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Strategic Alliance Formed: NPUST and Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital
2017-04-07 On March 27th, NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai was joined by other university representatives at the Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital (KVGH), where he and KVGH Director Dr. Chun-Peng Liu signed a strategic alliance agreement. The two institutions look forward to cooperating on issues related to healthy living, long-term care and air pollution.
The agreement aims at addressing the needs which are close to the public with six main items of focus, including the health convenience packages, clinical use of Chinese herbal medicines, off-campus community service internship locations for doctors and nurses, joint R&D of health aids, research on the connection between air-pollution and illnesses, and use of medical working dogs in old-age care. A number of academic and medical representatives were present at the hospital to witness the signing of the agreement, including NPUST Vice-President for Academics Chung-Ruey Yen, Secretary General C. Kuei-Jyum Yeh, the director of the Department of Social Work director, the director and deputy-director of the Office of Research and Development, the director of the Center for Cooperation between Industry and Academia Director, and the chief of the R&D Promotion Division Director. Representing KVH included the hospital’s three deputy directors, the director of the R&D department, the director of clinical medicine research section, and the director of the Pingtung branch of the hospital.

            KVGH Director Chun-Peng Liu shared on the hospitals development, explaining that in order to strengthen the public health care in the south of Taiwan, in August of 1984 the government commissioned the Taipei Veterans General Hospital to establish the Kaohsiung Branch Preparations Office and on October 21st, 1990 the Taipei Veterans General Hospital Kaohsiung Branch began formal operations. In July of 1993, the institution reorganized and upgraded to become the Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital and up until today has received very positive reviews and affirmations from the public. The hospital’s stated mission includes medical services, medical training and medical research and development. Currently, it serves as a military hospital and a training hospital for Yang-Ming University. It also offers training and internships for doctors and nurses from private and public institutions for medical, dental, pharmaceutical, nursing, medical technology, management and a number of other areas. In June, the Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital Old Age Hospital will open and hopes to bring in care dogs and medical treatment dogs from the NPUST Work Dog Training Center.

            NPUST’s President Tai pointed out that within NPUST’s six colleges (Agriculture, Engineering, Management, Social Work, Veterinary Medicine and International) research covers a wide scope of human needs. Chinese medicine, leisure and exercise equipment development, biotechnology, veterinary medicine and animal immunization are some areas that the university specializes in. There is a broad spectrum of items that NPUST and KVGH will be able to cooperate on in the future, including animal blood bank operations, food safety testing, biomedical materials research, and air-water-soil pollution testing. Additionally, the university would like to see clinical research personal come to the university to offer seminars in departments of Veterinary Medicine, Biotechnology, Food Science, Environmental Engineering, and Plant Industry, and conduct exchanges in learning. Hopes are that the cooperation agreement will allow for both parties to increase their research capacities, promote health among the public and serve as a model for research, development and innovation.

Program in Tropical Agriculture Receives “Excellence Award”
2017-03-31 On March 15th 2016, NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai, OIA Dean Vincent Shi and Department Director Philip T. Cheng attended the International Higher Education Strategic Cooperation Alliance conference where they were presented with the “Excellence Award” for university’s Bachelor’s Program in Tropical Agriculture Research together with a letter of gratitude for helping to hold the ICDF 20th anniversary achievement exhibition. Both of the honors are shared with all faculty and students and the university. In 1998, the ICDF launched the International Higher Education Strategic Cooperation Alliance in-which NPUST took the lead by establishing the first ever full-English curriculum Taiwan. Over the years, the program has seen considerable development and success. And, to further the initiative, in 2015, the Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation implemented the ICDF International Higher Education Scholarship Program, which is now sponsoring 19 undergrads, 9 master’s students and 14 PhD candidates coming from 18 countries throughout Asia, Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and South Pacific. In order to make fullest use of the university’s resources, the department has been actively promoting agriculture science, research and talent cultivation in the world’s tropical regions. Local Taiwanese and international students learn and study together, expanding their international fields of view while contributing to the social and economic development of countries in tropical regions.


