Welcome to the webpage of the College of Humanities and Applied Information (hereafter CHAI). Here you will find information about the evolution, current development, distinguishing characteristics, organizational structure, academic resources and faculty of CHAI. Before you swipe your screen, let me give you a brief overview of technical and vocational education (hereafter TVE) in Taiwan and the mission of this College.
TVE was one of the key factors driving Taiwan’s economic development in the 1970s, and TVE graduates with middle level technical skills constituted the backbone of Taiwan’s manufacturing sector. However, TVE has not been so successful in supporting Taiwan’s industrial upgrading endeavor since the mid 1990s. Constraints on the development of TVE in Taiwan came from both social and political pressures. The first barrier was the Confucian preference for earning a diploma over learning practical skills, which prevented TVE schools from attracting the best students. Secondly, government funding for general universities tended to be higher than that for TVE universities, even though the latter enrolled more students. Thirdly, faculty members in TVE universities had to follow the same promotional track as their counterparts in general universities, leading them to focus on publishing research papers instead of technical reports. This meant TVE faculty members had less incentive to update their knowledge about technical developments in their industry.
TVE in Taiwan is in need of serious reform at this moment. Aside from its not so successful industrial upgrading, Taiwan also has to deal with the challenges posed by an aging society. With this big picture in mind, the College of Humanities and Applied Information aims to provide a new form of
TVE, and holds elevating the job-preparedness of our students in the LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) industry as our mission.
The gist of our strategy to carry out this mission is the development of a symbiotic relationship with industry. All four departments in the CHAI have invited experts from related industries to participate in collaborative teaching, in the design and review of curriculum, and in the annual arrangement of student internships. In order to attract more educational resources, all four departments have applied for and been awarded grants from the Ministry of Education to conduct collaborative programs with industry, which will increase employment opportunities for our students. Faculty within the CHAI also adopt pedagogical approaches that encourage students to work on practical projects and gain more hands-on experience in their classes. Last but not least, the CHAI is trying to encourage interdisciplinary cooperation between its own departments to take advantage of the current wave of IOT (internet of things) and the government industry 4.0 initiative to develop a joint program on medical cloud and long-term care. All these strategies are aimed at preparing our students for Taiwan’s changing economic structure and ensuing job opportunities.
I hope you will visit our beautiful campus on the outskirts of Tainan city, which is adjacent to the magnificent Chimei Museum. Enjoy your visit online, and thank you for taking interest in the College of Humanities and Applied Information.