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NTNU Plans on English-Taught Courses
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NTNU is active in promoting Internationalization in recent years. In addition to connecting with sister schools, we also recruit foreign students to study for degrees. The planning of English-taught courses is the key to internationalization.
According to the Office of International Affairs, foreign students in NTNU mostly study at the Dept. of Chinese as a Second Language and the Dept. of Business Administration. These are students who already speak Chinese. If we want to attract students who are not yet fluent in Chinese, we need to increase the amount of English-taught courses. Now English-taught courses are available in English Department, Graduate Institute of International Human Resource Development, and master and phD programs at the Department of Math.
Vice President for International Affairs Liu Hsiang Lin says that if we have more courses taught in English, more students could come as exchange students. As one of the members at NTU System, local students as well as foreign students can take classes at NTU and NTUST regardless of their status. Vice President Liu says that he started to promote English taught course when he was the Director of the Department of Physics because he was aware of the problem of sub-replacement fertility. This year, about 30% of PhD students in the Dept. of Physics are foreign students and the rate is 12% in its master program.
Now we have 460 English taught courses in NTNU, which is about 4% of all courses. The Office of Academic Affairs works with the Office of International Affairs and come up with a reward plan. if a teacher teaches in English, the course can be credited with 50% more teaching hours. If an applicant of a teaching position is able to teach in English, this ability will be taken into consideration. The offices organize workshops as 'English as a Medium of Instruction' to educate teachers with chair professors or oversea alumni.
However, teaching in English is not an easy task, to teachers and to students. It's possible that local students aren't used to English-taught courses and therefore resulted in ineffective learning. Vice President Liu says that these problems can be solved. For example, the College of Technology and Engineering offers English-taught courses for different departments. When the course is opened to more departments, it's easier to have students. He also invited Professor Jean Curran from English Department to start a course about writing and speaking Physics in English in Physic Department. Vice President Liu emphasis that mindset is the key to change. He suggests teachers and students should be optimistic and not be afraid of challenges.
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