A 1989 photo of President Jer-Ru Maa leading a delegation to sign a sister school partnership agreement with University of Delaware. (Courtesy of Dr. Hong-Sen Yan)


Admission of international students into NCKU in 1995, furthering its international reach

As a result of its collaboration with Purdue University in the 1950s, the school transformed itself as a beacon for overseas Chinese seeking higher education and advocating a “Free China”. It came to a point where half of the students enrolled in the University’s most popular departments were comprised of Overseas Chinese students. Nevertheless, these students who hailed from different countries and coming from backgrounds that were different from that of local students made NCKU’s campus a diverse one.

In the 1980s, before the Global Village came into existence, NCKU had already been raising its global profile by signing multiple international cooperation agreements. In 1988, an international cooperation panel was formed by the Research and Development Committee under the NCKU Office of the President. Then-University president Jer-Ru Maa appointed the Professor Hong-Sen Yan from the Department of Mechanical Engineering as the convener. In 1989, the NCKU president led a delegation to the University of Delaware to sign a sister school agreement. Subsequently, six exchange students arrived at NCKU as the first cohort of non-Overseas Chinese international students.

In 1995, the Research and Development Committee changed its name to the Office of Research and Development. Under this appellation, the office established the Development & Planning Division, the Project Management Division, and the Academic Cooperation Division (formerly the International Cooperation Panel) to meet the needs of the increasingly onerous integration of research and development projects as well as the needs of cooperative education and academic cooperation.

In 2006, the Office of International Academics (later changed to the Office of International Affairs in 2007) set up the International Relations Division (formerly the Academic Cooperation Division) and the International Student Affairs Division expanded its recruitment of international students. A dedicated support and guidance system was also established in the University’s creation of a globally connected campus. In addition, NCKU linked up with higher education institutions across the globe through its complex exchange platform to broaden the international vision of its faculty and students.

After the establishment of the Office of International Affairs, international student enrollment doubled. In 2006, NCKU enrolled 1,000 international students, comprising 4.6% of the total student population. In 2020, enrollment grew to 10% of the student population with 2,035 international students. With the inclusion of non-degree-seeking and Chinese-learning international students, the percentage of international students rose to 20%. The number of international student clubs also increased to eight clubs. International cultural events held annually at NCKU, such as Culture Day or Eid al-Fitr, have become part of the University’s unique and distinctive landscape, allowing students to learn from various cultures across the world.

The Indonesian Culture Show (Courtesy of an Indonesian student Halim Pratama)

The presidential election of the Indonesian Student Association (Courtesy of an Indonesian student Halim Pratama)

Site inspection for the Architectural Association School of Architecture held by ICID (Courtesy of Bing-Hong Chen)

A 2015 photo of the valedictorian preparing to deliver a graduation speech (Courtesy of the Office of International Affairs)

A discussion on layout designs for the Architectural Association School of Architecture held by ICID (Courtesy of Bing-Hong Chen)



The Research and Development Foundation was founded in 1993, intiating a new model of cooperation between academia and industry

NCKU established its General Research Center, the first of its kind in Taiwan, in 1996. NCKU established its Innovation Headquarters in 2020 to facilitate the administion of industry-academia collaboration, technology transfers, and innovation