            The Department of Tropical Agriculture is part of the NPUST International College, with undergraduate courses separated into the two groups of ‘plant industry’ and ‘animal husbandry’. The programs are systematically planed out, with one focusing on production & protection of agricultural & horticultural crops, and agribusiness management; and the other including courses in animal anatomy, physiology, animal husbandry, fish breeding and cultivation. Students in the graduate institute can pursue their interests and research focuses when choosing their professional curriculum. Many students, both locally and internationally, as well as professional researchers, have been attracted to the institution. Upon returning home, students of the Tropical Agriculture Department have enjoyed excellent career development, finding employment in public sectors in the countries they are from, becoming professional educators or starting their own businesses. Some examples include Dr. Belembaye Tongongar (Chadian), who is now the UNFAO representative for his country; master’s holder Mr. Selwyn Riumana (Solomon Islands) who is a member of congress; and master’s holder Mr. Gibson Susumu (Micronesia), who is now the minister of agriculture.


            The International College actively coordinates with ICDF, the Council of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Education to promote research on agriculture technology and talent cultivation in tropical regions. To date, the college has cultivated more than 500 outstanding professionals from five continents/regions (Asia, Oceania, Africa, America and Europe) and more than 50 nations.


            Currently, NPUST has more than 700 international students from 35 countries and is an excellent model of multiculturalism. The campus provides a multi-lingual learning environment and provides international students with the consideration and attention they need, allowing students from all over the world to quickly integrate and adjust to life in Taiwan – living and learning together in the internationally aware global village of NPUST.
Malaysian Overseas Master’s Program Launches
2017-03-29 NPUST and Malaysia’s New Era College jointly held the first “Malaysian Overseas Master’s Program in Agriculture Business Management”. On March 11, 2015 the class commencement ceremony was held at New Era College in Malaysia. The roster listed 30 students ranging from 22 years old to 67, including experienced agriculture professionals, agriculture industry workers and senior management staff and it was not unusual to see multiple members of one family enrolled in the program. There was a great enthusiasm during registration and a lot of positive sentiment shared. The vice-chancellor of the New Era College, Mok Soon Chong, pointed out that after years of hard work, the program has finally become a reality. Even though not all the students who registered for the class are NPUST alumni, they all have demonstrated that they are outstanding contributors to related fields of knowledge. Among those registered also included a “Datuk” and an association chairman. Vice-Chancellor Mok Soon Chong noted that the Agribusiness Management Master’s Program has allowed many senior management members of the agriculture industry to return to the campus to further cultivate their professional, humanistic and innovative understandings of agricultural industry management and improve their academic research while developing knowledge and ability in agricultural affairs. 
            NPUST Office of International Affairs Dean Vincent Shi made a special trip to Malaysia to take part in the commencement ceremony. He expressed his hopes that the program will provide an opportunity for Taiwan and Malaysia to experience a win-win situation with respect to agriculture exchange and interaction. The NPUST Department of Agribusiness Management has quality faculty and a comprehensive curriculum platform and for the occasion the department’s director, Dr. Alex Lin, also travelled to Malaysia to personally instruct a class. Whether its classroom courses, applied research, or outdoor activities, the program provides students with careful instruction and learning guidance. As New Era’s vice-chancellor explained that bringing this program to fruition was not an easy task, and only came about through the continuous efforts of the past three deans of the Office of International Affairs. He thanked former Dean Dr. Henry Chen (currently the director of Science and Technology Division, TECC in India), and former Dean Dr. Jik-Chang Leong (currently dean of the International College) for their tireless work. In the future, NPUST will continue to make contributions to the training of outstanding professionals in the agriculture business and benefit to its overseas students.
2017 Indonesian Festival at NPUST
2017-03-24 With 51 students at NPUST hailing from Indonesia, the Indonesian NPUST Alumni Association spared no effort in making sure the Indonesian culture festival held on March 14th showed NPUST what Indonesia is all about. The activities were held in front square of the International College and included traditional “Saman” dance performances of Sumatra (Aceh Province), traditional Angklung instrumental music performances, and popular art music. Arrangements were also made for a traditional dress fashion show, with Vietnamese, Thai and Taiwanese students modeling the Indonesian costume. Another attraction at the festival was the traditional games competitions, which were separated into individual and team events. All students were welcomed to take part in the competitions and Indonesian souvenirs were offered to the winners. In addition to the music and games, participants had the chance to try out a variety of excellent Indonesian dishes, including traditional fried meat buns (Kroket), sticky rice (Lemper), fried vegetable spring rolls (risoles), pudding, fried bakso & tofu with peanut sauce (Batagor), rice with coconut sauce (Nasi campur) and the sweet jelly desert (Cendol) to whet peoples appetites.


