Major Achievements of NTU

Achieving the Phase-Based Overall Objectives of Entering the World’s Top 100 Universities

The first phase of NTU’s “Aim for the Top University Project” (The ATU Project) endeavors to establish a quality learning and research campus environment by identifying and supporting the research teams with the most potential for becoming the top, and elevating research levels of all fields; this is the concept of “balanced growth with key strategic breakthroughs”. The principal objective of the first phase is to reach world-class status in at least 10 to 15 academic fields within five years and join the ranks of the world’s top 100 in five to ten years in the second phase, so as to be recognized as the pinnacle of the Chinese community and a top-rated research university in the world.

In The Times Higher Education–QS World University Rankings 2009, which was released in The Times Higher Education Supplement, NTU has broken into the top 100 world universities with an overall ranking of 95, compared to its 114 th -place rank in The Times’ 2005 survey. As for the rankings in five areas of expertise (arts & humanities, engineering & IT, life sciences & biomedicine, natural sciences, and social sciences), NTU broke its 2007 record by entering the top 50 in two subject areas: engineering & IT (47) and life sciences & biomedicine (45). Improvements have also been made in the area of arts & humanities (60th-place rank from 152nd in 2008) and social sciences (58th-place rank from 74th in 2008) among world universities in 2009.

In the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) announced by Shanghai Jiaotong University, NTU’s ranking ascended from the 183rd-place in 2005 to the 127 th -place in 2010 after four years of efforts, surpassing National University of Singapore (145) and Seoul National University (148), and topping all other universities in Asia (see Figure 1). This result is indicative of the achievements made in implementing the first phase.


As for domestic research achievements, NTU received the following elite level awards between 2000 and 2009: the National Chair Award of the MOE (receiving 35% of awards among all domestic universities and 42% among 11 research universities), Academic Award of the MOE (33% among all domestic universities and 46% among 11 top research universities), and Outstanding Research Award of the National Science Council (27% among all domestic universities, and 38% among 11 top research universities). Despite all these significant achievements, NTU has only received 30% of annual subsidies among 11 research universities from the ATU Project between 2006 and 2010.

Teaching and research aside, the first phase of the ATU Project aims to renew campus culture and civic values, cultivate traditional core value, and establish a superior campus culture. In the “2010 Top 1,000 Enterprises’ Favorite College Graduates” survey conducted by Cheers business magazine, NTU ranked the first place for four consecutive years after surpassing NCKU in 2007. The second and third place went to NCKU and NCTU. Among 8 abilities indicators, NTU topped other universities in 5 areas while NCKU in 3 areas. With the ability to achieve mastery and to cohere, NTU graduates are considered the most popular in domestic big corporations.

Achievements in Teaching

NTU recruited 462 new faculty members during the 2005 and 2009 academic years; many are outstanding academic talents, including 3 academicians from Academia Sinica. Although the number of students in the past 5 years is on the increase, the student-teacher ratio has continuously decreased from 14.7 in 2005 to 14.0 in 2009.

NTU has continued to formulate teaching quality enhancement strategies, and has completed two important documents: the “NTU White Paper on Excellence in Teaching” and the “Secret Teaching Methods of NTU Faculties”. The academic affairs are now fully digitalized: the “curriculum mapping” has greatly helped students in course selection and career planning. NTU has also established the “student learning portfolio” system and the “teaching portfolio” system is about to complete. With the budget from the ATU project, the “Teaching Assistant System” has been developed. Around 1,000 graduate students served as teaching assistants every year to improve the quality of instruction, and have been highly recognized. The aforementioned establishments have greatly elevated teaching techniques and students’ outcome. The increase in course evaluation rating (see Figure 2) is indicative of the increased student satisfaction on the courses offered.


In order to provide greater opportunities for students to a systematic and diversified learning, NTU currently offers 40 academic credit programs and 3 graduate school credit programs. Every year, there are around 1,500 to 1,600 students taking interdisciplinary academic programs (including double and minor majors), which is around 10% of the university students enrolled. In addition, the Freshman Seminar Program was established to provide small-group instruction to freshmen to explore the correct learning attitude and method, How to evaluate oneself and understand the nature of incidents. The university offers 12 Freshman Seminar Programs every semester and the students have highly valued these courses.

In 2008, NTU established the Freshman Orientation Academy to strengthen the effects of freshmen orientation consultation and construct a quality learning environment. In 2009, 3,800 freshmen participated in activities that introduced the core values of the school and college life. Other courses include course selection consultation, campus security, general health examination, library induction, campus tour, interpersonal relationships, learning method and portfolio, learning navigation, and registration procedure. Gender equality and ethical education seminars are also provided.

With the aforementioned measures, the teaching quality of NTU is highly recognized. The recent higher education evaluation also rated NTU as the research university (see Figure 3) with the most evaluated units (194) and the highest passing rate (99.5%).


