U.S. school-Taiwan partnership to spur exchanges: dean

Taipei, Nov. 21 (CNA) An agreement between Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and various local universities to send Taiwanese students and faculty to MIT could facilitate more exchanges between the two sides, a dean of the renowned school said in Taipei Tuesday. MIT entered into partnership with 17 Taiwanese universities last year under Taiwan's Top University Strategic Alliance, an agreement funded by the Ministry of Education since 2010. Under the terms of the alliance, the ministry offers total subsidies of around US$23 million to send 72 Taiwanese students and some 150 faculty to five world-class institutes, which also include Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago and Imperial College London. Three visiting scholars from Taiwan are currently in MIT under the program, while the first Taiwanese students are expected to arrive next year, Deborah K. Fitzgerald, Kenan Sahin Dean of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, told CNA. "That's a good way for us to start to have relationships with people that are longer term," Fitzgerald said. She added that the partnership will allow students and faculty from both sides to collaborate on projects and papers and make exchange visits. Fitzgerald said she has received many inquiries from Taiwanese students who come from economics or political science backgrounds or who are eager to get into one of those two fields. She described these fields as "very promising" in future cooperation between MIT and Taiwan. Fitzgerald visited National Taiwan University and National Cheng Kung University to talk to students there during a five-day visit to Taiwan. (By Christie Chen)