            Indonesia is the largest archipelagic country in the world, comprised with five large islands (Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua) and thousands of smaller ones. It is also the largest Muslim nation in the world; yet, separation between islands has led to formations of diverse cultures within the country. There are more than 700 students from 42 different countries studying at NPUST, meaning that it is also an environment of cultural diversity. The university is dedicated towards creating a friendly, multi-lingual learning atmosphere, and providing international students with the care and consideration they need to quickly adjust to school life in Taiwan. Hopes are that through the Indonesian Festival, students and faculty at NPUST will be able to gain a better understanding of Indonesia’s diverse culture – and with people of all nationalities joining in, the event has already become one of the university’s own cultural features.
Pingtung Heritage: Restoration Helps Laiyi Weir Keep Flowing
2017-03-24 The Erh-feng Irrigation Project in the hills of Laiyi Towhship, Pingtung was completed in 1923. The water distribution system included an underground weir that was built by Japanese hydraulic engineer Torii Nobuhei to collect water underneath the river bed. Incredibly, this weir has been in use for 93 years and its flow has not been interrupted once since it went into commission. However, in recent years the rate of flow has gradually declined and restoration needed to take place. The dean of the NPUST College of Engineerng, Prof. Cheshi Ding, pointed out that the engineering for the restoration came about after many years of research. In 2008 a petition was submitted to the cultural assets committee for consideration, which resulted in its designation as a “cultural site”. In the past, the water flow rate at Erh-feng was 250 thousand tons per day in the wet season, and 70 thousand in the dry season. However, in recent years, the riverbed has sunk and heavy vehicles performing dredging activities have had an impact on the environment. Adding to this, gravel movement during floods has caused the underground weir structure to become exposed and damaged. The deteriorated conditions allowed for weir’s corridor to become blocked up with gravel, thus affecting its water supply capabilities.


            In order to save precious water resources and this cultural asset, the Pingtung County government spent nearly 10 million NTD with the aim of completing repairs before the rainy season starts in May. The Erh-feng Wier had undergone major repairs in the 1970s and 80s, but now that it is designated a cultural asset, it must be maintained in its original form and repaired in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act.


           Out of concern for the project, a number of important visitors have come to the site to bring attention to the situation. Torii Toru, who is a descendants of the weir’s original architect, visited the site on March 4th to observe progress. Prior to construction, Taiwan’s former President Lee Teng-hui, former Premier Su Tseng-chang and a number of water resources officials also visited the location to express their concern. More recently, on March 9th, Taiwan Water Corporation Chairman Chun-ming Kuo also organized for a delegation comprised of engineers and officials to visit the project and see what they could learn.


