2023 THE Impact Rankings: NCKU was ranked first in Taiwan for the fourth year running-國立成功大學永續發展SDGs

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2023 THE Impact Rankings: NCKU was ranked first in Taiwan for the fourth year running

(Photo source: National Cheng Kung University FB)

2023 THE Impact Rankings was published by Times Higher Education (THE), UK, on June 1st (GMT +8), and was evaluated based on universities’ contribution in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), within the four main aspects: research, management, outreach and education. In this fierce worldwide competition, National Cheng Kung University was ranked 24th, within 1,591 universities from 112 countries/religions. Compared with last year, NCKU made progress in the ranking from 33th and still at the top of universities in Taiwan for the fourth year running.

Showing a good performance in the all 17 SDGs evaluation indicators for the Impact Ranking, NCKU was ranked in the worldwide top 100 in 8 indicators, and even top 50 in 4 indicators. The outstanding rankings were the 5th in SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), the 22nd in SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), the 31st in SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), and the 39th in SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation). In addition, NCKU also performed well in SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and ranked 51st in the world.

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
In the topic of“Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”, NCKU showed remarkable results. As the worldwide top 5 in the third year running with almost full scores, NCKU is aiming at not only cultivating talents, but also building a close relationship with industrial, governmental, educational and researching fields to accumulate researching and development power. NCKU not only fosters industry-education innovation, but also actively cooperates with the industry to promote the transformation and upgrading. Through the combination of industrial practice and researching development ability, NCKU achieves co-operationtion and co-creation.

NCKU cooperates with several large domestic enterprises, including TSMC, YAGEO, Quanta, Accton, China Steel and AUO, to establish joint research centers. The missions of“TSMC-NCKU Research Center” are promoting the overall advanced semiconductor manufacturing science and technology research, semiconductor equipment research and development, and to cultivate excellent semiconductor talent by providing bursaries to students of undergraduate, master and doctor,  by opening Nanotechnology and Device Engineering Program, and so on.  NCKU and YAGEO jointly established a research base to link up the existing automotive-related industries in Tainan with the industrial resources in Ciaotou, Kaohsiung, to integrate material science with other industries to develop a new technical system. NCKU and Quanta Computer established an industry-academia cooperation center to strengthen the power in technology research, engineering development and designed production, to form a cloud national-class artificial intelligence integrated work team in the interdiscipline way.  The “AUO-NCKU Research Center”, established by AUO Corporation and NCKU, has expanded its research dimension to diverse fields such as smart medicine and circular economy, by connecting large domestic medical centers and education-research hospitals through NCKU Medical Alliance to conduct medical site verification and bring forward-looking technologies into advanced medical display fields. 

The Taiwan team, including NCKU, has been approved by NASA and plays an important role in the latest AMS experimental upgrading project. University Chair Professor Ji-Chuan Huang, from the Department of Engineering Science, and his team developed an up-to-date network topology, which is a supercomputer technology surpassing that of America, China and Japan. Moreover, President Tsai visited NCKU in person to participate in the “High-performance National Ship Test Tank” groundbreaking ceremony. Also, NCKU’s two-stage rocket was also successfully in Xu-Hai Science Research Rocket Launch Site. These cases are all highlighting NCKU’s contribution and achievement in industry, innovation and infrastructure.

SDG 3: Good Health and Well Being
According to Impact Rankings official information, NCKU was ranked 22th around the world in SDG 3 “Good Health and Well Being”. It is the best record of NCKU and also shows the acknowledgment of NCKU’s efforts to ensure the well-being of human life and cultivate international medical talents.

NCKU is responsible for cultivating international medical talents. Through complete course plannings with systematic cultivation and detailed professional subjects, NCKU encourages the future medical talents to do cross-domain research, ensure human well-being with innovative ideas, and bring the medical services into everywhere in society to practice the university's social influence. In 2023 the fourth "Global Views University Social Responsibility Awards”, NCKU “Home End, Love Accompany: Well Five Dimension Hospice Care”project won the first prize of “Benefits and Coexistence”.  NCKU actively jointed the international medical team national team organized by the Overseas Community Affairs Council and the Ministry of Health and Welfare and undertakes the ministry’s new southbound India project for promoting medical industry go south through expanding the cooperation of India government and Taiwan civil medical industry to connect the industries and develop the India medical market.

NCKU committed to construct a safe, healthy and sustainable campus environment, with the attention to health issues of teachers, students, staff and city residents. After taking over as the president, Dr. Meng-Ru Shen promptly instructed the Counseling and Wellness Services Division of the Office of Student Affairs  to set counseling spaces in each campus, recruit more part-time psychologists, promote “Evening Counseling” and “Daytime Dorm Counseling”, and so on. The new measures enhance the on-campus counseling capacity to meet the students’ needs, while highlighting the attention to the mental health of staff, teachers and students. NCKU, aiming to make sure all students could get access to holistic health support, cares about and helps students with their mental states.

In 2022, totally 4 scholars were listed in 2022 Clarivate “Highly Cited Researchers”. Professor Wen-Chien Ko, the associate director of NCKU hospital, is renowned for his thesis about COVID-19. Associate Professor Chung-Ying Lin, from Institute of Allied Health Sciences, dedicated himself in interdiscipline study. The team of Professor Jung-Hsien Chiang from Institute of Medical Informatics, has cooperated with Havard medical team for more than 2 years and successfully built a model for colon cancer diagnoses and prediction by artificial intelligence algorithm. The model could help predict the critical genetic abnormality, gene expression, survival period, and find out the clear connection with the pathological section. The research results were published in “Nature Communications” in April, 2023.

