Working with local farmers in Taiwan’s Nantou region, National Chi Nan University (NCNU) has been steadily improving the efficiency of light, electricity, water consumption while boosting production levels of water bamboo (Zizania latifolia). These positive innovations have been commended as exemplary fruits of a model academic-industry partnership by Global Views Monthly Magazine’s “Outstanding University Social Responsibility Projects” 2020 rankings.
NCNU captured the honor from a pool of 97 contenders, with President Dr. Yuhlong Oliver Su thanking CommonWealth Magazine for casting equal and fair judgement in looking beyond the northern Taiwanese capital and including the university from the central heartlands.
At the May 2 awards ceremony recognizing 7 schools for a collective 8 projects, President Su accepted the accolade from Charles Kao, founder and chairman of Global Views Monthly, explaining that Nantou was the epicenter of the dreaded September 21 earthquake that devastated Taiwan in 1999. Since then, the university has been working ever more closely with its neighboring communities to rebuild their hometowns and better the shared environment.
This winning project was an initiative spearheaded by the NCNU College of Science and Technology to help local water bamboo farmers genuinely improve quality and quantity of production and output. Another shortlisted entry to this year’s competition, he added, was a childcare and youth outreach program designed by the NCNU College of Education.
President Su noted that NCNU has had a longstanding relationship with former university President Richard C. T. Lee’s Boyo Social Welfare Foundation in bolstering education in Taiwan’s rural areas. Other NCNU initiatives, he said, include educational workshops with the Liang-shean Tang Social Welfare Foundation founded by Taiwanese ama Chen Chou, butterfly conservation efforts in Nantou, music programs with the local Butterfly youth orchestra, coffee-making and leisure tourism case studies, and tailoring the green economy model for local businesses.
President Su ended his thank you speech with a promise to uphold the university’s success in keeping the coronavirus at bay, and to rally community leaders and volunteers in giving back to society through educational and networking programs.
Guided by the concept of sustainability, NCNU has never lost sight of the importance of grassroots partnerships. From programs designed to help young people find employment in their rural hometowns to introducing intelligent machinery and new technology to agricultural production, the 25-year-old university has encouraged both its staff and students to invest in our collective future by pooling together talents and resources to safeguard this land and its people.
Firmly rooted in Taiwan, NCNU is now seeking new partners from Southeast Asia and branching out to join world universities in the global pursuit of achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid out by the United Nations.