In 2005, NCKU received a subsidy for the Aim for the Top University Project and aspired to develop as a Top University
Amid the current development of a knowledge economy, the research capacity of universities has become the foundation for a nation to build up its international competitiveness. In 2006, NCKU received a subsidy of NT$1.7 billion for the implementation of the “Aim for the Top University and Excellent Research Center Project” from 2006 to 2007. In 2008, NCKU continued to receive a subsidy of NT$1.7 billion to implement the same project through 2010. With the project subsidies over the years, NCKU increased its annual budget by 25%, resulting in speedy improvements in its overall campus learning environment, its teaching and research capacity, and its administrative efficiency and effectiveness.
Upon his inauguration in 2007, President Michael M. C. Lai endeavored proactively to implement the project. He set up the Center of Moving toward a Top University with Vice President Hong-Sen Yan as the director (succeeded later by the next-term vice president Huey-Jen Su) to coordinate, integrate and oversee all efforts throughout the project. As a result, NCKU has improved its quality of education, its student counseling services, its research capacity, its campus environment, and its promotion of software and hardware infrastructure to international standards.
Meanwhile, under the project, NCKU worked to increase its artistic establishments and organize art events to create a humanistic learning environment on campus. Additionally NCKU proceeded to improve all its facilities related to learning, research and student life, resulting in a significantly steady progress in its pursuit of internationalization and advanced research. According to the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities released by SJTU, NCKU was ranked at No. 256 (ranked second in Taiwan), surpassing other 128 universities within five years.
Moreover, NCKU established three research clusters under the project to upgrade its research and development in national key fields. Specifically, the Research Cluster on Cutting-edge Production aimed to develop key technologies to promote economic development in Taiwan; The Research Cluster on Healthy Life intended to improve human health; and the Research Cluster on Ecological Sustainability focused on reuse of resources and energy on earth. Altogether, the research clusters functioned not only to elevate research achievements at NCKU, but also to stimulate technology research and development in industry-academia collaborations, contributing greatly to economic development and national welfare in Taiwan.
The construction of the Building of Marine Engineering was underway in 2014. (Courtesy of NCKU Dept. of Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering)
In an International Humanities Session in 2009, Paul Chu Ching-Wu and Ying-Tai Lung were invited to share their ideas with NCKU’s teachers and students. (Courtesy of NCKU Registrar Division)