▎Global Outlook

Partnering with the World’s Most Innovative University


Teri Cannon (second left), Founding President of Minerva University and Fangyun Hsu (first left), City Director of Taipei, visit NTU to meet with then President Dr. Chung Ming Kuan (center) and Prof. Hsiao Wei Yuan (second right), Vice President for International Affairs.

Based in the United States, Minerva University is known as one of the most innovative institutions of higher education in the world. The vision began with fundraising for the Minerva Project in 2012, and the university welcomed its first class of students in 2014. Subverting the accepted norms and standards of higher education, Minerva aims to cultivate wise thinkers who can make critical decisions for the world. Minerva has been a high-profile university since its inception, and was named the world’s most innovative university by the 2022 World’s University with Real Impact (WURI) report.

Instead of having a main campus, Minerva adopts a hybrid learning model that sends students to seven different cities around the world, including Taipei, during their four years of study. They engage in academic and cultural exchange with their peers at host universities to develop and hone their globalized perspectives.

The collaboration between NTU and Minerva commence in 2019 when NTU became a host university for Minerva students during their sojourn in Taipei. A group of Minerva students comes to NTU every year from January to April. During that time, students from both universities participate in the NTU-Minerva Academic and Cultural Exchange Program. For this program, OIA invites professors from various faculties to lead interdisciplinary courses and workshops. The diverse range of courses covers a variety of fields from nature and science to music and culture, with topics including forest rehabilitation, community building, and Taiwanese tea culture. Additionally, Minerva students join the International Companion Learning Project, partnering with NTU students to introduce foreign cultures to secondary schools throughout Taiwan.

The program’s inaugural class in 2020 consisted of 85 students from Minerva and 80 students from NTU, who bonded during this shared learning experience. After a COVID-19 induced pause, the number of students increased when the program resumed in the 2022 academic year with 146 students from Minerva and 150 from NTU. NTU expects to receive about 120 Minerva students in January 2023. The program offers visionary experiences for the students, with lessons that will benefit them for life, signifying the success and promise of the program.

NTU introduced the Future University plan in 2019, hoping to provide students with individualized learning programs through specialized expertise training and exploratory learning. Tackling the challenge of future talent cultivation, the vision of Future University has much in common with Minerva University’s principles of modern education. Both universities are looking forward to expanding the exchange to faculty and administration. We are planning to co-host a higher education innovation forum in April 2023 to share ideas about teaching and learning under different systems.

Students from Minerva University learn about tai chi in the “Become Your Own Master” course.

The “Taiwanese Tea – From Land to Cup” course takes the students to a mountain tea plantation to harvest and make tea.

Students try their hand at indigo dyeing in Sanxia as part of the “Taipei Highlights” course.