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Ministry of Education Representative Visits NPUST Exhibit
2019-09-25 On May 25th, Director General Yu-Huei Yang of the Department of Technological and Vocational Education (MOE) visited the NPUST campus to tour the Feature Exhibition Center and witness some of the developments the university has been making in research and design. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai accompanied Director General Yang during her visit and introduced her to the items on display at the center. The exhibition included the graduation works of the second class of an advanced learning program offered for working professionals by the Department of Fashion Design and Management. Impressed by the collection, the MOE representative found the works to be both creative and practical in their designs. Another eye-catching exhibit shared the research of Department of Plant Industry Professor, Dr. Chung-Ruey Yen, who has been invested in the development of new tropical fruit varieties. The director was attracted by two fruits in particular: the baccaurea and wampee; each of which she enjoyed a sample of. The unique taste and texture of the fruits on display were clear evidence of the university’s extraordinary progress in agricultural development. These fruits, which go to export, help spread Taiwan’s reputation abroad and improve the agriculture economy within the country. In the area of aquaculture, one exhibit showcased the florescent fish developed by Associate Professor Shao-Yang Hu of the Department of Biological Science and Technology along with clown fish and seahorse research carried out by Department of Aquaculture Professor Ying-Nan Chen. The vibrant aquarium presented the university’s outstanding work in the aquatic world and also demonstrated its professional integration of gene engineering and biotechnology.  Another exhibit with highly practical application was of the remote monitoring devices developed for agricultural facilities by Associate Professor Pomin Lee and Assistant Professor Wei-Chen Chen of the Department of Biomechatronics. Their work, which integrates mechanical design and smart-device application, did an excellent job of hitting the main chord of the university’s agricultural technology oriented research. Director General Yang affirmed the main trajectories of NPUST’s development; namely, ‘technological agriculture’, ‘eco-industries’’, blue economies’, and ‘platinum society’. She also anticipates seeing even more impressive outcomes in the future as a result of the research currently taking place at the university. The approach taken by NPUST is contributing to the creation of a learning environment that is increasingly advantageous to the students’ acquisition of skills and which will help maximize their job competitiveness when they seek employment in the future.
Professor Winton Cheng Among Top Ten Outstanding Agriculturalists
2019-08-28 National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) professor Winton Cheng has been named one of this year’s Top Ten Outstanding Agriculturalists. As a professor Department of Aquaculture, Winton Cheng conducts research and education on a variety of highly beneficial aquaculture techniques and practices. Some of his focuses include aquatic environments and ecosystem conservation, environments for shrimp cultivation, use of bio-waste for the development of aquatic animal health supplements, and the use of probiotics separated from fermented products as physiological immunomodulators and aquaculture water conditioners. He has created smart technology cultivation systems and other leading technologies that have been very beneficial to fish cultivators. On account of these and the many other contributions he has made, this year Professor Winton Cheng was named among the winners of the prestigious Top 10 Outstanding Agriculturalists Awards. Professor Cheng is an alumnus of NPUST. After graduating from his studies and completing his military service, he returned to his Alma Mater to provide services while simultaneously studying a PhD at National Taiwan University. He has been conducting research for over 35 years and had fruitful results. His research and development contributions are detailed in the 100 plus papers that he has had published in international journals over his career thus far. He also holds 10 Taiwan patents and has successfully completed 10 technology transfers through industry-academic cooperation projects. During his time spent serving as the director of his department, Professor Cheng completed many national “firsts”, including establishing the first undergrad through PhD aquaculture program at a technical university, establishing the first aquaculture technology practice farm in the country as well as the first industry-level aquaculture practice farm. At the same time, he established an inter-school academic exchange and industry-academia cooperation hub that trains many aquaculture professionals, managers and researchers every year. He also helped the United Nations conduct an assessment of aquaculture development in Chad, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, and Malaysia, thereby also providing an important basis for Taiwan’s foreign relations. Professor Cheng provided some comments on his work, pointing out that when it comes to questions of food safety, reducing over-use of antibiotics in fish and shrimp cultivation is very important. This is why he has been working on solutions that make use of agricultural biological waste, such as extracted materials from kelp, water hyacinth, banana peels and cocoa pods, in the creation of aquatic animal health care agents. He is also using specific probiotics separated from fermented products for physiological immunomodulators and aquaculture water conditioners. He said that based on the related experiments, it is evident that the methods are beneficial for the physiological and immunological conditions of the aquatic life and can help reduce improper use of antibodies. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai expressed that Professor Cheng’s academics were superb and that he is a very outstanding professional in his field who is using concepts of circular economies in his research and producing results that are closely connected to industry. He is also helping to improve fish heath and consumer safety. Through his classroom work Professor Cheng is transmitting valuable know-how to many other people and in the business world he has made many contributions which are helping improve practices. These are all reasons why he was chosen to be one of the Top Ten Agriculturalists.
