A photo of the first class of graduates taken in front of the administration building (currently the NCKU Museum) on March 16, 1934 (9th year of the Showa Era)–(Courtesy of NCKU Museum)


Taiwan’s first technical college is born with a mission to industrialize Taiwan

In 1931, the Office of the Government-General of Taiwan under Japanese rule issued its first decree to establish Tainan Technical College, then the highest educational institute for industrial engineering, in consistent with the goal for the industrialization of Taiwan.

During the opening ceremony of the school in its first year, President Wakatsuki Michitaka appealed to all students to be cool-headed, broad-minded, and physically active—to be well prepared to strive for industrial developments in Taiwan. Under his influence, the school proceeded to operate as an educational institute with its school ethos based on practical applications, and preserve its founding spirit and legacy throughout World War II.

Taiwan’s economy was agricultural in the early stages of Japanese rule. In October, 1927, Governor-General Kamiyama Mitsunoshin proposed to establish a technical college expediently to promote industrial education during the fifth council of the Office of the Government-General of Taiwan. Meanwhile, several resolutions in favor of the establishment of the college, economic industrialization and employment markets were concluded at the same meeting, including the budget for the school, the budgets for related major construction projects, and the resumption of the Sun Moon Lake hydroelectric power plant construction.

The college was inaugurated with three departments: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and applied chemistry. In its first decade, the college graduated its first engineering professionals in Taiwan, who worked to apply their education and expertise to facilitate Taiwan’s industrial progress steadfast throughout the Sino-Japanese war and World War II.

A 1931photo of the first opening ceremony held in front of the Physics and Chemistry Laboratory, the first building constructed in the college, and completed in October, 1930 (Courtesy of NCKU Museum)

First president, Wakatsuki Michitaka (Courtesy of NCKU Museum)

A 1933 photo of President Wakatsuki activating a boiler and aspiring to forge an educational institute for the cultivation of cool-headed, broad-minded, and physically active engineers (Courtesy of NCKU Museum)