East Asia has been a significant academic player for years, making the region an interesting partner for international cooperation. This week, Rector Luc Sels and his colleague from UCLouvain – Vincent Blondel – are in Taiwan for exploratory talks with the Academia Sinica and seven Taiwanese universities.
“KU Leuven and UCLouvain have a shared history of nearly 600 years, and together, we are now building a bright international future,” says Rector Luc Sels. “After all, close cooperation within Belgium helps us grow stronger internationally. Last year, Vincent Blondel and I already travelled to North America’s East Coast for talks with MIT. This year, we’re going to Taiwan.”
The programme includes talks with the Academia Sinica, a prestigious institution that supports research activities in a wide range of disciplines, and which has already produced five Nobel Prize laureates. The Belgian Rectors will also meet with representatives of seven Taiwanese universities: Chang Gung University, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), National Chengchi University (NCUU), National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), National Taiwan University (NTU), National Sun Yatsen University, and Taipei Medical University (TMU).
“Cooperation in education and student mobility are high on the agenda," says Rector Sels. “But we also want to work towards deepening the research cooperation. A top-level university such as NTU offers many possibilities in this respect.”
Opportunities in East Asia
KU Leuven is taking an ever-stronger interest in cooperation with partners in East Asia. Rector Luc Sels and Vice Rector Peter Lievens visited Japan at the end of 2018, and March 2019 saw the conclusion of partnership agreements with four South Korean partners. The international alumni activities in the region were also further expanded with alumni chapters in China, Japan, and Vietnam.
“This visit to Taiwan is indeed in keeping with our broader strategy for East Asia,” Sels explains. “The region has a lot to offer, after all. Moreover, KU Leuven already has bilateral agreements with three Taiwanese universities, as well as collaborations at the faculty level. I am confident that we will achieve great results with this mission as well.”
Vincent Blondel: "This visit is part of a broader effort to intensify relations between our two universities, on many levels. It is a real asset to present ourselves together internationally."
This communication was first published 17 June 2019 by KU Leuven.