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Columbia University and NTNU Embark on New Cooperation in Teacher Education
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Meeting participants from Columbia University, Fulbright Taiwan, and NTNU
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Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Yeu-Ting Liu (center) detailed how NTNU's tremendous amount of bilingual resources and international publications is a major asset in future cooperation.
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By invitation of the Fulbright Taiwan Foundation for Academic Exchange, the Teachers College at Columbia University visited National Taiwan Normal University on 4 March. This visit helped to revive the 2014-2016 cooperation between NTNU and Columbia University by kickstarting the process to renew their previous MOU. Columbia University expressed that a major goal of its visit to Taiwan is to establish short-term and long-term cooperation in teacher education, in-service training, and licensure examinations. As Taiwan’s premier university in these areas, NTNU is a vital partner.

Founded in 1887 by philanthropist Grace Hoadley Dodge and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nicholas Murray Butler, Columbia University's Teachers College is one of the world's leading graduate schools of education. It officially became a part of Columbia University in 1898 and remains one of the world's largest and most comprehensive schools of education. The Teachers College delegates included Dr. Vivian Lindhardsen, Director of Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching; Dr. ZhaoHong Han, Director of the Center for International Teacher Education; and Mr. Amine Mechaal, Director of International Affairs. They were greeted by NTNU’s Executive Vice President Frank Yung-Hsiang Ying; Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Yeu-Ting Liu; and several other NTNU faculty members and staff. As a Columbia University alumnus and PhD student under Dr. Han, Dr. Yeu-Ting Liu shared that he found the delegation’s visit to be especially meaningful.

Dr. Chun-Yin Doris Chen, Chair of NTNU’s Department of English, expressed her hope that the two universities could conduct not only faculty exchanges but also student exchanges, since NTNU is a major hub for training secondary bilingual teachers. Dr. Li-Yun Chang, NTNU Vice Chair of the Department of Chinese as a Second Language (CSL), introduced NTNU’s wide range of high-quality teaching materials for Chinese language teaching, and how NTNU has been involved in the development of online courses and the promotion of the International Baccalaureate Education Program for Teachers (IBEC) in recent years. In addition, the CSL Department has established internship partnerships with schools all over the world.

Director Mechaal proposed that, upon returning to the U.S., Columbia University will update its previous MOU with NTNU to begin further discussions on bilateral cooperation. Due to Taiwan's 2030 Bilingual National Policy, Fulbright Taiwan pledges to assist this burgeoning connection between Columbia University, Teachers College and National Taiwan Normal University. Director Kelly Chang of Fulbright Taiwan’s English Language Teaching Programs stated that Fulbright will also organize and provide suitable scholarships to support joint the two institutions’ joint initiatives. This visit to NTNU by Columbia University has enabled both sides to better understand each other and facilitated discussions to benefit more teachers and students for the future.

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