language skills, and offers a rich international exchange experience that helps them to cultivate skills that will make them more competitive in the job market.

Taiwan and Thailand have a close partnership in the area of education. In addition to signing the ‘Agreement for Cooperation on Education between Taiwan and Thailand’ to promote a variety of scholarship deals and send lecturers from Thai universities to Taiwan to study master’s and PhDs, the pair are also promoting the ‘New Southbound Policy International Industry-Academic Cooperation Program’ to provide Thai students with more opportunities for practical training in Taiwan. This year, NPUST also launched a new program which provided short term training for TVET students (Thailand Ministry of Education) and vocational high school teachers. 

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