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the second phase of the Project
With the expected funding from the Ministry of Education’s “Toward World-class Universities Project” (hereafter, the Project), National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) strives to be among the best universities in the world. NTHU has, since its re-establishment in Hsinchu 55 years ago, graduated more than 50,000 students; most became leaders in our society; with one Nobel Laureate and 12 Academicians of the Academic Sinica. The university has clearly distinguished herself as an elite institution of higher education with accomplished alumni in all fields.

We are grateful that under the sponsorship of the first phase of the Project, NTHU has leapfrogged, over the past five years, in the areas of teaching excellence, research accomplishments and industry cooperation. In this proposal for the second phase funding, we are providing a detailed SWOT analysis and base on which we have formulated our mid-term and long-term plans some of which have already been initiated. We treasure the resources made available to us via the Project and will dedicate our best efforts toward the achievement of a higher level of excellence. Our efforts include providing an attractive teaching environment, pursuing advanced research projects and increasing the administrative efficiency by re-structuring our management system.

The results of the first phase funding are rather obvious. The QS World University Rankings of 2010 placed NTHU at the 196th place, a remarkable improvement of 147 places from that of the 2006. According to the same ranking, NTHU also ranked at the 123rd worldwide in the category of “per faculty citation frequency.” In the London Times Ranking of the top 400 universities, NTHU advanced to a new height and ranked at the 107th worldwide. In the upcoming second phase of the Project, we are aiming at the top 100. We are proposing to establish the following centers to launch and coordinate cutting-edge research projects: Low Carbon Energy Research Center, Interactive NanoX Research Center, Connectomic Research Center, Frontier Research Center on Fundamental and Applied Sciences of Matters, Center for Technologies and Applications for the Next Generation Information and Communication Networking, and the Research Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Service Management.

To promote excellent research, NTHU has developed a set of measures to recruit top quality faculty/researcher and provide them with the best research environment in the hope that they will excel in their respective fields. These measures (some of them are already in place) are:

(1) A new recruitment procedure with additional ranks, i.e., Chair Professorship and Distinguished Chair Professorship with corresponding remuneration levels to allow us to attract top quality faculty/researchers in a highly competitive market.

(2) Provide top quality new faculty/researchers with amply start-up funding and housing accommodations so that they can hit the ground and start running.

(3) Integrating and reorganizing our faculty/researchers into key research centers and restructuring the existing research facilities by the establishment of the Tsing Hua Laboratory and other research facilities to upgrade the efficiency of our research efforts.

(4) Intensifying and expanding collaborative research programs with sister universities, research organizations and the R&D offices of leading industries. These include joint research project between NTHU and the Industrial Technology Research Institute, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Mediatek, Delta Electronics, Novatek, TSMC, Cold Spring Harbor Lab., RIKEN, Microsoft and Intel.

(5) We have designated the following six key areas to focus our research effort and strengthen our research capability. These are: Basic Sciences, Nanotechnology and Materials, Biotechnology, Information and Electronics, Energy and Environment, and Management in Science and Technology.

Over the last five years, NTHU has accumulated impressive research accomplishments: a 40% increase of papers published in SCI/SSCI journals; a total of 84 HiCi papers (a 105% increase over the previous five years) and a dramatic increase of papers published in top international journals. The later included nine papers published in Science, Nature and one paper in the Annals of Mathematics, as well as the first Taiwanese-authored paper published in Cell.

We have also planned and adopted an array of measures to improve the quality of our teaching. These are:

(1) A revolutionary undergraduate admission policy to increase the rate of admission by application verse admission solely based on examination. In academic year 2007/9, NTHU implemented a new admission policy specifically designed to narrow the gap between students from the rural areas and their peers from urban centers. Traditionally, students graduated from rural high schools had a greater difficulty to be admitted by premium universities such as NTHU. To narrow such a gap, we set up the Points of Thousand Light Program to allocated reserved slots to rural high schools that never had any of their graduates passed the entrance examination admitted to NTHU. This innovative policy not only somewhat diminished the difference between rural and urban areas but also increases the diversity of our student population and has received high praise from the public. Another new admission policy allows student to postpone their declaration of their major. New undergraduate students are nowadays admitted directly into colleges not departments as they used to be. While in their respective colleges, students will have their freshman year to explore various subjects and decide on the specific subject that they wish to pursue. Based on the same consideration, NTHU has also started in academic year 2008/9 to accept a greater number of transfer students to allow greater flexibility in the selection of their major curricula.

