In March 2022, Tzu Chi University (TCU) and Duy Tân University signed a memorandum of understanding via video conference. As the pandemic situation improved, Duy Tân University’s President, Le Nguyen Bao; Dean of Hospitality and Tourism, Minh Nguyen; Special Assistant to the President, Teresa Lin Ju; and Advisor, B. Chang, paid a visit to TCU for an on-site exploration and discussion of collaborative projects.
The guests were received by the President of TCU, Ingrid Liu. Along with her, the Vice President of TCU, Jui-Hung Yen; the Chief Secretary, Ho Kun-i; the Dean of the Office of International Affairs, Hsinyi (Cindy) Hsiao; the Dean of TCU College of Medicine, Tsung-Ying Chen; the Associate Dean of the College of Medicine; Kun-Ruey Shieh, the Chair Professor; Shang-Jyh Liu, the Consultant, Melissa Luo; and the Associate Director of the AI Center of Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Andy Chen, were also present to extend their welcome to the guests.
First, introductory videos from both universities were played. President Ingrid Liu then introduced TCU’s key collaborative projects with Tzu Chi Hospital, Academia Sinica, and the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation. President Liu stated that Tzu Chi has eight hospitals in Taiwan, including the newly established Chinese medicine hospital in Sanyi, Miaoli. The research areas of TCU and Tzu Chi Hospital include medical care, medical education, cancer, and immunity. Collaborative projects with Academia Sinica cover rare diseases, vegetarianism, and herbal medicine research. TCU also engages in charitable collaborations with the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, including provide education for Syrian refugees (El Menahil international school project).
The outstanding academic performance of TCU, encouraged the Duy Tân University to look forward to having more in-depth discussions. Today, the two universities discussed a range of projects, including teacher exchanges, special topic discussions, co-hosted medical seminar, collaborative research, student exchange programs, and student training opportunities.
After watching the video on Silent Mentor (The respectful title for whole-body donors for medical education by Tzu Chi Foundation) by Tzu Chi Foundation, the President of Duy Tân University, Le Nguyen Bao, was deeply touched. President Le Nguyen Bao expressed that TCU’s medical education is very comprehensive and therefore, he hopes to collaborate with TCU on course and research exchanges in the fields of medicine, nursing, and public health. He also hopes that the two universities can co-organize international seminars and provide opportunities for their medical students to participate in TCU’s simulation surgery teaching and special topic discussion courses.
TCU College of Medicine has recently announced that its Nursing Department will be hosting an international online nursing seminar and invites teachers and students from Duy Tân University to participate. Each year, TCU and Academia Sinica co-organize a seminar at the end of the year. In the future, in addition to inviting sister schools such as Mahidol University from Thailand, SRM University from India, and Naresuan University from Thailand, Duy Tân University is also warmly welcome to join.
President Le Nguyen Bao expressed concern about potential language barriers for students coming to Taiwan in the future. In response, Tsung-Ying Chen, the Dean of TCU College of Medicine, mentioned that despite the fact that patients in Taiwan typically speak Mandarin, English is used to teach foreign students. This is because Tzu Chi Hospital has many foreign interns, and the hospital has developed teaching strategies to accommodate their needs. President Ingrid Liu also noted that TCU has a strong community of exceptional foreign graduate students who converse in English. In particular, the Digital Media and Technology Program of TCU is taught entirely in English, and welcomes students from Duy Tân University in Vietnam to come for exchange.
TCU currently has sister school or academic exchange agreements with nearly 70 universities around the world, including Mahidol University from Thailand, National University of Singapore, universities in Korea, Japan, Sweden, and many others. These agreements have resulted in substantial and enriching exchange experiences, and through such international exchanges between teachers and students, TCU looks forward to collaborating with universities from different countries to cultivate the talents that the world needs.