The other notable achievements include the following: Being the first university getting granted permission in both manufacturing and selling medical devices, after the “Medical Devices Act” was published. Building an innovative platform of intelligent health and medical exchanges, to  integrate the base information, cloud technology, big data analysis and AI for developing the applications such as forward-looking medical devices, elderly care, medical images, precise medicine and data governance. Creating the "without wall” integrating elderly-care-oriented community hospital, to bring the elderly care from hospital to the community, even to the family.

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
In response to SDG 12, NCKU has implemented responsible green economy measures to reach the goal of green campus by institutional and fundamental reform which could promote both internal and external sustainable transformation. NCKU implemented a series of policies, including green procurement and policy for minimization of plastic use. The designated ratio of green procurement items is required to reach 95%. All departments prioritize the selection of environmentally friendly certified products when making purchases, while also reducing the use of single-use plastic products, in order to practice the concept of a sustainable campus based on circularity and low-carbon principles.

From 2019, the department of architecture has prohibited students from making models with polystyrene materials. The prohibition is not only a specific action in response to environmental issues, but also the cultivation of eco-friendly awareness. The students even established an exchange club “Flea Market” accessible to all the grades. The market  has effectively increased the material utilization, decreased the resource waste, and also helped students to save on expenses. It is a concrete action that meets both public welfare and eco-friendly concepts, and has achieved great results.

In terms of research, Assistant Professor Hsin-Tien Lin, from the department of Environmental Engineering, and her team found that reducing plastic packaging of supermarket vegetables and fruits could significantly decrease the waste. Assistant Professor Lin indicated that everyone should choose the way with as little impact on the environment as possible. In addition, the student club “NCKU Circular Economy” actively promotes the use of reusable utensils. In response, the Office of Research and Development also chooses the food providers that offer recyclable utensils in priority, to transform the idea into action.

SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals
NCKU reached an important milestone in SDG 17 “Partnership for the Goals”for showing the active international layout and the spirit of cooperation with global partners. Under the core purposes of building multiple partnerships and promoting sustainable vision, NCKU was ranked top 50 in SDG 17.

Recently, NCKU had done a series of important international interactions and cooperations. First, the representatives of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology from Sweden visited NCKU and signed the 3+2 Joint Dual-Degree Agreement for Bachelors and Masters. The agreement provides opportunities to earn dual-degree for students from the two universities and is expected to deepen the academic cooperations between universities. Also, the director of international affairs and senior staff of Fulbright Taiwan, the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange, visited NCKU, to promote the interactions and cooperations between NCKU and universities in the USA, in the further aim of broadening the academic and research network.

Besides, the mission of the University of West Bohemia from Czech and NCKU has started the semiconductor collaboration project to promote joint research in the semiconductor field. In addition, NCKU and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) from Thailand  had done a session, focusing on the cooperation in semiconductors between Thailand and Taiwan, to promote science research and innovation. In the artificial intelligence integrated circuit field, NCKU and the Asia Office of TU Darmstadt from Germany have launched the collaboration. In the new games of the Post Moore Law Era, the International Joint Laboratory Agreement, signed by the two universities, would promote the innovation in artificial intelligence and integrated circuit fields.

Committing to Sustainable, Achieving the Success
Showing the positive response to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations and national sustainable development strategy, NCKU was ranked top 24 around the world in 2023 THE Impact Rankings. To consolidate the in-campus research and development capacity and promote interdisciplinary collaboration, Dr. Meng-Ru Shen, the president of NCKU, instructed the Office of Research and Development to take the lead in launching a two-year project integrating the multiple powers across different colleagues and study fields. This project facilitated the establishment of 86 sustainable interdisciplinary project teams, and was injected a total budget exceeding 100 millions by the Higher Education Sprout Project of the Ministry of Education. For the purposes of sustainability and common good, NCKU has assessed and integrated the research capabilities for sustainable development in the university, while fostering the interaction between faculty members and researchers.

Dr. Meng-Ru Shen, the president of NCKU, has designated the sustainable interdisciplinary project as the starting point for the next step of NCKU, and inspired the working teams to show the distinctiveness in the interdisciplinary cooperations. The sustainable interdisciplinary project is expected to enhance the research paper publication quality, promote engagement in international research projects to increase global competitiveness, improve the participation in domestic and international academic research and sustainable-related awards, strengthen the relationships with the industry, the governments and the academia, and build a cooperating research ecosystem to gather more and more external supports, to make NCKU better and better.

The Ranking Resources:

The Scholars:
Professor Wen-Chien Ko, the associate director of NCKU hospital: https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=34570955800
Associate Professor Chung-Ying Lin, from Institute of Allied Health Sciences: https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=37124450500
Professor Jung-Hsien Chiang, from Institute of Medical Informatics: http://www.scopus.com/inward/authorDetails.url?authorID=7201425280&partnerID=8YFLogxK
Assistant Professor Hsin-Tien Lin, from the department of Environmental Engineering: http://www.scopus.com/inward/authorDetails.url?authorID=56268983100&partnerID=8YFLogxK



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