Premier Chen Chien-jen on Monday received a delegation led by Timothy Killeen, president of the University of Illinois System. The premier said the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and National Tsing Hua University are currently partners in the Taiwan Huayu BEST (Bilingual Exchanges of Selected Talent) Program, but their scope of cooperation will be expanding from Mandarin language-learning to high-tech fields including semiconductors, quantum technology, artificial intelligence and electric vehicles. In the future, U.S. students coming to study Mandarin in Taiwan will also have opportunities for academic exchange in these high-tech fields. The premier added that this demonstrates the successful continued growth of academic collaboration under the Taiwan-U.S. Education Initiative.
The premier also said that through integrating innovative high-tech ideas into medical curricula, the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System is able to provide patients with better care and has established itself as a global leader in cutting-edge medicine. The premier hopes the delegation's visit will lead to the establishment of more systematic collaborations with multiple renowned Taiwanese medical schools, so that both sides can together foster a new generation of talent.
In his remarks, President Killeen said the U.S. and Taiwan share many values and he hopes to deepen and strengthen the university system's longstanding ties with Taiwanese institutions both public, private and governmental. The university system will sincerely help foster cultural connections between the U.S. and Taiwan, including through Mandarin language exchanges, and looks forward to expanding partnerships that solve problems through higher educational expertise and civic participation, he said. Grappling with the relentless advance of technological change—whether it be achieving breakthroughs in battery design for electric vehicles or the global impacts of artificial intelligence and environmental change—will require both our countries to work together more closely. Higher education has a front-and-center role to play in this respect, helping to bring together our leaders and governments.
President Killeen emphasized that Taiwan is home to some of the greatest innovators in science, mathematics, technology, engineering, agriculture, the social sciences and the arts. The University of Illinois System is also home to such innovators and seeks to have tighter partnerships with Taiwanese institutions to confront the challenges of the future. As Taiwanese industry looks for more from its own partners, all of the resources we have at our command will be made available to you in the State of Illinois, President Killeen said.