Beginning in 2018, Taiwan has been promoting University Social Responsibility Projects, allowing universities to emerge as active contributors to local sustainability. The projects steer schools to focus on people as a central precept and to take approaches grounded in local requirements. In the first phase (2018 and 2019), universities are being encouraged to propose projects from among five themes: care for the surrounding locale, industrial collaboration, a sustainable environment, food safety and long-term care, and other social obligations. The proposed projects should produce tangible results in building local connections and delivering the benefits of enhanced regional development.
The second phase (2020 to 2022) introduces two additional project themes: regional revitalization and global connections. These themes are aimed at achieving a balanced Taiwan and motivating domestic universities to expand the horizons of international cooperation by connecting with other institutions from around the world.
Five development strategies
◆ Guiding instructors and students to take part in innovation: Universities are encouraged to develop new coursework and activities centered on their localities. Students are steered toward self-directed study, on-site hands-on learning, and a cooperative approach of study. Meanwhile, faculty are pushed to cooperate with colleagues across multiple disciplines.
◆ Strengthening connections among universities and regional industry: Universities are urged to develop innovative, integrated and multidisciplinary technology that is centered on users and guided by local needs. The social value of cooperation between academia and industry is being emphasized, as universities help companies upgrade technology and move up the value chain.
◆ Increasing the integration of regional resources: Public and private regional resources are being linked through universities, as schools come together with public agencies and private businesses to develop a partnership of mutual assistance, which will accelerate system transformation and the integration of regional resources.
◆ Invigorating networks for local exchanges: Through any number of mechanisms, universities are encouraging faculty and students to engage in public discourse with local interests, in order to draw the public into discussions on issues of regional development, develop the region's unique strengths, and design mechanisms to align supply and demand.
◆ Looking abroad to expand horizons: Universities should increase international engagements and enhance global links. With firmly rooted local foundations, schools can march steadily toward greater participation in the international community.