Nurturing talent the key to success: NTU President
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Taiwan’s economy and education system were the focus of a talk by Professor Kuan Chung-ming, President of National Taiwan University, on 23 May as part of the City University Distinguished Lecture Series at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).
In his talk titled “Driving Taiwan’s Future: From Economics to Education”, Professor Kuan presented Taiwan’s economic development over the past 20 years and analysed factors such as stagnant wages, weak economic growth that generated anxiety in Taiwan. Hundreds of staff and students attended the talk.
The Taiwanese government had failed to accurately analyse market data and had been unable to seize business opportunities for many industries, including financial services, mechanical engineering, and high-quality fiber fabrics, he said.
While fabrics made from high-quality fibre highlighted Taiwan’s creativity, many negative factors adversely affected Taiwan’s economic development, he added.
These factors include the government’s outdated mindset, obsolete rules and regulations, society’s resistance to accept innovation, a closed-market environment and constraints on human resources development.
Taiwan’s future development didn’t require the government taking the lead or creating a “star” industry, but instead Taiwan needed to comply with international laws, abandon protectionism, expand industries and open markets, he said. He believed nurturing talent was the key to success, and that Taiwan should invest more in human resources.
On developing talent, Professor Kuan said, in the face of emerging economies, universities must cultivate creative and knowledgeable people and promote the concept of innovative technology. Also, universities should reach out to society and take the lead for advancement.
Professor Kuan received his PhD in economics from the University of California, San Diego, in 1989. He was an assistant professor and associate professor with tenure at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; full professor at the Department of Economics, National Taiwan University; and a distinguished research fellow and the director of the Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica. He was elected Academician of Academia Sinica in 2002 and Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences in 2014.