Achievements in Research

In order to achieve the overall objectives and annual performance indicators of NTU’s ATU Project, NTU actively promotes outstanding and cutting-edge research, and cautiously selects and supports world-class research teams. NTU expects to reach world-class status in at least 10 to 15 academic fields within five years, in addition to actively promote emerging fields and industry-university cooperation and strengthen improvement measures.

Since the implementation of the ATU Project, the total number of papers published in SCI listed journals increased from 3,378 in 2005 to 4,783 in 2010, showing a growth of 42%; the number of papers published in SSCI listed journals increased from 150 in 2005 to 410 in 2010, a growth of 173% (see Figure 4); the number of papers published in A&HCI listed journals increased from 8 in 2005 to 31 in 2010, a growth of 288%; the number of papers published in TTSCI listed journals increased from 120 in 2005 to 191 in 2010, a growth of 59%. Significant growth is seen in all academic research areas, especially faculties in the humanities and social sciences, where the number of papers published in SSCI and A&HCI has dramatically increased. In addition, the number of highly-cited (HiCi) papers grew 71% from 129 in 2005 to 221 in 2009. From 15% and 40% of high impact factor of SCI, SSCI, A&HCI journals during 2004 and 2009, papers published in top 15% by NTU faculty increased from 37.3% in 2005 to 40.0% in 2010; top 40% paper publication increased from 67.6% in 2005 to 69.1% in 2010. The average IF value of the number of papers published in top 40% in the past 6 years has reached 69.6% of the total publication. These growths are indicative that the academic research performance of NTU is close to the doubled quality and quantity objective of phase one.

In the efforts to elevate international visibility, international conferences were organized and renowned scholars from abroad were invited to teach and conduct research. NTU also administered the “Subsidy Rules for the Promotion of Cross-Border Research Cooperation” to encourage active involvement in international research exchanges with foreign academic research institutes and industries. The increase in the number of national chairs in world-class science or engineering fields abroad (from 9 in 2005 to 29 in 2010), fellows of major international associations (from 77 in 2005 to 158 in 2010), and editors of major international periodicals (from 227 in 2005 to 620 in 2010) are all the results of enhanced international awareness.


Achievements in Academic Internationalization

Since the ATU Project was implemented in 2005, the number of international academic exchange activities and foreign scholar visits grew from 3,783 in 2005 to 5,894 in 2009. NTU’s partner schools increased from 182 schools in 2005 to 361 schools in 2009, especially in Southeast Asia and Europe, where partner school exchanges experienced major breakthrough. The many and varied cooperative ventures NTU maintain with these partner schools include 35 dual degree (joint degree) programs, 194 student exchange programs, 6 teacher exchange programs, and 15 summer sessions. The number of international organizations for higher education in which NTU participates in grew rapidly from 4 to 9, including the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning (ASAIHL), of which NTU is the only member from Taiwan. NTU also chaired the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP), hosting several major international conferences, including: 2007 UMAP International Conference, 2007 APRU Senior Staff Meeting, 2007 Association of East-Asian Research Universities (AEARU) Student Summer Camp, 2008 Conference of Asian University Presidents (CAPs), and 2010 ASAIHL Conference. In 2009, NTU has successfully won the bid to host the 2011 Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) Conference & Exhibition. There will be over thousands of college administrators from 500 schools and 50 countries participating in this event.

The number of international students has increased by 10% annually since 2005, with a total of 1,738 foreign students from 68 countries studying at NTU. The number of international exchange students staying over one semester has also greatly increased 21.9% from 382 to 489 in 2009. Apart from student exchange programs, NTU has also promoted a fee-paying “Visiting Student Program”, accommodating 31 students from US, Italy, Germany, France, and China, including prestigious schools such as Harvard University. NTU offers 33 programs in English (including graduate institutes providing enough English courses to satisfy graduation requirements). Some graduate institutes were invited to participate in the Erasmus Mundus program, organizing English courses with European renowned universities. In addition, the “NTU Regulations for Scholarship Support to Needy Students on Overseas Academic Exchanges” provides outstanding students to partner schools. The number of exchange students receiving the support fund has increased from 130 in 2005 to 362 in 2009. All of the above shows that the ATU Project fosters NTU’s internationalization, and that NTU has been successful in implementing the project.

Achievements in Industry-University Cooperation

Starting from 2006, with the funding from the ATU Project, the Division of Technology Transfer of the Office of Research and Development actively discover and manage (including application of patents, maintenance, marketing, and technology transfer) intellectual property owned by technology related colleges. The number of patent applications increased from 118 in 2005 to 379 in 2009. From the number of patent applications processed in Taiwan Intellectual Property Office, NTU led all domestic universities with 239 patent applications, with a place of 13th among the top 100 patent applicants in Taiwan. The total amount of industry-university cooperation projects has increased dramatically within 5 years, from NT$4,844,933 thousand dollars in 2005 to NT$ 7,627,570 thousand dollars in 2009, with a growth of 57%. The amount of industry-university cooperation projects with private sectors increased 204% from NT$79,370 thousand dollars in 2005 to NT$241,335 thousand dollars in 2009.