Having Fun Building a New Generation of Smart Production
2019-08-13 On August 12th and 13th the NPUST Department of Mechanical Engineering hosted a two-day summer camp on “Having Fun Building a New Generation of Smart Production”, attracting 20 participants from vocational high schools in the Kaohsiung and Pingtung area. Through experiential activities including robot arm chess, robot arm engraving and automated flower watering and other activities the students learned about integrated electrical and mechanical control, robot arm control. They also had a chance to learn about methods used in precision mechanized production processes and see how interesting production can be when smart technologies are applied. Professor Wei-Hua Lu of the Department of Materials Engineering expressed hopes that through the experiential learning camp the students would be able to strengthen their practical abilities. He explained that they “are coordinating with the Ministry of Education’s new syllabus for the 2019 Academic Year with the aim of allowing the high-tech sector to cooperate with technical universities, so that when students graduate, they will be more equipped to compete in the job market.” Assistant Professor Ching-Shui Chang of the Department of Mechanical Engineering added that “many vocational high school students are not very clear about what they are interested in or what they are learning about. Through the camp we are able to help them develop clearer goals for their future choices.” A student from Neipu Senior Agricultural-Industrial Vocational High School expressed his satisfaction with the camp, explaining that “the machines and subject matter at schools are often focused on traditional methods, but at NPUST we were able to see new types of equipment and learn about advanced machinery. The fully automated, smart production methods we got to witness also gave us new ideas about future studies and employment.”
NPUST and Denmark’s Dalum Academy Train Personnel for Pork Industry
2019-08-08 NPUST and Denmark’s Dalum Academy of Agricultural Business have recently been cooperating on a project that aims to train personnel and improve inefficiencies in Taiwan’s highly valuable pork industry. The initiative was organized based on the Ministry of Education “Pilot Project for International Technical Personnel Training Institutions”, which was launched last year. As part of the bilateral exchange and training activities, in January and February of this year (2019), a total of six NPUST faculty members and 14 students travelled to Denmark to take part in one-month and four-month training courses on pig rearing and management. In addition to the professional knowledge they acquired, the participants accumulated a considerable amount of practical experience at pig rearing facilities in Demark. During the summer break, program host Maria F. Graff and a pig rearing expert Carsten Friis Poulsen from Denmark were invited to the university to instruct courses on “fundamental personnel training for pig rearing” and “managerial personnel training for pig rearing” for students ranging from high-school to PhD levels of education. A press conference was held on August 8th at the university, during which NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai pointed out that Denmark, which has a land area similar that of Taiwan and a population of 56 million, is able to raise 3 million pigs. Taiwan’s population of 23 million people is a little less than half of Denmark’s, however, the amount of pigs the island is raising is about 1/5 of what they are capable of, at around 560,000. Tai expressed his hopes that Taiwan would be able to learn from Denmark’s methods in breading, feeding, facility design, waste product management and other practices, while also making appropriate adjustments for the differences in climate. He also expressed hopes that through the international cooperation and the talent cultivation taking place at NPUST, the pig industry in Taiwan would be able to experience significant positive growth. Maria F. Graff shared her appreciation for the fact that when the 14 outstanding students from NPUST were visiting Denmark for the exchange, they performed very well in a variety of inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural learning activities –and also put their learning to real-world practice in pig rearing facilities where they won the praise of the owners and operators alike. Pig specialist Carsten Friis Poulsen encouraged students to not simply mimic the things that they have learned, but to go further and develop suitable models and strategies to help Taiwan’s pig industry to experience growth, while also pursuing ideas of sustainable development. Overall, pig related industries in Taiwan have an annual output value of around 160 billion NTD— constituting around a third of the overall agriculture industry in the country. However, Taiwan’s hot and humid weather affects breeding efficiency, and the close proximity of pig farms makes it easier for communicable diseases to spread. As a consequence, overall productivity is currently not as ideal as one would hope. In order to solve some of these problems, NPUST sent teachers and students to Denmark, with support from the government, to take part in training courses mentioned