Text: Alex Tan Photo: Xiao-ci Li
While everyone in Taiwan celebrated the Chinese New Year holidays, TCU vice president Ingrid Liu led a TCU delegation to the US, and had discussions with Andrews University about collaborations in teaching and research. Andrews University president Andrea Luxton and vice president Liu signed an agreement that the two universities will offer a Joint Master’s Program. Those who enroll in this program will receive a MBA degree from Andrews University and a Master’s degree in Public Health from TCU.
Andrews University was the first stop in the US trip for the TCU delegation. It was founded by Seventh-day Adventists. Andrews University is located in the state of Michigan. Since its inception in 1874, it has grown gradually. At present, it has 3,300 students and 250 faculty members, with students from 100 countries, so the campus is quite diverse.
Professor Jerry Chi is assistant dean of Andrews University’s School of Business Administration. His mother-in-law has been a Tzu Chi member for years, and she is a good friend of Tzu Chi volunteer Hsien-Tsung Wang, who lives in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Professor Chi visited Tzu Chi in 2017, through Mr. Wang’s arrangement. Professor Chi was impressed by Tzu Chi’s humanistic culture, and after returning to the US, he has made continuous efforts for the two universities to collaborate with each other. As a result, they became sister institutions in 2018.
Andrews University’s School of Business Administration has six departments, namely accounting, finance, information systems, international business, marketing, and management. Their education focuses on the ethical and moral aspects of service, and management in international nonprofit organizations. The course focuses on morality, service, and management of international non-profit organizations, and is consistent with the founding philosophy of Tzu Chi University’s character education.
Vice president Ingrid Liu pointed out that Andrews University’s motto is “Seek knowledge, affirm faith, and change the world.” TCU’s motto is “kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.” The two universities’ educational goals are similar. Implementing Tzu Chi’s “complete education” requires knowledge, faith and spirit. She expects both universities will work more closely with each other from now on. Andrews University’s Alayne Thorpe, dean of the School of Distance Education and International Partnerships, indicated that she looks forward to having more collaborations with TCU. The School of Business Administration is teaming up with TCU at present, and more academic departments can work with TCU in the future. Andrews University can offer classes in English, while TCU can provide classes in Chinese, and both universities can be beneficial to their students by complementing each other.
Professor Jerry Chi has decided to pay a visit to TCU in March this year. He will assist TCU in testing students’ English proficiency, offer a free TOEFL test, and introduce the Andrews University Summer Tour Camp, which has been custom-plannedf for TCU students. TCU has sponsored numerous programs for local students to study overseas, and collaboration with Andrews University will further expand their international perspectives, enhance their Inter-disciplinary capabilities, and as a result, they will become professionals equipped with skills, knowledge, ethics and international mobility.