May 14, The 2018 Discussion Forum for Senior Students and the President
Every year before the graduation ceremony, the President of Tamkang University will always manage to find the time and come to the Lanyang Campus to have a discussion with would-be graduates. This year, the discussion forum with the president took place on May 14th at the International Conference Hall in the Clement Chang Building. The school president Mr. Keh, Huan-Chao (葛煥召) presided over the discussion. Along with the president, the vice president at the Lanyang Campus Jyh-horng Lin (林志鴻), the Provost of College of Global Development Mr. Pao, Cheng-hao (包正豪), deans of each department, full-time teachers, and all senior students at the Lanyang Campus also joined the discussion.
At the beginning of the discussion, the president said that since the establishment, the Lanyang Campus has been striving to create a nurturing learning environment with the goal of 3-alls (all English-taught programs, all residential college, all junior study abroad). Now it has been 14 years and the facilities and resources are all in place. The Lanyang Campus has nurtured the would-be graduates with the love and patience from the teachers, and the global experience in the junior year. The purpose of the discussion this year would revolve around the theme of study abroad. The president invited the senior students to share their study abroad experience with regards to school and life, and provide suggestions to the Lanyang Campus.
The president then opened the floor to the students. Most students gave positive feedback to the one-year junior study abroad program and extended their greatest gratitude to the Lanyang Campus. They have learned to be independent and enhanced their problem-solving and communicative skills. The discussion went well and the president thanked all students for their valuable feedback. Some excerpts from the discussion are quoted as follows:
1.One student from ELC (語言系蔡宇晴) thanked the school for providing students with an opportunity to study abroad in the junior year when students can be immersed in a different learning environment. Her question was if the school would continue this program when the students at the Lanyang Campus have to move back to the main campus?
The president said the school would still keep the 3-alls for all students in the College of Global Development. And in fact, students are able to have more resources when they are moved back to the main campus in Tamsui.
2.Another student from GPE (政經系陳泓亦) asked if the reflection report for the study abroad program can be written in Chinese (not limited to English) to reach a larger audience.
The Provost of the College of Global Development Mr. Pao said this item would be on the agenda in the next meeting for discussion. The president did not have an opinion on this matter.
3.One student from ITM (觀光系謝語軒) went to Australia in the junior year. He would love to see more industry-academy cooperation or related keynote speeches on campus.
The Dean of ITM Mr. Yeh Chien Mu (葉劍木) said that in addition to 3-alls, the Department of ITM has another "all"; that is, all integration to the industry. In the future, even if all the departments at the Lanyang Campus would move back to Tamsui, we will still work assiduously on creating more opportunities to cooperate with the industry.
4. One student from ITM (觀光系林俊豪), who is also an overseas Chinese student, felt that the student combination at the Lanyang Campus was diverse. Students were from all parts of the world and able to learn both English and Chinese, and to participate in the GLAP program. He asked if the school would continue this program in the future?
The president said the decision would require further deliberation by the Vice President for Academics. The Provost added that the school would fulfill its social responsibility and make good use of the grants. Some sections in the report for the program still needed modifications.
5.A student from GPE (政經系吳家啟), who is from the United States, said it was a great pleasure to study at the Lanyang Campus as well as in Prague in the junior year. During his stay in Prague, he realized the courses provided at the Lanyang Campus were not articulated enough, barely able to satisfy subject matter requirements. Moreover, the current evaluation system for teachers didn't seem to improve the quality of teaching. Four years passed. He asked if there was any room for improvement in regards to the treatment of unqualified teachers.
The provost Mr. Pao said that the school would comply with the laws and send unqualified teachers to the Teacher Evaluation Committee for review. As for the teacher evaluation system, Mr. Pao said that as long as students evaluated teachers without being complaisant nor antagonistic, the evaluation system did help improve the quality of teaching on the Lanyang Campus.
The president Mr. Keh said that even though the school did try to discontinue the employment of an unqualified teacher, the teacher would have many resources to file a complaint, usually to the Ministry of Education, and the school would end up not being able to discontinue the contract. There was nothing the school could do when that happened.
6.A student from the software engineering track of IIT (資創系軟工組鍾心悅) who went to Winona State University in the junior year suggested that TKU should have more study abroad programs (such as 2+2 or 3+1) with sister schools.
The vice president at the Lanyang Campus Mr. Lin said that the Lanyang Campus has 2+2 study program with Winona State University and a 3+2 joint-dual degree program with Temple University. TKU and its sister schools have overcome many difficulties to sign a partnership agreement, yet unfortunately, in the past 10 years, only 1 student was able to fulfill the requirements for the program.
7.A student from GPE (政經系楊薏茹) who went to Indonesia in the junior year suggested that TKU should look for more potential partner schools in Southeast Asia.
The provost Mr. Pao said that TKU will continue to look for quality sister schools in Southeast Asia to sign partnership agreements.
The president said in fact TKU has a partnership agreement with a good university in Thailand, University Tunku Abdul Rahman, but the partnership focused more on research rather than teaching.
8.A student from ITM(觀光系林莉敏) suggested that TKU should provide more online courses of IELTS and TOFEL for all students.
The dean of ELC Ms. Hsieh said, in fact, TKU has purchased a wide variety of online courses for English proficiency tests and all students are encouraged to use these resources to improve English skills.
9.There were also students who showed concerns about the freshman students this year who might have difficulty in adapting to a new environment when all the departments at the Lanyang Campus had to move back to the main campus in Tamsui.
The president said students who attended the Lanyang Campus would graduate from the Lanyang Campus, so there would be no such thing as adaptation difficulty.
10.Another student from ITT shared zir course selection experience in California State University, Long Beach. Ze suggested that TKU should open a negotiation with the sister school and create a fair course selection platform for international students.
The president said from a practical point of view that the course selection system at each school is somewhat protective of their enrolled students. For instance, at TKU students are more likely to register for courses in their major. We believed there were rules at our sister school and we would start a conversation with the sister school on this matter soon.
At the end of the discussion, the president encouraged the senior students who were about to enter the workplace soon. He said that students that graduated from the Lanyang Campus had a great edge because they were equipped with good English skills. Finally, the president concluded the discussion by wishing every student a healthy and happy life and let's meet at the graduation ceremony.