above. During summer break, special courses were also held at NPUST to bring some of the knowledge to those who did not get the chance to visit Denmark. Two training courses were offered. One of which was a fundamentals level course oriented towards vocational high school students, with 72 in attendance. The other was a managerial training course that attracted PhD, master’s and undergraduate students from NPUST as well as undergrads from other universities and also industry personnel— for a total of 89 participants. The courses were taught by the two visitors from Denmark, 13 teachers from the NPUST and 19 professionals from the industry. In addition to the training program, NPUST plans to use school funds and Denmark’s design technology to create a ‘smart technology’ pig house that meets European standards as well the needs of tropical and sub-tropical climates.
2019 Taiwan-Thailand Higher Education Forum and Education Fair
2019-07-27 Under the commission of the Taiwan Ministry of Education, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) has been hosting the “Taiwan Education Center” in Thailand for many years, working to add depth and strength to the friendly international partnership that the two countries share. For seven consecutive years NPUST has also been cooperating with Thailand to host both the “Taiwan-Thailand Higher Education Forum” and “Higher Education Fair”. The 7th Taiwan-Thailand Higher Education Forum took place this year as a result of the concerted efforts of NPUST and Thai sister-school, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). The forum took place on July 22 and 23 at the Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok and was centered around the topic of “industry-academic cooperation and the advancement of innovative learning, results oriented education and technological development”. After Thailand’s former Minister of Education, Dr. Wichit Srisa-an, provided the opening remarks, the representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand, Chen-yuan Tung, and deputy-representative of the Ministry of Education, Cheng-Wu Liu, also addressed the participants. From there, NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai and KMUTT Vice-President Bandit Thipakorn moved things forward by delving into the topic of “Cooperation for Smart Integration”. NPUST has been contributing to the cultivation of Thailand’s higher education for many years through the promotion of a wide variety of bilateral cooperation and exchange initiatives. In addition to the Higher Education Form, ever year the university is involved with the organization of a Higher Education Fair, which attracts many prospective students who are interested in learning more about education opportunities in Taiwan. This year (‘19) in addition to hosting the event at its long-time venue in Bangkok, NPUST cooperated with Montfort College and Maejo University to host the fair in Chiang Mai. The Chiang Mai sessions of the fair were organized to take place on the July 24th and 25th, immediately after the forum. Then, on the 27th the activities moved back to Bangkok where the fair was held from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM at the Sheraton Grande Hotel. About 30 universities from Taiwan were present for the event, with booths set up to provide information on recruitment and scholarships for international programs in a wide variety of fields. It could be said that this year’s recruitment efforts were among the most successful to-date, with over 1000 students, parents and educators visiting the venue to make inquiries. In comparison to prior years, it was evident that the visitors were very clear about their motivations and goals and were ready to make plans for their future studies. The success of the event was a demonstration of the solid partnership that exists between NPUST and KMUTT. Taiwan’s higher education has already received international affirmation and is an important driver of the growth of Taiwan’s economy. In recent years, Taiwan has been the number one choice for students from ASEAN countries looking to study abroad. In 2018, more than 120,000 international students came to Taiwan for studies — and in the same year, students coming from Thailand reached a new high of 3,236. This was an increase of over 50% for Thailand, and has made it into the 10th largest source of foreign students to Taiwan. Taiwan’s excellent learning environment allows students to improve their English and Chinese language skills, and offers a rich international exchange experience that helps them to cultivate skills that will make them more competitive in the job market. Taiwan and Thailand have a close partnership in the area of education. In addition to signing the ‘Agreement for Cooperation on Education between Taiwan and Thailand’ to promote a variety of scholarship deals and send lecturers from Thai universities to Taiwan to study master’s and PhDs, the pair are also promoting the ‘New Southbound Policy International Industry-Academic Cooperation Program’ to provide Thai students with more opportunities for practical training in Taiwan. This year, NPUST also launched a new program which provided short term training for TVET students (Thailand Ministry of Education) and vocational high school teachers.
