National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) reaches out from the historic city, Tainan. NCKU 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 – a school that is able to actively exert a positive influence in many areas of endeavor while simultaneously embracing the world.
NCKU features a practical academic climate, conducive to the steadfast pursuit of knowledge and truth. Since its founding, NCKU has undergone tremendous transformation and growth. Today the school comprises nine Colleges: Engineering; Management; Liberal Arts; Sciences; Medicine; Social Science; Electrical Engineering & Computer Science; Planning & Design; and Bioscience & Biotechnology. Within these Colleges are 43 undergraduate programs, 36 independent graduate institutes, and nine degree programs. The Colleges are located on the main campus, while the Kuei-Jen, An-Nan and Dou-Liu campuses are home to, respectively, the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; the Tainan Hydraulics Laboratory; and NCKU Hospital Dou-Liou Branch. These features make NCKU one of the most academically comprehensive research universities in the region.
NCKU prioritizes talent cultivation. In addition to improving students' domain knowledge, NCKU 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 over 150 thousand 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 number of alumni who have gone on to become CEOs.
According to a database analysis from Elsevier, papers published by NCKU over the last 5 years were primarily in the following fields: Engineering; medicine; computer science; physics and astronomy; and material science. Among these, NCKU’s rankings in Engineering (FWCINCKU=1.02; FWCIWorld=1), Medicine (FWCINCKU=1.13; FWCIWorld=1.02), and Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (FWCINCKU=1.31; FWCIWorld=1.15) far exceeded the global average. Furthermore, the rate of NCKU papers among the top 10% most highly cited papers has grown each of the past 3 years, expanding 29% from 10.9% in 2014 to 14.1% in 2016. The rate of NCKU papers among the top 1% most highly cited papers remained stable at approximately 1%.
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 in 2016. The university has also achieved excellent performance in terms of income derived from intellectual property rights, and in terms of 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% to 23% 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 to 2016. The amount of technology transfer signing fees collected each year has exceeded NT$100 million for 9 consecutive years since 2009. NCKU is the only university in the nation to achieve such performance.
With effective interdisciplinary integration and outstanding academic achievement, and through its research centers, NCKU stays in close touch with social trends and developments. NCKU assumes a core role in industry and public policy, social engagement, and sustainable innovation, and its achievement in these regards are also well recognized around the world.
Enjoying Life as an NCKU Student
NCKU students benefit greatly from the rich cultural heritage of Tainan City and enjoy famous snack foods offered throughout the city. The library, public artworks, historic buildings, tree-shaded campus, and a variety of extra-curricular 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 from part of NCKU’s unique character. The NCKU Museum, which was once the administrative center of Tainan Technical College, is the first museum at a public university in Taiwan to be officially integrated into the school’s organizational 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, Da Cheng 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 environment generates the perfect environment for students to concentrate on their studies and obtain spiritual enrichment simultaneously.
In addition to a great learning environment, NCKU also has strong sports culture. There are 11 outdoor basketball courts and 11 volleyball courts, a 400-meter track field, a football field, a standard swimming pool, and a comprehensive court for baseball, softball, and football. At least 12 billiards or 12 badminton courts can be planned in the indoor center 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 sound sports and leisure atmosphere that is also conducive to the cultivation of professions and research literacy for faculty and students.
Feeling the Campus and the City
NCKU’s main campus is conveniently located in downtown Tainan City and is adjacent to the Tainan Railway Station, providing easy access to various transportation networks and Southern Taiwan Science Park as well. 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 that 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 eat are particularly popular with NCKU students. There are more than 1,600 temples located in Tainan city which preserve 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 its convenient location, helps 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, enjoying the name “mini 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 class 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 NGOs 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, and Tainan has the highest population attracting many international tourists coming for photo shooting each winter.
AS a prestigious, leading research university in Taiwan, historically NCKU began its internationalization very early because an international environment is conducive to the cultivation of global citizens. Currently, NCKU offers 33 programs taught in English and 694 courses. In 2018, the total number of NCKU international students totaled 1,762, accounting for more than 8% of the student body at NCKU, and 846 international scholars have visited NCKU for teaching, research, and exchange.
For the 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 programs and 103 active exchange student programs that greatly enrich the international experience of students. In 2018, 460 local students were able to study abroad, and 70% of the departments at NCKU have been involved in study abroad programs.
Internationalization at Home
Having firm relationships with universities in Southeast Asia, the number of students from ASEAN and South Asian countries in 2018 was 1,011, ranking NCKU 1st among the universities in Taiwan. Currently, there are more than 200 Muslims 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, Vietnam, etc. and the United International Student Alliance (UISA) are supported by the NCKU to help international students overcome their assimilation problems 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 (CLC) at NCKU is the only one in Taiwan selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program for American undergraduate and graduate students. It is also the second largest among all national universities in Taiwan offering a complete Chinese language training program to promote international cultural exchange. Each year, more than 1100 foreign students from over 50 different countries come to study Mandarin Chinese at the CLC. The students are of all ages, ranging from the early teens to retired seniors.
A New Chapter
The Circular Economy (CE) Program is the first inter-college, international program among Taiwanese universities targeted to 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 programs offered at NCKU. Created in 2018, this program provides students with professional skills that are linked with each other but distributed throughout the existing department at NCKU.
In addition, NCKU and Purdue University entered into a collaboration for a 3+1+1 dual degree program and 2+2 doctoral dual degree program with the Purdue online campus. A scholarship will be offered by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation of Taiwan (AIDC) to excellent students in the Dual Degree Program, with summer intern opportunities and job vacancies at the AIDC US.