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ICDF Cooperates on Vocational Youth Overseas Technical Services

ICDF Cooperates on Vocational Youth Overseas Technical Services

With the long-term support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Development Fund (ICDF), National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) has taken on the responsibility of cultivating international talent and conducting academic and technical diplomacy – the results of which have already received government affirmation. Today (Apr. 12), ICDF Secretary General Timothy T. Y. Hsiang and NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai signed a Letter of Intent to execute the “Vocational Youth Overseas Technical Assistance Service Project” thereby providing vocational students with the opportunity to take part in Taiwan foreign aid work. Students may receive endorsement as early as August of this year (2019) to go to ally countries where Taiwan has established technical groups, such as Kingdom of Eswatini, Kiribati, Palau, or St. Vincent, and take part in services there.

President Chang-Hsien Tai made some remarks on the development, expressing that “from the agriculture teams in the early days to the training classes and formal degree programs of the present time, NPUST has equipped a great number of outstanding overseas Alumni with valuable skills. In the future we will use this cooperative project to bring students together on interdisciplinary teams, not only providing them with an opportunity to go overseas to broaden their horizons, but also to apply the knowledge they acquired in various departments, learn from one another, and serve our allies abroad.”

ICDF Secretary General Timothy T. Y. Hsiang stated that “after reforming the recruitment system, the number of men taking part in alternative civilian services will gradually decrease. This project is not an alternative, rather it is a supplement. Hopes are that through it, university students will be able to take part in and undertake international work during the time of their studies. In the past, when I served abroad as an ambassador, I observed how alternative civilian services men serving abroad saw tremendous growth— in technical skills, language ability, and international outlook alike. I trust that through this project, as students participate, their learning and language will be refined. At the same time, by participating in overseas diplomacy work they will experience considerable help with respect to their visions for the future and personal vantage points.”

The “Vocational College Youth Overseas Technical Assistance Service Project” targets Taiwan’s technical foreign aid projects and coordinates with internship programs established by vocational universities and colleges in Taiwan to provide students with an opportunity to go abroad to take part in a variety of cooperative activities which will be counted as credit towards their academic degrees. This year, the ICDF has provided six internship opportunities covering the areas of agriculture, aquaculture, animal husbandry, veterinary medicine, and mechanical and electrical engineering. An explanatory session has been planned for April 22, 2019 at the university to provide information on the various internships items, application procedures, internship benefits and life management practices relevant to the project. Introductions will also be provided on the ICDF and overseas work teams. Young vocational students with technical skills and expertise are encouraged to put their knowledge to use, hone their techniques and broaden their world views. They will also have the opportunity to become overseas technical reserves in the future.     

For the past 20 plus years, the ICDF and NPUST have enjoyed good relations, cooperating on talent exchanges and various foreign aid projects, and now they have become the first signatory partners in this current project. Along with the trends towards intelligent agricultural development, hopes are that in the future the ICDF and NPUST will be able to continue to cooperate with one another and mutually assist the government in developing overseas aid work and cultivating international talent!

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