Collaboration between National Formosa University and University of Texas at San Antonio Cultivates Taiwan’s Next International Talents

Dr. F. Frank Chen (Front Left-1), Director of the Center for Advance Manufacturing and Lean Systems at the University of Texas at San Antonio posing with students from the National Formosa University for a group photo.

Director Andrea Yang (Front right-2) of the Education Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston visited Dr. F. Frank Chen (Front left-2), Director of the Center for Advance Manufacturing and Lean Systems, and students studying at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

To encourage focus on developing distinguished excellence in technology and science at technical universities, the Ministry of Education established the “International Talents Cultivation University Pilot Project” at the end of 2018 for outstanding students to gain international perspective as well as sophisticated technology knowledge and skills from benchmark universities abroad.
National Formosa University (NFU) is one of the participating universities conducting international collaboration with the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).  In the first of the three-year collaboration program, NFU sent five students to attend training and courses in the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt program. The program consists of lecture-based courses, individual monitoring, and consultation sessions. The capstone project gives students the opportunity to work with leading manufacturing companies in San Antonio and create improvement plans for them.
Diana Lin, one of the exchange students from NFU expressed her appreciation, saying she has made many good friends with students from different countries and improved her command of English. Professors encouraged her to be self-motivated and apply the academic concepts practically to projects. By working on assignments, quizzes and group projects, she quickly absorbed and deepened her knowledge.
The exchange students also extended gratitude for the internship opportunity that UTSA made to connect them with M2 Global, one of the aviation manufacturing companies in the Lean systems. By talking to CEO and senior management, they had the chance to see the big picture of a business and take on the management’s perspective. In addition, students learned that it is not a “one solution fits all” world, but a blend of ideas, methods, and attitude. The advice and suggestions that the students received helped them combine academic and practical experience.
According to Prof. Dr. F. Frank Chen, who received his B.A. in Tunghai University, also a recipient of the 1996 Presidential Faculty Fellows (PFF/PECASE) Award from President Clinton at the White House, and the Director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems at UTSA, the five participating students were doing a good job and should receive the Lean Six-Sigma Green Belt certificate by July 2020. For the second year of the collaboration program, UTSA will welcome another five students from NFU selected among more than 20 candidates. The newly participating students are scheduled to enroll in mid-August 2020 (though the final date will ultimately be announced depending on the COVID-19 pandemic).