A 2003 photo of SATU members in front of the Ministry of Education. (Photo courtesy of NCKU Office of International Affairs)


In 2003, SATU was formed to facilitate the integration of resources from prestigious universities for the cultivation of top talents

Since 2000, the government of Taiwan has endeavored to implement the Southbound Policy. In 2003, under the commission of the Ministry of Education, NCKU organized the Presidents’ Forum of Southeast Asia and Taiwan Universities (SATU), with the establishment of a permanent international secretariat on its campus, to promote cooperation and exchange between higher education institutions in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Taiwan.

Since its inception, the biennial SATU convention has sought to address an array of global issues—from humanistic technologies, student mobility, to academia-industry collaboration—by inviting presidents of universities to provide their insights and present solutions to improve regional cooperation. Outside of the forum, SATU has dedicated itself to a series of missions, including government-funded scientific research projects, multiple networks of universities, administrative governance by senior executives and higher education forums, cross-national research collaboration among university faculties, student exchange and mobility, and promotion of international competencies through exchange.

In 2008, SATU resolved to update its full name as “Presidents’ Forum of Southeast and South Asia and Taiwan Universities”. Since then, it has continued to gain momentum and increase its membership from the original 54 member universities. Presently it comprises 103 prestigious universities from nine member countries: Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Vietnam, and India.

As the first international alliance in Taiwan to promote academia-industry collaborations, the Forum has provided a channel for pragmatic exchanges between higher education institutions in Taiwan, Southeast Asia and India. For instance, since 2012 NCKU has offered the international nursing master’s program with an English-taught curriculum, helping the government of Indonesia improve its nursing education and facilitate its recovery from the Indian Ocean tsunami. Indonesian students in the first batch of enrollment in the master’s program are now heads of nursing schools in their country, forming a close bond with NCKU.

Amid economic, social and environmental challenges across the globe, NCKU has served as a platform for knowledge dissemination through SATU, integrating the intellectual resources and assets of its 103 member universities to elevate the quality of higher education in Asia and to nurture regional top talents with a global vision and abilities to solve international and interdisciplinary issues.

A 2018 photo of the SATU Assembly in NCKU Ge-Chi Hall. (Photo courtesy of NCKU Office of International Affairs)

A 2018 photo of SATU members signing the joint statement. (Photo courtesy of NCKU Office of International Affairs)



Amid the pandemic of SARS since 2003, NCKU continued to shoulder its responsibility for public health in southern Taiwan

In 2005, NCKU received a subsidy for the Aim for the Top University Project and aspired to develop as a Top University