Thurgood Marshall College Forges New Partnerships with Flagship Universities in Taiwan

Media - Newsroom/Press

Washington, DC (October 7, 2013) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with three flagship universities in Taiwan to convert expertise and resources into cooperative programs and capabilities that contribute to the production of human capital in Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture & Mathematics (STEAM), announced TMCF President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor.

As part of TMCF’s Payne Global Initiative (PGI), Taylor along with a delegation of senior staff and distinguished faculty from Alcorn State University (Dr. Dovi Alipoe), Alabama State University (Dr. Sharon Herron-Williams) and North Carolina A&T State University (Dr. Sanjiv Sarin) recently returned from Taiwan with agreements to establish partnerships with three flagship universities. This was Phase Three of a multi-year fact-finding exploration for TMCF to travel to other countries to see how the organization can engage and work with other foreign higher education universities to forge new and innovative partnerships that would benefit public HBCUSs. The delegation met with senior staff of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the American Institute in Taiwan. The primary intent of the partnerships is designed to support bilateral faculty exchanges, bilateral student exchanges, jointly sponsored research, and capacity building in STEAM.

Mindful of America’s global challenges in science and technology, Taylor said, “The statistical snapshot of African-Americans in STEAM compels us to engage our 47 member-schools in creating partnerships not just in our own country, but abroad as well in order to fuel the production of human capital in STEAM.”

With some sense of urgency, Taylor expressed that HBCUs must realign our priorities to revitalize the professoriate in science and technology, while focusing heavily on engaging undergraduate students in STEAM. For the U.S. to remain vital in today’s scientific enterprise there’s a critical need to broaden opportunities for students and faculty to travel, learn and experience academic life in the classrooms and research labs. At the same time, TMCF recognizes the importance of producing global citizens who have the capacity to enrich the frontier of human knowledge. In partnership with three world-class universities, TMCF is crafting new and innovative ways for public HBCUs to play a more prominent role in the all-important marketing of American ingenuity in science and technology.

To launch the partnership, TMCF will host a “Thurgood Marshall Day” in Taipei in February 2014 in observance of the “Chinese New Year” and in concert with “Black History Month.” TMCF intends to use this opportunity to underscore the intellectual excitement fueled by this new relationship, while building bridges between Taiwanese and the HBCU community.

Specifically, TMCF has established a long-term partnership with National Central University (NCU), National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT) and National Tsing Hua University (NTHU)…three highly prestigious research intensive institutions. In 2014, the TMCF will pursue an additional agreement with the National Chung Hsing University’s College of Agriculture & National Resources. Founded in 1924, NCU enjoys the prestige of being a “National Park University.” The University supports seven colleges and 51 research institutes and is one of the top research universities with academic distinction in Geophysics and Space Science.

Founded in 1912, and located in the heart of Taipei, NTUT is one of the oldest and one of the top two technical universities on the island. This urban institution has a strong tradition of training leaders in engineering and entrepreneurship and plays a major role in driving innovation and commercialization in business and industry. Located in Hsinchu, known as the “Science City of Taiwan,” in 2010, NTHU ranked 107th in Times Higher Education World University Rankings. NTHU has established an enviable reputation in the fields of Nuclear Science & Technology, Nanotechnology and Materials Science and boasts that it provides the best Mandarin language/literacy instruction in Taiwan.

Dr. N. Joyce Payne, Senior International Affairs Advisor for TMCF will take the lead in executing the day-to-day operations of this partnership. “We intend to draw on the full range of resources of public HBCUs and world-class universities in Taiwan, to dramatically increase the production of students who are prepared to compete in the world’s scientific enterprise with the added value of cultural and linguistic fluency,” says Payne.

Through this type of partnership, public HBCUs have a unique opportunity to alter the racial/ethnic makeup of students incurring degrees in the sciences. Serving as an important spark to the American economy, they will be better prepared to extend educational access and opportunity through the trilogy of teaching, research and public service, while contributing to the stock of human capital. Their prominence is inextricably tied to their ability to produce global citizens who have the knowledge and the skills to contribute to the marketplace of ideas and innovation in science and technology. Given the rapid pace of change in the global scientific enterprise, public HBCUs are facing unprecedented challenges, while at the same time, facing unprecedented opportunities for growth and development. As the world enters a new era of dramatic progress in science and technology, like most American universities, public HBCUs and TMCF are heavily and wisely engaging, innovating and investing in STEAM.

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice. Established in 1987, TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), medical schools and law schools. TMCF helps students with a clear intention and the motivation to succeed and acquire a high-quality college education at an affordable cost. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow. TMCF is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization and for more information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit www.ThurgoodMarshallCollegeFund.org.