TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Times Higher Education (THE) magazine on Thursday (April 22) released the Impact Rankings 2020, and two Taiwanese universities were on the list, with National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) at 38th in the world and 2nd in Asia, a new record high for Taiwanese schools in the world's four major ranking agencies.
NCKU President Dr. Huey-Jen Su (蘇慧貞) told Taiwan News that the school was one of the first universities in the country to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Su linked the extraordinary achievement to the school's wide range of applications, from designing a green smart campus, developing a multi-cultural and multi-discipline learning environment, growing a co-learning and open-sourced community, implementing academia-industry collaboration, collaborating with central and local governments on SDG planning and implementation, to participating in international medical and humanity rescue services.
Su has been dedicated to creating the school’s unique role in societal development since she was elected as the president. She further emphasized that the school has always connected its research to guiding both the local industry and the city’s evolution. NCKU demonstrated its uniqueness with its achievement in this year’s rankings.
Su also mentioned how the COVID-19 pandemic tested NCKU’s medical expertise, its advanced preparation for taking preventive measures, as well as its science and evidence base of disease prevention and response strategies. During the pandemic, the NCKU Hospital not only served as a designated hospital to do the testing for the virus in Yunlin, Chiayi, and the Tainan metropolitan area, but also assisted medical personnel in India to set up medical infrastructure in preparation for the outbreak through videoconferencing. These instances and others explain the school's dedication to its mission.
More schools than usual competed for the honor this year, with over 800 universities from 89 countries around the world vying for a spot on the ranking; only around 500 schools participated in the competition last year. The Impact Rankings were evaluated based on each university’s ability to support and deliver on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Apart from NCKU, there is another Taiwanese university that was among the top 100 in the Impact Ranking: National Changhua University of Education (No. 66).
NCKU stood out in the categories of SDG7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG9 (Industry Innovations and Infrastructure), and SDG14 (Life Below Water) across the higher education sector — of which it ranked among the top 20 in the world.