National Cheng Kung University is the only university in Taiwan to have joined the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN). Soon after taking his post as the new executive director of the WUN in August, 2018, Prof. Peter Lennie arrived at NCKU to get a more in-depth understanding of NCKU’s current and prospective research projects in September, 2018. During his visit, NCKU and WUN took their partnership to the next level in a roundtable meeting where NCKU President Dr. Huey-Jen Su underscored the university’s full support for all the research projects, conferences, and events under the WUN, and encouraged members at all levels of the university to be proactive in coming up with research projects and becoming more active in the WUN. Professor Peter Lennie added that student research projects and scholar exchange programs would be further expanded and subsidized in the future.
The Worldwide Universities Network is a global higher education alliance comprised of 23 research-intensive universities across 13 countries and 6 continents. The universities in the WUN work in concerted effort to address four major challenges brought on by global development, such as climate change, public health, higher education and research, and cultural awareness. National Cheng Kung University joined the network in 2016. A diverse team of eleven researchers, including Professor Su-lin Yu from the NCKU Center for Gender & Women Studies and others from Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan, worked together on the “Marriage Migrants in Asia” project, which was recognized by the WUN as one of the top 14 most influential research projects in 2018.
The roundtable meeting was attended by NCKU President Dr. Huey-Jen Su, the WUN Executive Director Professor Peter Lennie as well as other NCKU officials such as NCKU Vice President Tungyang Chen, Vice President and Associate Vice President of the NCKU Office of R&D Sun-Yuan Hsieh and Pei-Jung Lu, and the Associate Vice President of NCKU Office of International Affairs Chia-Yuan Chen. NCKU professors researching in various fields connected with the WUN’s core objectives were also in attendance, including Prof. Guo How-Ran from the NCKU College of Medicine, Prof. Jo-Shu Chang from the Department of Chemical Engineering, Prof. Tse-Ming Chen from the Department of Physics, Associate Professor Ping-Sheng Wu from the Department of Architecture, and Associate Professor Mei-Tzu Tsai from the Department of Chinese Literature. The roundtable meeting yielded fruitful discussion among all of the attendees who talked about their experiences in their respective fields and shared their own observations and thoughts on the matters related to the four major issues being tackled by the WUN.
The NCKU affirmed that Prof. Peter Lennie’s visit and the face-to-face exchanges that occurred at the roundtable meeting enabled NCKU professors and officials to gain a better understanding of the WUN’s ongoing operations, future developments, and prospective research projects. Moving forward, NCKU will work more closely with other member universities in the WUN to further research on major global issues.
Back in November 2, 2016, a WUN delegation including then-executive director John Hearn arrived at NCKU and signed a cooperative agreement with the university, officially making NCKU one of the higher education institutions in the Worldwide Network of Universities. There are high expectations that the WUN’s multinational education network will foster a value-adding and substantially productive partnership between both sides. Educational institutions such as the University of Sheffield and the University of York in the UK, the University of Sydney in Australia, Maastricht University in the Netherlands, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Zhejiang University are also members of the WUN.
成功大學是台灣唯一加入世界大學聯盟 Worldwide Universities Network（WUN）的學校。新任執行長 Prof. Peter Lennie 2018 年 8 月就職，９ 月即前來成大拜訪，目的要更了解成大的研究領域與發展方向，雙方日前並進一步舉行圓桌會議，蘇慧貞校長強調，成大全力支持WUN的研究、會議與活動，希望全校各院系躍踴提研究計畫參與 WUN 聚焦的領域。Prof. Peter Lennie 則表示，未來會擴大和補助與學生有關的研究或交流計畫。
WUN 是一個由６大洲 13 個國家 23 所大學組成的全球性教學科研聯盟組織，聚焦在解決氣候變遷、公共衛生、全球高等教育和研究、文化認知等全球發展面臨的四大重大挑戰，成大在 2016 年加入。成大婦女與性別研究中心主任游素玲等教授跨國結合港、澳、日等11位女性學者提出「Marriage Migrants in Asia（亞洲婚姻移民）」研究計畫，獲世界大學聯盟（Worldwide Universities Network，WUN）肯定，列為 2018 年 14 個全球最具影響力的計畫案之一。
蘇慧貞校長、Prof. Peter Lennie、陳東陽副校長、謝孫源研發長、呂佩融副研發長、陳嘉元副國際長參與圓桌會議外，研究領域與 WUN 關切的議題有關的教授，包括醫學院郭浩然教授、化工系張嘉修教授、物理系陳則銘教授、建築系吳秉聲副教授、中文系蔡玫姿副教授等都出席圓桌會議，他們在會議中分享自己的專業領域，也針對WUN重視的四大議題廣泛討論並積極提出個人論點與觀察。
成大表示，Prof. Peter Lennie 的到訪以及圓桌會議，透過面對面的交流，讓參與會議的教授等更加認識與了解 WUN 的執行方向、後續發展、未來著重領域及研究計畫。成大將會更密切的與WUN會員學校互動，一起就全球重大議題展開研究。
2016 年 11 月 2 日，當時的 WUN 執行董事 John Hearn 等一行人訪問成大並簽署合作協議書，成大正式成為 WUN 國際高等教育組織一員，雙方期許藉著 WUN 跨洲際高等教育平台，建立起有價值且具實質成效的合作夥伴關係。英國謝爾德大學、澳洲雪梨大學、荷蘭馬斯垂克大學、英國約克大學、香港中文大學、浙江大學等都是會員學校。（撰文、攝影／孟慶慈）