National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)

601–800 th
World University Rankings 2020
=80 th
University Impact Ranking 2019
=78 th
Asia University Rankings 2019
No.1, University Road, Tainan City, 701, Taiwan

National Cheng Kung University has its base in the historic city of Tainan, in Taiwan. It is a university with a pragmatic academic climate, solid research strengths, an international learning environment, interdisciplinary innovation, effective academia-industry cooperation and a pragmatic approach to issues. As a result, NCKU is able to actively exert a positive influence in many areas of endeavour while simultaneously embracing the world.

Since its founding, NCKU has undergone tremendous transformation and growth. Today the school comprises nine colleges in engineering, management, liberal arts, sciences, medicine, social science, electrical engineering and computer science, planning and design, and bioscience and biotechnology. Within these colleges are 43 undergraduate programmes, 36 independent graduate institutes and nine degree programmes. The colleges are located on the main campus, while the Kuei-Jen, An-Nan and Dou-Liou campuses are home to, respectively, the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Tainan Hydraulics Laboratory and the NCKU Hospital Dou-Liou branch. These features make NCKU one of the most academically comprehensive research universities in the region.

NCKU prioritises talent cultivation. In addition to improving students’ domain knowledge, the university also aims to equip students with language proficiency, knowledge of the world’s many cultural values, flexibility to adapt to any environment and familiarity with the use of information technology. All of these are abilities necessary for world-class, globally mobile talent. Since it was established, NCKU’s 150,000+ graduates have become the backbone of Taiwan’s society. In the Global 2000 Leading Companies for 2017, published by Forbes, NCKU ranked 48th among universities worldwide in terms of the number of alumni who have gone on to become chief executives.

According to a database analysis from Elsevier, papers published by NCKU over the past five years were primarily in the following fields: engineering, medicine, computer science, physics and astronomy, and material science. Among these, NCKU’s field-weight citation impact rankings in engineering (NCKU=1.02, world=1); medicine (NCKU=1.13, world=1.02); and biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology (NCKU=1.31, world=1.15) far exceeded the global average. Furthermore, the rate of NCKU papers among the top 10 per cent most highly cited papers has grown over the past three years, expanding from 10.9 per cent in 2014 to 14.1 per cent in 2016. The rate of NCKU papers among the top one per cent most highly cited papers remained stable at approximately one per cent.

NCKU has always been a national leader in terms of performance in industry-academia collaboration. Funding from industry-academia collaboration at NCKU reached NT$4.45 billion (£113 million) in 2016. The university has also achieved excellent performance in terms of income derived from intellectual property rights, and in terms of the number of patents and utility models. Despite the economic recession, NCKU’s non-government funding for industry-academia collaboration continued to grow from NT$640 million in 2011 to NT$940 million in 2016, expanding from 16 per cent to 23 per cent of overall research funding.

NCKU’s results from collaboration with enterprise also lead the nation. In the 2016 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, NCKU ranked 12th in the world in terms of industry income per staff member. NCKU was counted among the top 100 universities worldwide in number of US patents approved from 2012-16. The amount of technology transfer signing fees collected each year has exceeded NT$100 million for nine consecutive years since 2009. NCKU is the only university in the nation to achieve such a performance.

With effective interdisciplinary integration and outstanding academic achievement, and through its research centres, NCKU stays in close touch with social trends and developments. The university assumes a core role in industry and public policy, social engagement and sustainable innovation, and its achievement in these regards are also well recognised around the world.

Enjoying life as an NCKU student

NCKU students benefit greatly from the rich cultural heritage of Tainan and enjoy famous snack foods offered throughout the city. The library, public artworks, historic buildings, tree-shaded campus and a variety of extracurricular activities contribute to a wonderful campus life. The experience of studying and living in the historic city of Tainan is treasured by students from many places in Taiwan and around the world.

Historic buildings shaded by old trees form part of NCKU’s unique character. The NCKU Museum, which was once the administrative centre of Tainan Technical College, is the first museum at a public university in Taiwan to be officially integrated into the school’s organisational structure. The NCKU campus boasts rich culture assets that tell the story of the school’s past. Laid out in a straight line, the Li Xian building, Dacheng Hall and the Department of History building, with their white Roman-style six-pillared porticos, red-brick walls and green window lattices creating a time-tunnel ambiance of dappled light and shade. Such a classic scholarly setting is the perfect environment for students to concentrate on their studies while simultaneously obtaining spiritual enrichment.

In addition to a great learning environment, NCKU also has strong sports culture. There are 11 outdoor basketball courts and 11 volleyball courts, a 400m track field, a football field, a standard swimming pool, and a comprehensive court for baseball, softball pitch and football pitch. At least 12 billiards or 12 badminton courts can be fitted into the indoor centre hall, ranking the highest among the surrounding universities. A new swimming pool and ball stadium opened at the end of 2018 and will promote a sports and leisure atmosphere that is also conducive to the cultivation of professions and research literacy for staff and students.