           The way that the Erh-feng Weir collects water is something that all water conservation departments should definitely look at and study as a model for developing and using water resources. The weir is below the riverbed and does not obstruct river flow or animal activity. It doesn’t require any electricity to operate as it fully relies on gravity to transfer water to where it is needed. And since the water passes through the gravel in the riverbed like a filter, it doesn’t need to undergo precipitation or dosing treatment. Construction and maintenance are also easy and operations simple, making weir’s like the one at Erh-feng energy saving and economical ways to access water resources and without posing threats to surrounding ecosystems

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            Management district seven of the Taiwan Water Corporation (Kaohsiung and Pingtung) and the Southern Region Water Resources Office are currently actively working to build radial wells to collect subsurface water instead of highly turbid surface water and technical wisdom from the past offer a great source of inspiration and motivation to develop systems that add more without taking away.
Cheers Magazine Interview with President Tai
2017-03-22 Single specialty or multiple specialties; what type of professional are you?
Cheers Happy Worker Magazine recently conducted an interview with NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai and asked him how vocational high-school students could improve their chances of getting their top choices for academic and professional development. This is what President Tai had to say:
"Currently, society needs professionals with diverse sets of skills. In professional, interdisciplinary education, there are different methods used to design programs. For those who are getting ready for entrance exams or applying to universities, you should consider your interests. If you are a student who tends towards a single area of expertise, you can follow the approach of “choosing a department and not a university”. On the other hand, if you are hoping to develop a more diverse, interdisciplinary set of skills, it’s worthwhile to consider a comprehensive university and play a wider field. By combining professional and interdisciplinary skills while in university, you can increase your competitiveness. Regardless of what type of approach is used, students should carefully consider their options and chose paths that offer broad opportunity."



            NPUST is a comprehensive university with courses in agriculture, engineering, management, humanities and more. President Tai encouraged vocational high-school students to find their paths of development early and provide themselves with diverse and professional skills and capabilities.

