Asia University held its annual retreat before the new semester on September 9 and 10, 2021. President Jeffrey J. P. Tsai delineated the university’s vision and mission in his opening remarks and encouraged all the faculty and staff members to work toward excellence in quality teaching, innovative research, and industrial collaboration. He also stressed the importance of turning AU into a smart university in order to meet new challenges in this globalized educational environment.
Dr. Chang-hai Tsai, founder of the university, stated that AU should make good use of this Covid-19 crisis and build up its reputation as a world class comprehensive university. He mentioned that digitalization and innovation have become two key components in the future of higher education. AU should adopt some effective strategies to venture into the studies and application of these two trends. He encouraged AU to cooperate with China Medical University to do extensive research in the fields of healthcare, precision nutrition, and other biomedical studies.
President Tsai also stated that the aging population and the low birthrate have created some challenges to our society in general and to university recruitment in particular. However, he also envisioned some opportunities in the recent development of 5G+AI study, quantum computing and zero-contact medical services. He plans to re-allocate university resources to support these studies in the hope that these research findings can be applied to improve people’s wellbeing and quality of life in the future.
Regarding the achievement of the university, President Tsai stated that AU is ranked No. 1 in winning “Hsieh-Hai (international engagement) Grants” for the past three years and in International Design Competition held by the Ministry of Education for seven consecutive years. Last year, 89 teachers’ projects were awarded funding by “MOE Teaching Practice Research Program” and the total number of the projects is ranked No.4 among 160 Taiwan universities. In addition, AU has performed well in the fields of precision health research, medical technology manufacturing, prevention and treatment of internet addiction, circular economy, intelligent assistive technology and rehabilitation innovation, and big data research.
Since the impact of the pandemic is still severe, this year’s retreat was held both online and in person. For the first day, two keynote speeches were arranged. Professor Jason Yi-Bing Lin from National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University gave an informative and insightful talk on “Collecting Data for Smart Campus.” The second speaker, Miss Zih-Fang Zeng, General Manager of a consulting company, talked about the strategies in recruitment in the time of pandemics and low birthrate.
The second day of the retreat is the digital learning day. Quite a few experts in this field were invited to give a one-day workshop on the application of digital teaching and learning. The entire University faculty, including President Tsai, attended the workshop on line. The speakers included Chin-Chung Tsai, Honorary Life-time National Chair Professor, Koong Lin, professor from the Department of Information and Learning Technology, National Tainan University, Shian-Shyong Tseng, Vice President of Asia University, Hui-Chun Chu, professor from the Department of Computer Science & Information Management, Soochow University, Mr. Brad Peng, Deputy Executive Manager of TSMC Charity Foundation, Tony C.T. Kuo, professor from the Media Production Division, National Open University, Yee-Chiang Heng, Executive Director of Wisdom Garden Limited, Shush-Ting Chu, professor from the Department of Bioinformatics and Medical Engineering, Hui-Ping Lu, professor from the Department of Visual Communication Design, Chia-Han Lin, professor from the Department of Information Communication, Shu-chen Huang, Director of the Center for General Education, and Wen-Chi Wu, professor from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, Asia University. Many important issues and practical methodologies, such as effective interpersonal communication, the TronClass platform, the latest trends and important issues in E-learning research, strategies of distance learning and flipped classrooms, and designing case-oriented self-learning materials, were covered comprehensively. The workshop began with a pre-test and ended with a post-test to ensure the courses were understood by all participants.
The end of this two-day retreat signifies the official beginning of the semester 2021.