【Reported by Yu-pin Lin, Tamkang Times】From December 15th to December 18th, President Chia-I Chang lead an expedition to Indonesia in order to strengthen ties between Tamkang University and two Indonesian sister schools, Gadjah Mada University and Muhammadiyah University. Accompanying President Chang was Vice President of International Affairs Wan-chin Tai, Dean of the College of Engineering, Chii-dong Ho, Dean of the College of Business and Management, Dr. Chien-liang Chiu, and Secretary of International Affairs, Martha Shu-min Kuo.
They first visited Gadjah Mada University located in Yogyakarta, the city of culture. Yogyakarta has an extensive history and with around 120 private academic institutes and 300,000 students in various schools. Gadjah Mada University was established in 1949 and signed an exchange program agreement on March 23rd, 2004 under the university’s former President, Dr. Sofian Effendi.
The Tamkang University group received a warm welcome from the university president, faculty and administrators. They discussed the direction of future operations and exchange programs in great detail. Gadjah Mada University mentioned that they hoped to see more students from Tamkang University in the coming semesters and also inquired about a double major master’s program. The discussion then lead into to the direction of scholarship programs and the application process for students that were interested. President Chia-I Chang took the opportunity to sign an agreement that will initiate the exchange program starting from 2014. The meeting finished with a new vision and great aspirations between the two universities.
The next day they headed to Muhammadiyah University, which was established in 1981. It has about 12,000 students, 7 colleges, 3 doctoral programs and 2 master programs. It is ranked 4th amongst all universities in Indonesia and ranked 1st amongst private universities. Muhammadiyah University’s Dean of the College of Economics, Dr. Retno Widowati, graduated from Tamkang University’s Department of Management Sciences program in March 2013. It lead to interviews between professors of the two schools and they officially became sister Universities on June 6th, 2013. Afterwards President Chang desired to create a more concrete exchange program by heading to Indonesia.
The briefing began shortly after the two schools signed an exchange program agreement, then the representatives from both universities began to observe each other’s curriculum. President of Muhammadiyah University, Dr. Bambang Cipto mentioned that he hoped to be able to send some excellent students to experience the educational system at TKU. Dean of the College of Business and Management, Wan-chin Tai, promised to send professors to absorb data from Muhammadiyah University’s economic program. The representatives of the two universities continued to solidify ideas and showed great appreciation for having the opportunity to strengthen their academic relationship. The representatives of TKU mentioned that they greatly desire to have more students from Indonesia to further diversify and widen the vision of the future.