University-Wide AAALAC Certification for Animal Care
2017-03-17 NPUST recently passed the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International) inspection to become the first university in the country and fourth in all of Asia to have all campus animal facilities certified by AAALAC; thus affirming that all of the animal vaccine adjuvants, animal nutrition provisions, health food development, breeding technology and testing practices meet high international standards. As the university works together with domestic health industries on drug development, safe vaccine testing and other areas of research, this newly issued certification vouches for the fact that animal welfare and environmental conditions are given top priority.
             NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai pointed out that the way a country treats animals represents the advancement and civilization of that country. Likewise, when a university is involving animals in its scientific learning, the welfare system established for those animals also demonstrates the standards of the country and the expectations that people have towards treatment of animals. Currently, the processes of education and research often involve activities connected with animals; and according to the Taiwan Wildlife Conservation Act, every animal used by science organizations and universities must establish and animal management group or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to oversee the situation. This is part of the currently employed international management and supervision mechanism. However, since each organization’s research activities are different in nature and must deal with different administrative and management structures, it is impossible to use a single set of regulations to judge the actual animal welfare quality being provided at different organizations. Therefore, third party international professional agencies like AAALAC International have now become an important and commonly used way of assessing the conditions of animals according to an international set of standards.
             President Tai also mentioned that obtaining campus-wide AAALAC Certification is no small task, as every personnel involved, including all the faculty, staff and students who come in contact with animals, must undergo training aimed at improving care for animals and their environments. However, through the process of receiving professional assistance, those involved are able to gain proper understandings of animal testing in different educational contexts. At every stage, from experiment application to completion of the project, animal welfare and care and work safety for personnel the practices must be in-step with standards of developed countries. Considering the amount of coordination that must take place with all the administrative units across the university, obtaining this type of certification is not an simple task.
             As animal testing is unavoidable in modern-day science, a desire to address the question of how to minimize the use of animals, raise the precision of research and cultivate veterinary and animal specialist who cherish the lives of animals and care for their welfare prompted the university to apply for AAALAC certification. The goal was not only to meeting expectations of animal conservation laws and scientific standards while training professionals in animal sciences, but also to help raise the overall quality and competitiveness of the animal health industry in Taiwan. Thus by subjecting itself to strict AAALAC certification standards, the university hopes encourage concerned members of society by demonstrating that the practices used at that NPUST are designed with the animal welfare at the center.
NPUST Develops Remote Control Pesticide Spraying Vehicle
2017-03-17 Rensheng Cheng is an assistant to Department of Biomechatronics Engineering professor, Dr. Jr-Ming Miao, and has he has been drawing on the knowledge he has of small scale farming operations to help develop a new farm tool that will make life easier and healthier for agriculturalists working small plots. For the most part, farmers who work on small-scale farms have relied on back-mounted spraying equipment when conducting pesticide spraying work in the field. It has only been large-scale farmers who have been able to take advantage of motorized vehicles with high-pressure sprayers to spray the crops. Out of a concern for both the health of the small scale farmers and a desire to lighten the workload – especially considering that many of Taiwan’s small scale agriculturalists are advanced in years—Rensheng Cheng has been working to develop a remote control pesticide delivery system that will allow farmers to safely and easily conduct pesticide spraying activities in their fields.
NPUST President Change-Hsien Tai shared on the project, saying that the average age of agriculture workers is on the rise and there are less and less people willing to take part in pesticide spraying activities. Thus, the direction that needs to be pursued is to create an automated and ‘smart’ pesticide delivery system, which can also improve quality and quantity control and reduce the risks associated with over-exposure to large amounts of agriculture pesticides. The main goal is to care for crops while protecting people and the environment.
             The pesticide delivery system developed by Rensheng Cheng incorporates pesticide delivery booms, a pump and a remote control regulating system (with start, forward, reverse, elevate, spray and stop actions). The mobility system relies on a front-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering set up for driving both on paved and soil surfaces. Its smallest turn radius is 1.5 meters, it is able climb slopes of up to 30 degrees and it has a drive speed of approximately 0.2~0.3 meters/second. Carrying up to 1000L (distribution of approx. 20~30 kg/cm2), the vehicle can travel forwards and backwards while spraying at an adjustable rate between 8~12 liters per minute. The spray booms can also be adjusted up or down depending on requirements. The number of nozzles on the boom is also variable, with the current 12 nozzle setup allowing for a 2 meter range.
             In addition to operating in small fields, the pesticide spraying vehicle can also be used in greenhouses. The high value crops often grown in greenhouses (such as melons, grapes and cherry tomatoes) must be sprayed frequently, yet the cultivation area is rather tight, meaning that large sprayers are out of the question. However, the small size of this new pesticide delivery system allows it to operate in the aisles in-between the planters, and, since it is electrically powered, it doesn’t produce any undesired exhaust fumes. Currently the vehicle is still in its prototype stage, but once it is tested and necessary improvements are made, it will be transferred to manufacturers for mass production so that farmers all over will be able to take advantage of this exciting new piece of farm equipment.
President Tai Visits University of Tsukuba, Strengthens Ties
2017-03-15 Looking to enrich international academic resources and add depth to friendly relationships with sister-universities, this January President Chang-Hsien Tai and other delegates paid a visit to one of NPUST’s Japanese partners, the University of Tsukuba.
The city of Tsukuba is located in the outskirts of Tokyo, in an area regarded as the silicon valley of Japan. University of Tsukuba (UT) is one of Japan’s renowned institutions of learning and has produced three Nobel Prize winners the field of science. For President Tai, the trip not only offered an opportunity to confirm the sister-school relationship between NPUST and UT, but also afforded a chance to put ink to a new agreement on international cooperation. President Tai hopes that through the agreement, the two universities will see more international student exchanges and new mutual research projects. Furthermore, hopes are that both universities will be able to create joint international research teams to conduct Smart agriculture and biotechnology related cutting edge research.