NPUST, NTUST and YunTech in Trilateral Talks for Potential Merger
2019-06-28 On June 19th, the president of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) led a delegation of executive level staff members from Taipei to National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) in the south of Taiwan to discuss preliminary details on a potential merger between the two universities. A few weeks later, it was announced that National Yunlin University of Science and Technology (YunTech) would also likely join in on the merger if everything follows through according to plan. At the first meeting, NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai provided a briefing, outlining the objective and emphasizing the necessity that 1+1 must be greater than two— a logic that is presumably in the new equation that includes a third party. Tai explained that NTUST and NPUST both have distinct features, with only partial overlap between departments at the two institutions. Thus, such a merger could be an opportunity for existing resources to be used more comprehensively and in ways that could create new possibilities. With respect to agriculture technology, which is one of NPUST’s main enterprises, its current competitors include NCHU and NTU; if, however, NPUST’s research teams were to bring researchers from NTUST on board, it would certainly increase competitiveness on this front. The president of NTUST, Ching-Jong Liao, explained that once the merger news came out, teachers, alumni and students had a variety of opinions to share on the matter, which would be addressed in a timely manner. He added that NTUST is very sincere in its intention to cooperate with NPUST and hopes that the merger will go forward. Over the weeks that followed, additional information was provided, including the intentions to bring YunTech in on the deal. If successful, this would become the biggest higher education merger to take place in Taiwan’s history. Director General Yu-Huei Yang of the Department of Technological and Vocational Education (MOE) commented on the situation, stating that in order for things to pan out, commitments in terms of funding, teaching positions and recruitment must remain the same; if, however, there are calls for “dowry” for the union to take place, it will not be agreed to. In July, the presidents of the three universities met together at NPUST to jointly announce that they share a willingness to move forward with the proposal and will work hard to complete the necessary university council deliberations by the end of the year. Under a merger scenario, the name of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology would be applied to the other two universities, which would be further distinguished as the “Pingtung Campus” and “Yunlin Campus”, respectively.
A Win-Win Cooperation between Department of Mechanical Engineering Cooperation and Industry
2019-06-18 On July 17, at 3:30 PM at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, a cooperative agreement was signed by vocational institutions and manufacturers in the Kaohsiung and Pingtung who are working to bridge the gap between academic and industrial sectors. The institutions and companies involved include: NPUST Department of Mechanical Engineering the National Pingtung Industrial Vocational High School, National Feng-Shan Senior Commercial & Industrial Vocational School, National Kangshan Agricultural & Industrial Vocational Senior High School, National Hsin Hua Industrial Vocational High School, Keyarrow, Federal Lock, Aritex, Chun Zhao Enterprise, and Ming Chang Traffic Parts Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Also party to the agreement include the incoming class of students enrolled in the 4th offering of the Industry-Academia Cooperation Program for Precision Processing at NPUST Department of Mechanical Engineering. The program was designed to allow the students to study and work simultaneously so that they can pick up practical and theoretic knowledge. The arrangement provide the industrial sector can have a practical way of acquiring talent and will also help the schools to orientate their programs to topics that are closely in tune with real-world demand – thereby creating a win-win situation for everyone involved. At the signing ceremony, NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai was joined by the principals of the vocational schools to encourage the students, brief the parents on the program and thank the companies for the excellent opportunities they were providing.
