NTU HIGHLIGHTS August 2016  
  Teaching and Learning  

Life Science College Boosts Real-world Industry Internships

The College of Life Science was established in 2003 and currently comprises two departments, five graduate institutes, and one degree program, all of which are rich in content and diverse in training.

The Department of Life Science’s educational goals emphasize instruction in both academic knowledge of the life sciences as well as current applications in technology.  Its curriculum begins with instruction in the basic sciences.  Second year students gain a solid proficiency in biology by studying the core subjects of contemporary biology, including genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, and ecology.  At higher levels, students enjoy flexibility in selecting advanced courses that allow them to explore their fields of interest.

In recent years, the college has increased opportunities for students to pursue international studies and exchanges and expand their global perspectives.  This effort includes strengthening international exchange partnerships and creating more internship opportunities and courses.  Many members of the college faculty also participate in NTU’s remote teaching courses.  In addition, the college has teamed up with the Department of Life Science at Taiwan’s Tunghai University as well as Japan’s University of the Ryukyus, Indonesia’s Bogor Agricultural University, and Thailand’s Prince of Songkla University to offer the short-term course “Exploration of the Biodiversity and Ecology in Ryukyus―An International Summer Field Course.”  Organized on a rotating basis by the four universities, the ten-day course draws 30 to 40 students and professors each year.

The Department of Biochemical Science and Technology is an interdisciplinary department focused on biology as a research system and chemistry as an experimental tool.  Its most distinguishing feature is its integration of the dual specializations of life science and chemistry.  The department courses cover microbial and cellular technology, biochemistry, systems biology and biophysics, nutritional science, medical science, and plant and agricultural technology.  

Moreover, the department program places equal emphasis on students’ mastery of experimental techniques and accumulation of knowledge of both theory and practice.  Aiming to promote the integration of scholarship and practice, the department opened the following two specialized courses in 2015.

“Fermentation Production Processes Practicum” is a short-term intensive laboratory summer course that takes microbiology to the level of industrial applications.  Students perform experiments that develop their understanding of industrial fermentation production processes.  Meanwhile, “Biochemical Technology Industry Internship” is an elective summer course designed for students after their third year.  In the two-month course, students work at biotechnology companies where they gain real-world experience and practical insight into the present and future of operations in the biotech industry.