             Tsukuba University made special preparations for the visiting delegates to conduct academic exchanges with a number of UT researchers and visit international research teams at the school including those at the Sleep Medicine Research Center, Super Computer Center, and Health Care Assistant Robot Research Center. For President Tai and the other NPUST delegates, the cutting edge technical research that they witnessed was quite inspiring and kindled a desire to interact on more education and research projects in the future. “Smart Agriculture” and “heath industries” have been important areas of focus for NPUST in recent years and President Tai expects that future interdisciplinary projects could bring together teams comprised of experts in nursing, auxiliary equipment and long-term care at UT with professionals in food science, agriculture management and other fields at NPUST, to broaden one another’s scope of research and increase international reach.

Minister of Education Visits NPUST
2017-03-15 In order to review the results of the “12 Basic” education policy and “Industry-Academia Hand-in-Hand Cooperation Project” implemented by technical universities and vocational high-schools in recent years the minister of education, Dr. Wen-Chung Pan, made a trip to southern Taiwan on February 14th, during which time he stopped by NPUST. While at the university Ministry Pan was given an in-depth briefing of the way NPUST closely coordinates with special industry-academia programs offered at local vocational high-schools. Upon review, Minister Pan affirmed the outstanding results of the technical education provided by the university and the work which was being done to fully equip professionals with technical skills. The ‘Hand-in-Hand’ project was first implemented in 2006. At that time, the Ministry of Education (MOE) was looking for a way to both improve industry and raise the technical expertise of those in vocational high schools and universities. By allowing for greater cooperation between industry and academia it would help to create a situation where technical professionals are trained with the skills essential to meet the needs of the related industries. The project created a platform for education and internship cooperation, and coordinates with the license system to educate technical professionals who can to meet industry demand. In recent years, departments from NPUST (including the Department of Plant Industry, Department of Food Science, Department of Animal Science, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Agribusiness Management, Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management, Department of Fashion Design and Management and the Department of Department of Recreational Sport & Health Promotion) have been sharing educational and industry-academia resources with nine vocational schools in the Pingtung and Kaohsiung area.
NPUST’s vast campus offers a wealth of resources and an outstanding environment for learning and research. Whether it is innovation in Smart education, Green energy, industrial material R&D or veterinary medicine and immunization, the university has a lot to offer. Furthermore, the university is heavily focused on issues connected to the environment, ranked first in Taiwan and fifth in Asia in the latest (2016) Green University Ranking. In the category of education NPUST was even given full-points for its performance, demonstrating that, in addition to having a strong emphasis on technical R&D and equipping students with practical skills, the university is also working towards a Green future with sustainable practices.
             Minster Pan was received by President Tai when he arrived on campus and was briefed on the successes of industry-academia R&D cooperation at the university library. The university has an impressive resume when it comes to research in the fields of animal husbandry and veterinary medicine. It is also the only university in the country to provide training for working dogs and working dog trainers. With support from the MOE, the university has been coordinating with R&D teams from the Department of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Science, Graduate Institute of Animal Vaccine Technology, Department of Biological Science and Technology, Institute of Wildlife Conservation and the Department of Tropical Agriculture & International Cooperation to successively establish such research centers as the “Work Dog Training Center”, “Animal Blood Transfusion Medical Center” and the “Animal Biologics Pilot Production Center”, with state-of-the-art equipment to allow students to gain experience that will set them up for a flawless transition to industrial sectors.
             In addition to advances made in agriculture technology, the College of Engineering has also demonstrated outstanding capabilities, with focus given to the environment and ecosystem, as well as Smart technology. The College of Engineering has been invested in creating a wide variety of new and innovative equipment in-line with the concept of Industry 4.0. – allowing machines to take on more work and create greater productive value in traditional industries.
             NPUST has accumulated excellent equipment and outstanding technical professionals over the years, and, in addition to its many professional R&D teams, the university also is able to benefit from its favorable geographic location and rich resources to make the university into a vocational hotspot ready to take on the future of technical education.