Amid the raging pandemic, we continued promoting international cooperation and exchanges. We, the Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages (WZU), established 9 new joint degree programs with the University of Essex, the University of the West of England, and Middlesex University in the U.K.; the International University SDI München in Germany; the European Business School of Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in Russia; and the International Business School of Lille Catholic University in France. Our departments of English, International Affairs, Foreign Language Instruction, Digital Content Application and Management, and Communication Arts signed contracts for joint degree programs with these international academic institutions. To create opportunities for future cooperation, we also signed sister school contracts with the University of Canterbury in New Zealand; University of Westminster in the U.K.; Southern Illinois University, and San Francisco State University in the U.S., and McGill University in Canada. To broaden students’ international perspectives and strengthen cooperation with industries, government agencies, and academic institutions overseas, we signed contracts with 23 entities overseas and sent our students there for international internship.
Despite the pandemic, our students could still complete their studies and interact with teachers and students overseas by taking online courses in Taiwan. 97 students this year conducted international academic exchanges by going abroad or online. Our teachers and administrative directors also respectively participated in international conferences and educational forums online to not only exchange ideas with scholars and experts overseas, but also raised the visibility of our school.
The Office of International and Cross-Strait Cooperation also worked with departments of languages to invite international scholars and organize online co-teaching programs, infusing new vitality into teaching in the midst of the pandemic. The Department of English even managed to invite Professor Michael Byram, a prominent British expert on language education and cross-cultural communication, to participate in the planning and teaching of the programs. The programs were well received by students, who said that they benefited greatly from the rare experience and expected to have more exchanges like this in the future. Through online platforms, we invited scholars overseas to incorporate their professional knowledge and extensive experience into the programs, helping our students improve their knowledge base and skill set in international communication. These programs broke pandemic-associated mobility restrictions and continued to provide our teachers and students with opportunities for international academic exchanges. The international scholar online co-teaching programs this year benefited a total of 329 students.