President Jeffrey J. P. Tsai’s Speech at Asia University’s 20th Anniversary

Dear Mayor of Taichung City- Shiow-Yen Lu, Founder of Asia University- Chang-Hai Tsai, Founder of Giant Bicycle- King Liu, President of China Medical University, Mien-Chie Hung, Members of the Board of Trustees at Asia University-  Tina Lin, Victor Ma, and Tsung-Yao Lin, Advisor of the Board- Wen Xuan Zheng, Superintendent of China Medical University Hospital- Der Yang Cho, Honorary Chair Professors of Asia University- Mao-Lin Shih, Chih-Liang Yaung, and  Wen-Hsiang Tsai, Superintendent of Asia University Hospital- Yung-Hsin Hsu, Director of the Department of Education of Taichung City Government- Chen-Sheng Yang, Principal of National Changhua Girls’Senior High School- Hsiang-Yun Chen, Distinguished Guests, Faculty, Staff, and Students.  A Hearty Good Morning to you all

First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks to you all for sparing your Saturday to come to Asia University (AU), to celebrate AU’s 20th anniversary.  Our esteemed faculty, staff, and students gather in this International Conference Hall with deep gratitude to commemorate a fruitful and bounteous anniversary that marks the coming of age of our university.

A 20-year-old AU is at once energetic, visionary, and dynamic, full of possibilities.  Since its establishment in 2001, AU has been committed to innovation and excellence, and through our joint effort and team spirit as well as thanks to the strong support of the university founder and AU’s Board of Trustees, we have accomplished much and garnered a world reputation as one of the aspiring top universities in Taiwan and across the world. According to the annual report of top 20 Taiwan universities by Cheers Magazine, a prestigious Taiwan publication, AU has been listed for the past 7 consecutive years because of its superb academic performance. Although still in its early stage of development, AU has won numerous world accolades, including top 100 best universities under 50 by Times Higher Education (THE), when AU was barely 14.  This great honor as a top world university has continued over the past 8 years, making AU a role model and an educational miracle among institutions of higher education.  Aside from THE, AU was also ranked as one of the best world universities by QS, ARWU, and US News and World Report.

AU places an emphasis on students’ education in morality, aesthetics, compassion, and literacy in humanities.  We set up a “Three-Virtues Academy”, emphasizing morality for a decent human being, a high ethical standard for action and refined taste for daily living.  We built a state-of-the-art Ando Museum, promoting aesthetic education.  We also created AU as a volunteer service university, promoting altruism. We hosted arts and cultural activities, proposed building a humanistic AU to foster students’ positive attitude towards living, and amiability

To enhance students’ concrete learning skills and thereby enhance their employability, we established a Creative Design & Invention Center to train our young design talents for international design competition, such as the Red Dot Design Award, the IF Design Award and the like.  The Ministry of Education (MOE), Taiwan, also encouraged and sponsored college students to participate in the international competition in fine arts and design, and AU has won the first prize in this MOE category in 7 consecutive years, a rare achievement for any university.  We also provided necessary help and offered attractive incentives to encourage our students to take the national exam to ensure a steady and promising career when they graduate.  New graduates of year 2020 from our College of Nursing, from our College of Medical and Health Sciences, especially from the Departments of Optometry, Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, and Post-Baccalaureate Veterinary Science, took the National Senior Examination and performed miraculously, with a passing rate of 100% for audiologists, 96% for both speech therapists and nurses, 88.57% for optometrists, 88% for occupational therapists, and 65.33% for veterinarians.

We also vigorously fostered in our students such knowledge and skills as aesthetics, innovation, cross-disciplinary ability, empathy, human caring, so as to make them irreplaceable by artificial intelligence (AI).

To cope with the challenges that AI has brought about, we meanwhile established the College of Artificial Intelligence, the Center for AI Research, a training base for AI talent cultivation, and an AI Experience Room, to empower our students with an appropriate skills set.  We decided to develop AI skills for our young talents comprehensively from the undergraduate to the graduate levels, from bachelor to PhD.  Our AI has garnered 10 national innovation awards over the past 4 years. In the past 3 years, our faculty and students have taken part in various types of AI competition hosted by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Institute for Information Technology (IIT), and Media Tec, winning in total 33 awards.  Our students also started AI companies, using the AI skills they had acquired at AU.

 

To fulfill our social responsibility as a university (USR), we vigorously expanded our AU hospital and healthcare-related service sectors to provide help with and caring for more people.  We set up AI-USR practice bases, and under the auspices of MOST, MOE, IIT, and ITRI, applied AI technology to USR. We utilized AI, for example, to treat  dementia and internet addiction. We also used AI for smart fisheries, food safety, farming product quality authentication, smart emergency medical services and telemedicine, as well as the cultivation of AI literacy for both primary and secondary school students.

In terms of our internationalization, we strived to educate our students with global perspectives and international mobility so that when they enter the campus, they will act and think like students at any world renowned university, such as University of Bologna, Cafoscari University of Venice, National University of Singapore, University of Hong Kong, University of Tokyo, University of Kyoto, and Stanford University.  Futhermore, we vigorously promote the AU’s“318 project,” a concrete and ambitious internationalization project in which AU students are required to learn three languages, namely Chinese, English and a programming language, and to go abroad once in four years’ time through any one of eight different pathways—that is, dual degree programs, semester exchange students, summer/winter vacation study, internship, international volunteers, international competition and international conferences, as well as through internships in the countries proposed by the Taiwan New Southbound Policy. AU, therefore, can dispatch some hundreds of students abroad each semester for the purposes and activities stated in the “318 Project,” making AU the top university for two consecutive years in terms of outbound and inbound student mobility, according to the report of Cheers magazine.  AU also ranked No. 1 for the funding we have collected from MOE in its Study Abroad Program as well as in its New Southbound Project.

In response to the challenges and opportunities of the coming age of the digital economy, AU will develop rapidly and aggressively the following areas in collaboration with the industries and by means of smart technologies: 5G, AIoT precision medicare, 5G long-term care, FinTech, food safety, new agriculture, digital learning, quantum computing, and the wellbeing industry.  AU will continue to be committed to its founding mission by developing its features and strengths to educate new generations of talent.  AU will also launch its spin-off companies, as an essential part of USR, to help solve the serious problems facing human beings today, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, global warming, climate change, shortage of water resources, shortage of food, environmental pollution, various types of diseases, low birthrate, aging population and unequal distribution of resources

Finally, I would like to ask our distinguished guests to take advantage of this rare opportunity to walk around our graceful and elegant campus, breathing its aroma of aesthetics and the humanities.  Today we also display the results and achievements of our USR projects and communal services.  Each college and department will also exhibit their features and strengths.  You are also welcome to visit our state-of-the-art Ando Museum of Modern Art and experience Taiwan first-class local artists and their masterpieces.  I wish each of you good health and prosperity and happy birthday to AU.  May the university continue to thrive.