NDHU promotes its internationalization by highlighting the indigenous people.
According to government statistics in 2018, the indigenous people amount to 16.6% of the population in Hualien County. Located in the Huadong Valley, NDHU’s College of Indigenous Studies logically becomes an iconic institute. Han-Chieh Chao, the President of NDHU, stated confidently that “NDHU is located in a melting pot of different ethnic groups. Humanism is our distinguishing feature.”
Based on the humanistic solicitude, the NDHU’s College of Indigenous Studies has collaborated and exchanged with Australia and New Zealand on Austronesian studies long before the central government proposed its New Southbound Policy. “Indigenous studies is the highlight of our promotion of internationalization, which makes us stand out from other universities,” the NDHU’s Vice President Chin-Peng Chu said proudly. A nascent university founded 20 years ago notwithstanding, NDHU had planned to establish the College of Indigenous Studies since its founding, expecting to apply the idea of local governance and integrate the characteristics of local communities.
The promotion of internationalization requires not only a gestation period but also active engagement. Yuan-Ron Ma, the Dean of International Affairs, NDHU, stated that the success of NDHU’s indigenous studies would be impossible without the constant effort of the faculty members, although indigenous studies has been included as one of key features of NDHU at the very beginning.