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Forum Highlights Strategies for Global Research Leadership
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As higher education embraces globalization, international collaboration has led to excellence in research across disciplines, which in turn enhances global competitiveness. Reflecting this trend, the NTNU Higher Education SPROUT Project hosted the 'International Academic Development Forum' on May 1. The forum aimed to strengthen the university's capacity for international academic development and cooperation.

In his opening remarks, Vice President Yao-Ting Sung highlighted the forum's theme, focusing on NTNU's international academic development, strategies to bolster international academic cooperation, and the integration of domestic and foreign educational research. Vice President Sung emphasized NTNU's status as a bilingual benchmark university in Taiwan, which significantly benefits international exchanges. He encouraged the over 80 faculty and researchers attending the forum to leverage their expertise on the global stage, promoting academic exchanges and enhancing NTNU's international competitiveness in higher education.

The first presentation, delivered by Pin-Chi Huang, Manager of NTNU’s Institutional Research Office, analyzed data on the university's international academic development. Huang noted that from 2019 to 2023, 40.3% of NTNU's publications were co-authored internationally, with a Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) of 1.86, indicating a citation impact 86% above the global average. Key fields included social sciences, information science, physics and astronomy, engineering, and medicine. NTNU ranked fourth among domestic universities for research influence in international co-authorship, showcasing its strong performance.

This was followed by a panel discussion on 'Strengthening International Academic Collaborative Research,' chaired by Ying-Shao Hsu, Vice President for Research and Development. Professors, including Chair Professor Chang Chun-yen of the Graduate Institute of Science Education, Distinguished Professor Yung Liao of the Graduate Institute of Sports Leisure and Hospitality Management, Professor Teng-Chiu Lin of the Department of Life Science, and Distinguished Professor J. Gregory Shellnutt of the Department of Earth Sciences, shared insights from their experiences in international co-publishing. Professor Yung Liao discussed establishing an international cooperation network based on mutual trust and reciprocity across research, teaching, and industry-academia. Professor Teng-Chiu Lin highlighted government-supported research projects and the importance of connecting individual academic networks. Professor J. Gregory Shellnutt emphasized the value of resources for international exchange and postdoctoral research, and the need for thorough preparation.

The third session, themed 'Entering the International Academic Community,' was chaired by Dean of the College of Science, Professor Jein-Shan Chen, and featured insightful lectures delivered by a panel of speakers, including Professor Emeritus Mei-Hung Chiu of the Graduate Institute of Science Education, Research Chair Professor Yu-Kai Chang of the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, and Distinguished Professor Wei-Ta Fang of the Graduate Institute of Sustainability Management and Environmental Education. Professor Chiu shared her experiences with organizations such as the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). She encouraged attendees to explore new paths for diverse perspectives. Professor Chang underscored the importance of interdisciplinary and international collaborations, using the metaphor 'if flowers bloom, butterflies will come' to illustrate the need for high-quality rather than high-volume academic interactions. Professor Fang shared his 20 years of experience advocating for wetlands globally and called for enhancing Taiwan's international image through academic exchanges, international book publications, and conferences.

Concluding the forum, Vice President Yao-Ting Sung urged participants to dedicate themselves to their research interests and to establish international societies and academic bases in Southeast Asia, such as the NTNU-founded Asia Pacific Career Development Association (APCDA) and the Asia-Pacific Association for Teacher Education (APATE). This, he suggested, would help NTNU shine in the realm of international academic exchanges. The forum's rich content provided attendees with valuable insights into the operation and benefits of international academic collaboration.

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