Feeling the campus and the city

NCKU’s main campus is conveniently located in downtown Tainan and is adjacent to the Tainan Railway Station, providing easy access to various transportation networks as well as the Southern Taiwan Science Park. With multiple colleges residing on the main campus, NCKU can easily facilitate interdisciplinary learning and cooperation, leading to the development of competitive, multifaceted professionals and students who can expand their international perspective by interacting with their peers from diverse ethnic backgrounds and nationalities.

Outside the campus, fascinating backstreets and historic buildings can be found throughout Tainan, and the famous traditional local eateries are particularly popular with NCKU students.

There are more than 1,600 temples located in Tainan city, which preserve a traditional cultural legacy and the sensory richness of life that helps NCKU students to uniquely excel in fields such as urban innovation, history and literature. A variety of resources, whether artistic, cultural, historical or scientific, along with a convenient location, help NCKU students enjoy an atmosphere of academic professionalism and a wonderful lifestyle that effectively prepares them for success in an ever-changing world.

Rich ecological resources

Tainan enjoys very rich natural resources and multiple ecosystems. For example, the Sicao Green Tunnel, nicknamed the “little Amazon River”, is a mangrove forest on either side, extending over the water to form a tunnel. In this tranquil, secret part of the city, one can experience the world-renowned wetland ecosystem and see nature co-existing in harmony with the city. In addition, Tainan is the ideal place for observing the endangered and rare black-faced spoonbill. Through the efforts of non-governmental organisations and local governments, initiated in 1988, a popular conservation philosophy gradually developed to aid this species’ survival. In 2018, their worldwide population stands at around 4,400, of which 2,400 wintered in Taiwan. Tainan has the highest population of the birds, attracting many international tourists coming to take photos of them each winter.

International network

As a prestigious leading research university in Taiwan, historically NCKU began its internationalisation very early because an international environment is conducive to the cultivation of global citizens. Currently, NCKU offers 33 programmes taught in English and 694 courses. In 2018, the number of NCKU international students totalled 1,762, accounting for more than eight per cent of the student body at NCKU, and 846 international scholars have visited NCKU for teaching, research and exchange.

Internationally, NCKU exerts its global impact through 406 international cooperation agreements with 251 foreign universities and institutions, distributed over 37 different countries. Currently, the agreements are inclusive of 35 dual-degree programmes and 103 active student exchange programmes that greatly enrich the international experience of students. In 2018, 460 local students were able to study abroad, and 70 per cent of the departments at NCKU have been involved in study abroad programmes.

Internationalisation at home

Mingling culture

Having firm relationships with universities in Southeast Asia, the number of students from the Association of Southeast Asian Countries and South Asian nations in 2018 was 1,011, ranking NCKU first among the universities in Taiwan. Currently, there are more than 200 muslim students studying on campus. To meet their religious needs, several prayer rooms have been built at different campuses for their daily use. In addition, 13 international student associations for Japan, South Korea, Indonesian, and Vietnam, and the United International Student Alliance is supported by NCKU to help international students overcome any assimilation issues and deepen their degree of interaction with local students.

A wonderful Chinese learning environment

Traditional Chinese characters are a treasured cultural legacy and the product of thousands of years of linguistic evolution. The Chinese Language Center at NCKU is the only one in Taiwan selected by the US Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship programme for American undergraduate and graduate students. It is also the second largest among all national universities in Taiwan, offering a complete Chinese language training programme to promote international cultural exchange. Each year, more than 1,100 foreign students from at least 50 different countries come to study Mandarin Chinese at the CLC. The students are of all ages, ranging from early teens to retired seniors.

A new chapter

The Circular Economy programme is the first inter-college, international programme among Taiwanese universities targeted at a mixed student body composed of working professionals, mid-career students and continuing university students who are enrolled in at least one of the master’s degree courses offered at NCKU. Created in 2018, this programme provides students with professional skills that are linked with each other but distributed throughout the existing departments at NCKU.

In addition, NCKU and Purdue University entered into a collaboration for a 3+1+1 dual-degree programme and 2+2 doctoral dual-degree programme with the Purdue online campus. A scholarship will be offered by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation of Taiwan to excellent students in the dual-degree programme, with summer intern opportunities and job vacancies at the AIDC in the US.

Explore rankings data for National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)

All ranked institutions have an overall score and 4 pillar scores. However for each pillar, only institutions ranked in the top 500 overall or the top 500 in this pillar have a publicly visible score

Key statistics

  • 13.7
    No. of students per staff
  • 13%
    Percentage of International Students
  • 37 : 63
    Student Ratio of Females to Males
  • 20,663
    Number of FTE Students
Based on data collected for the (1) 2020 World University Rankings


National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)
National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)
National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)
National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)
National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)
National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)