To encourage universities to engage with surrounding communities by playing proactive roles in driving development and serving as advisory think tanks to localities, the Ministry of Education has conducted pilot programs titled “University Social Responsibility” since 2017. The National Chi Nan University has been awarded four USR projects this year.
The MOE espouses social responsibilities as one of the goals for higher education institutions. The core values of this program are fostering talent and local connections, a developing strategy that requires a problem-solving approach focusing on the demand of local communities.
In 258 projects submitted by universities and 291 by vocational and technological colleges/universities for MOE grants in 2018, 4 applications by National Chi Nan University – the maximum number of cases allowed per institution – passed reviews for grants, setting a new record in the USR program history.
NCNU started to engage in local public affairs following the aftermath of the Sept. 21 earthquake of 1999, through partnering with NPOs for post-disaster reconstruction as well as the conservation of surrounding cultural heritage sites. Since then, NCNU has expanded its USR-centric philosophy to encompass partnerships with local as well as foreign counterparts – Southeast Asian players in particular.
NCNU will utilize the subsidies to construct USR supportive systems through approaches including institutional reforms to recruit quality staff and foster a workforce of diversified expertise so as to enhance NCNU’s competitive edge.