(2) A Task Force to Improve Undergraduate Education was established in July, 2007 to design effective measures to upgrade the quality of our baccalaureate programs. This Task Force was further subdivided into three sub-teams to focus on Tsing Hua College, a residential college that combines dormitory living with learning; General Education and Basic Required Course Teams. Together, the Task Force redefined the educational goals and critically reviewed the existing curricula offered at NTHU and proposed reforms to improve the quality our undergraduate education.

(3) To improve the quality of teaching programs, we have re-group all the departments/ institute under three categories---engineering, natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. Unites in each of the above-mentioned categories are to plan, collectively, their respective required basic courses for the first and second year students and develop specific core curricula for advanced undergraduates. NTHU takes it as its important responsibility to assist all students, by providing mentoring programs and faculty advice, to select and decide on the most appropriate study programs during their school years.

(4) NTHU’s ultimate goal is to provide its student with a wholesome general education which is not only broad in terms of its coverage but also has a depth in terms of its contents. The Tsing Hua College, for example, is designed to provide students with an opportunity to combine campus life with their academic programs through which they will not only receive a sound and rounded education but also learn how to live among their peers and function effectively as team players.

To create a more conducive research and teaching environment, NTHU spares no effort to improve its research facility and enrich its teaching resources. Recently, NTHU has built a new Learning Resource Center and is about to complete the construction of a new classroom building. In addition, there are various construction projects in progress. These include a central laboratory, student dormitories and faculty apartments, a large e-learning classroom as well as other new physical facilities to improve campus infrastructure. With regards to “soft” infrastructure, the university continues its effort to enrich the library collection and to improve the campus internet system. Faculty members are provided with ample support to produce digital teaching materials, including a film studio. We are also working diligently to develop distance-learning facilities so that our students and the general public alike can pursue further studies through convenient networks.

In an effort to enhance administrative efficiency an Organization Regulation Review Team was organized in March, 2006 and charged with the responsibility to formulate plans to improve the administrative system; review the existing policies and suggest needed revisions. Based on the Team’s recommendation, we have made the following changes: The former Secretary-General’s Office was reorganized as the Office of the Secretariat and charged with expanded responsibility to oversee the process of central-planning for the entire university; managing university finance, public relations, development and fund-raising as well as serving as a liaison office between NTHU and its alumni. The procedure to select and appoint university president was amended in accordance with the newly enacted University Law. In addition, procedures to appoint college dean and chair of department/institute have also been changed from a peer election process to that of peer-nominated and president appointed process. Meanwhile the University Curriculum Committee was empowered with the authority to oversee the curriculum developments with the goal of upgrading the quality of instruction for the entire university. We have also implemented measures to uplift our staff’s professional skills. These include programs to improve their English proficiency, a system to benchmark their performance against other first-rate universities and study-tours for our staff to visit and study the administrative experiences of other leading institutes internationally. An Office of Financial Planning and Development was established to undertake fund-raising campaigns. At the same time, the Center of Innovation Incubator was further expanded to manage NTHU’s intellectual property and strengthen university-industry collaboration. By intensifying cooperative effort with the industrial sectors, we hope to deepen their understanding of the university and increase their willingness to support NTHU financially. Over the last five years, we have received over 1 billion NTD from our alumni as well as the industrial sectors.

In the past few years, not only did NTHU elevate itself to a new height academically, it has also shared its expertise and knowledge with the society in general and the manufacturing industries in particular. We have never lost sight on our social responsibility. To serve the public, we have extended the services of our audio- book library; expanded continuing education programs; organized and dispatched student corps to serve peoples in under-privileged areas in different parts of the globe. We intend to stay on track by sharing our expertise and working closely with other institutions, domestic and international alike, to tackle problems such as economic recession, global warming and aging population by training and preparing the needed human resources.