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Formal Agreement for Taiwan-Japan Universities Boosts Education Ties
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The University Academic Alliance in Taiwan (UAAT) and the Kyushu, Okinawa Open University Alliance (KOOU) from Japan have formally agreed to a five-year initiative aimed at boosting higher education ties between the two regions. This agreement was sealed through a memorandum of international cooperation signed by representatives from 12 Taiwanese universities and 11 Japanese universities, focusing on a variety of educational exchange programs and developmental strategies.

The ceremony, held on April 22 in Fukuoka, Japan, marked the commencement of planned activities including teacher-student exchanges, dual degree programs, short courses, corporate internships, and Chinese language instruction. In his role as Chairperson for the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET), NTNU President Cheng-Chih Wu delivered a keynote speech expressing gratitude for the swift formation and formalization of the agreement. President Wu highlighted the alignment of the alliance's goals with FICHET's mission to foster innovative cross-border and interdisciplinary academic cooperation.

Representing the UAAT and the KOOU were President Wen-Chang Chen of National Taiwan University and President Tatsuro Ishibashi of Kyushu University, respectively. Present at the event were dignitaries including Taiwan’s Political Deputy Minister of Education Mon Chi Lio, Mayor Soichiro Takashima of Fukuoka City, and Vice Governor Masaru Eguchi of Fukuoka Prefecture, among distinguished educational leaders from both countries.
Following the signing, a bilateral higher education forum provided a platform for further discussion on mutual educational goals and strategies. The forum also set the stage for the 2025 Taiwan-Japan Higher Education Presidents Forum, which President Wu announced will be hosted by Kumamoto University.

In his remarks, Mayor Takashima extended Fukuoka City’s support for the academic alliance and acknowledged the recent earthquake in Taiwan, expressing sympathy and solidarity. The forum also discussed the strategic partnership’s broader implications, including its role in enhancing the global competitiveness of higher education institutions and addressing contemporary challenges through collaborative efforts.

The Ministry of Education has committed to an annual subsidy of NT$50 million from 2024 to 2028 to support the initiatives under this new framework, reflecting the growing importance of educational and industrial cooperation between Taiwan and Japan, boosted by the countries’ ties with industry giants like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

This evolving partnership underscores a significant step forward in Taiwan-Japan relations, with both nations set to benefit from enhanced academic exchanges and talent development across various disciplines.

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