The Graduating Glass of the 2018 Academic Year
2019-06-17 At 9:30 AM on June 15th, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology held a ceremony to formally recognize and send off the graduating class of the 2018 Academic Year. Coming from NPUST’s six colleges and 44 departments, a total of 24 PhD students, 618 Master’s students, and 2,409 bachelor’s students were presented with diplomas – all 3,051 of which were handed out by NPUST university president, Chang-Hsien Tai. President Tai addressed the graduating class in a speech that made reference to three songs from three famous artists. He encouraged the students and shared some wisdom for the future, reminding them that they would need to take on different attitudes to face the various tests that life would call them to –especially in a world that will present them with situations quite unlike any we have seen in the past. Hsin-Hao Hsieh, the famous TV personality from “Plungon” was also invited to address the students. Hsieh shared a story about travelling the world in the pursuit of a dream. He said that if you have a dream, you should bravely pursue it, but if you don’t, that’s okay too – the most important thing is to listen to the voice inside of you and don’t shy away from it. Sometimes you need to take a little break; slow down and just look at the beauty of this world. But at other stages it is also important to step outside of your comfort zone, go to a different corner of the world and experience something new. Department of Fashion Design and Management student, Feng-yi Wei, is an example of someone who did just that – and as a result, at this year’s graduation ceremony, she was called up to receive “The President’s Education Award for Striving Upward”. Growing up, her family struggled with economic difficulties, nevertheless she worked very hard at her studies and actively took part in international competitions to challenge herself, improve her skills and see how far she could make it. In her extracurricular time, she also volunteered her talents towards helping members of vulnerable groups. Her work did not go unnoticed. For the closing remarks, the president of the Graduating Student’s Association represented the students to expressed gratitude for all that the university done for them. Then students from the Ping-Feng Guitar Society then represented those who would remain behind to sing the farewell song to the students who had completed their time at NPUST. Then, brining things to a close, Assistant Professor I-Chun Chiang played the university anthem on the piano with the accompaniment of the guitar society and the students tossed their hats high into the air for the final gesture of their present academic journey.
NPUST Hosts International Symposium on Smart Agriculture
2019-05-28 On May 28th and 29th “The International Symposium on Smart Agriculture for Environmentally and Consumer Friendly Food Production” was held at the NPUST International Conference Hall. The symposium was put together through the joint efforts of National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, the Taiwan Agriculture Research Institute, the World Vegetable Center, and the Food and Fertilizer Technology Center. Experts from the around the Asia Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia travelled to Taiwan to take part in the event and exchange research and ideas on such topics as pesticide use, food security, biological control strategies, and the training of plant doctors who can provide expert assistance to farmers dealing with pest or disease problems. Considerations were given to “consumer needs”, “smart-agriculture for environmentally and consumer friendly crop production”, “eco-friendly crop improvement and management” and a variety of other points of interest. The symposium was an excellent opportunity for scholars to get new insights into the needs of various different countries and to think of new ways to develop food production strategies that take emerging smart technologies and more eco-friendly practices into consideration.
Premier Su Tseng-chang Visits NPUST Wildlife Rescue Center
2019-05-25 In a continuous effort to care for the ecosystem and protect biological diversity, over the years the NPUST Wildlife Rescue Center has provided shelter and care to more than 6000 animals. Recognizing the efforts being made and the need for added attention, on May 25th Republic of China Premier Su Tseng-chang visited the NPUST campus to observe the current situation at the center together with Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-Chung, Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Men-an, Legislative Member Chung Chia-Pin and other officials. NPUST Professor Jai-Chyi Pei, who also serves as director of the rescue center, provided the visitors with a briefing on the operations and management of the facilities. He also described some of the difficulties and crises that wildlife conservationists are currently facing. Premier Su expressed his approval for the work that was being done at the center and announced that a new project had been set in place to help relieve the pressures conservationists are facing and make extra funding available. Conservation work depends on the coordinated efforts of workers from many different fields of expertise. With the support of government agencies and civil groups, professors at NPUST and the animal experts at the Wildlife Rescue Center have been able to contribute a great deal to the wellbeing of endangered animals. With the new project lined up, this work will be able to continue in a stable manner and Taiwan’s beautiful biological resources will be able to enjoy new levels of protection.