NTU HIGHLIGHTS August 2016  

President’s Statement



Pan-Chyr Yang


Based on Ministry of Education statistics, the number of students entering university this August is forecast to shrink by 15,000 compared to last year, and the number of students beginning university education next August is expected to fall by an additional 14,000.  Addressing the impact of the declining birth rate, NTU President Pan-Chyr Yang says that the phenomenon is not limited to Taiwan as student bodies all across the globe are reported to be contracting in almost every country.  Instead of changing this fact, President Yang points out, “What the university should be considering is how to better educate the diminishing number of students.”  This is the direction in which NTU is currently striving to progress.

How do we create a better educational environment?  President Yang raises two points: First, reduce the number of credits required for graduation to avoid forcing students to complete a large number of unrelated courses.  Instead, students should be allowed to focus more deeply on a specialized field or study subjects in which they are interested.  Second, cultivate students’ interdisciplinary abilities so they can adapt to change.  President Yang notes that, due to the rigidity of the present educational system, many students remain at the department they entered after testing into university and only discover after graduation that the knowledge they acquired in university is inapplicable in the real world, or that they are unable to keep up with the times because of societal changes.  As a result, NTU is devoted to cultivating the concept of interdisciplinarianism so as to foster students’ abilities to solve problems and adapt to the environment.

Presenting the Stanley Wang D-School@NTU as an example, President Yang says he hopes students from all colleges take part in the design school’s programs so they can develop innovative concepts by engaging in discussions across multiple fields.  As for NTU students who wish to start a business, the university encourages them to visit the new NTU Office in Silicon Valley, where they will come into contact with a wide variety of innovative thinking and expand their outlooks.  In the future, NTU will create a platform that enables alumni to return to campus to share their successful entrepreneurial experiences.

President Yang declares with optimism, “I am not really concerned with the decline in enrollment because it is a reality that cannot be changed.  What we should be doing is devising ways to help our students become better individuals.”  He hopes NTU becomes a model for achieving this goal and calls on other universities to follow NTU’s lead so that students feel there is hope and that someone is supporting their march forward.