Local academic named East Asia chair of global university group

Shaw Jei-fu, president of I-Shou University in the southern city of Kaohsiung, has been named an executive council member and the regional chair for East Asia of New York-based International Association of University Presidents, according to the Taiwan tertiary institution June 21.

The scholar was appointed to three-year terms by IAUP President-elect Kakha Shengelia and is scheduled to take up the posts at the nongovernmental organization's triennial conference July 5-8 in Vienna. As chair for East Asia, he will be responsible for boosting exchanges among university heads and promoting the group's membership throughout the region.

Shaw said he looks forward to working with fellow university leaders in strengthening education development in the Asia-Pacific. Noting the vital role that high-tech sectors play in regional growth, the academic stated that he plans to focus his efforts on fostering academia-industry collaboration in emerging fields so as to nurture innovative entrepreneurship.

A renowned agricultural biotechnology researcher and food scientist, Shaw was appointed head of ISU in 2012. Since assuming his post, he has worked to boost the institution's international collaborative projects and increase foreign student intake.

During his tenure, the university launched a four-year postgraduate medical school program in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Development Fund, a government-supported foreign aid organization. Opened in 2013, the course cultivates health care professionals from Republic of China (Taiwan) diplomatic allies, with 141 students from 17 countries enrolling to date.

Shaw is also president of the International Society of Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology, a nonprofit based in central Taiwan's Taichung City that publishes journals and stages annual meetings for international experts in related disciplines.

In 2016, he helped organize the 31st Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific conference in Kaohsiung, marking the first time that the event was staged in Taiwan. Featuring representatives of 60 universities from 17 Asia-Pacific countries, the symposium included discussions on boosting industry collaboration at higher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific.

Founded in 1964, IAUP comprises current and former heads and deputy heads of accredited higher education institutions around the world. In addition to facilitating networking, the group serves as a consulting organization for the U.N. and UNESCO.

Source: Taiwan Today