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Taiwan-UK Virtual Higher Education Delegation Fosters Discussions on New Education Policies in the Face of the Pandemic

Writing by Hsu Tsu-yueh. Photo provided by FICHET.
 
Dr. Huey-Jen Jenny Su, President of National Cheng Kung University, attended the Taiwan-UK Virtual Higher Education Delegation 2020, discussing with international scholars and experts how global higher education can maintain possibilities for education amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Global higher education institutions are continuously pushing forward the development of education technologies and exploring new educational strategies in the face of the pandemic in order to overcome the difficulties it has brought upon education.
 
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Dr. Su attended as the moderator in the session titled, “The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Higher Education.”
 
Significant resources have been invested globally on education technologies even before the pandemic, Dr. Su pointed out. For years, global higher education institutions have reflected upon teaching methods and ways to stimulate education technology advancement, in order to ensure both teachers and students can keep up with the times. This year, under the threat of the pandemic, the importance of high-quality remote education has been highlighted more than before. Global higher education institutions are dedicating themselves to developing new policies intended to provide resources for remote education, and 98% of them have shifted most classes to online classes.
 
However, courses that require practical experiences or hands-on experiences, such as lab experiment classes and clinical courses, cannot easily be shifted into remote education contexts. Addressing this situation, Dr. Su expressed that higher education institutions should take on the responsibility to promote education when faced with such challenges. “What we need to do as a higher education institution,” Dr. Su said, “is not to leave anyone or any course behind, but instead work hard to look for solutions and accelerate technology breakthroughs, in order to protect the educational essence of courses even in remote teaching scenarios.”
 
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Experts and government officials from Taiwan and England reflected on the role of higher education during a global crisis.
 
The Taiwan-UK Virtual Higher Education Delegation 2020 was jointly held by the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET), Universities UK International (UUKi), the British Council Taiwan (BC), and the Ministry of Education (MOE). Scholars and experts from Taiwan and England examined higher education issues in four sessions titled, “The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Higher Education,” “Cultivating English Language Proficiency,” “Cultivating Chinese Language Proficiency,” and “Opportunities for Research Partnerships,” respectively.
 
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Scholars discussed how international higher educators should work together.
 
Dr. Su, as President of NCKU and also the Chairperson of FICHET, attended as the moderator in the session titled, “The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Higher Education.” She analyzed the development of global higher education and shared the NCKU experience during the pandemic, driving communication between international higher education experts. Also participating in this session were Nicky Old, Director of External Relations of Universities UK, Dr. Shearer West, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Nottingham, and Dr. Yung-Hsiang Ying, Executive Vice President of National Taiwan Normal University. The experts considered the role of higher education during a world crisis and discussed how higher education practitioners should work together at the international level to combat the effects of the pandemic.
 
During the three-day conference, experts and government officials from Taiwan and England reflected on the challenges faced by international higher education institutions. They evaluated the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on teaching and learning, gave their support to international strategic networks, and provided an opportunity to share international education strategies for the post-COVID future.
 
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