Written by Hsu Tsu-Yueh. Image credit to Hsieh Feng-An.
National Cheng Kung University held on November 12 the Veritas et Conscientia Scholarship Awards Ceremony, a scholarship specially established for international students to encourage their studies and research by alleviating their financial burdens. A total of 62 recipients from countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Eswatini, Belize, Slovakia, Germany, Myanmar, and South Korea received the scholarship. The ceremony was live-streamed online for close friends and families to share the joy from different countries.
NCKU held the Veritas et Conscientia Scholarship Awards Ceremony
The Veritas et Conscientia Scholarship, or the VCS, takes the Latin phrase meaning to “Pursuit of truth through exhaustive reasoning”. Since 2019, it has recognized outstanding PhD students in NCKU. The quota of recipients for each college shall be determined by the Office of International Affairs according to the criteria including distribution of international students enrolled in each college, international student enrollment growth rate, and the percentage of English-taught courses. Each recipient will receive a maximum monthly stipend of NT$30,000 for twelve months, in addition to waivers of tuition and miscellaneous fees, course credit fees, and dormitory fees. Aiming to alleviate the financial burdens of international students, the VCS provides each recipient with value greater than NT$360,000 in total, which is currently the most substantial scholarship offered to international PhD students among all universities in Taiwan.
Huey-Jen Jenny Su, president of NCKU, expressed that the core value of education is to bring positive influence on the society through research and talent cultivation, in which international students are a crucial aspect to enhance education equality. In the past 10 years, the NCKU campus has welcomed much more international students than before. Currently, international students make up about 10% of the NCKU students, and every one in four PhD students are from a foreign country. These students play an important role in the society after they graduate as they can propel the advancement of society and make Taiwan a solid member of global community. Huey-Jen Su expressed that the VCS will spark international PhD students in NCKU to take interest in academia and science, fostering international communication.
Huey-Jen Su expressed that the core value of education is to bring positive influence on the society through research and talent cultivation
Esteemed guests were invited to the ceremony to celebrate the joyous occasion together. The guests included Nguyen Anh Dung, Director of The Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei (The VECO), Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuong, Spouse of Director of the VECO, Candice Augusta Pitts, H.E. Ambassador of Embassy of Belize, Prasant Tripathi, Deputy Director General of India-Taipei Association, Nguyen Dang Vinh, Assistant Head of The VECO, Chief of S&T Division, and Eva ODAMENG, Analyst of Indonesian Citizens Protection and Social Cultural Department, Indonesian Economic and Trade Office to Taipei.
Nguyen Anh Dung expressed his pleasure to attend the award ceremony and congratulated NCKU on its 90th anniversary. Learning that Vietnamese students take up a large proportion of the recipients, he expressed his high hopes for future collaborations with NCKU to cultivate outstanding students for both sides. In Vietnamese, he encouraged the Vietnamese student who were present and inspired them to make good use of the scholarship.
Nguyen Anh Dung, Director of The Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei
Candice Augusta Pitts expressed that scholarships are some of the greatest investments to be made to students. Drawing from personal experiences, she expressed that her own academic journey might have not continued if not for the help of scholarships. “Once you’re an educator, you’re always an educator.” As a former professor, Candice Augusta Pitts thrilled to be at initiative programs that help to encourage educational development of students. She expressed her pleasure seeing Belizean students becoming members of the academic community at NCKU.
Candice Augusta Pitts, H.E. Ambassador of Embassy of Belize
Prasant Tripathi expressed that being in academic places was a humbling experience. He mentioned that NCKU was an exceptional educational institution and that NCKU maintains to have more than 1,000 patents even during a pandemic shows the capability of its faculty and students. He extended his congratulations to all the contributing Indian students.
Prasant Tripathi, Deputy Director General of India-Taipei Association
Eva ODAMENG commended the students that even the COVID-19 was not to hinder them to move towards their goals, and expressed her pleasure learning there were 20 Indonesian students chosen as recipients for the VCS. She inspired the students to strengthen their character, build soft skills and leadership, and to help others while pursuing academic excellence. “Knowledge is not only for oneself, but for humanity and the community.” Eva ODAMENG expressed her expectations for the students to actively take part in contributing to the society and community in Indonesia after they graduate.
Eva ODAMENG, Analyst of Indonesian Citizens Protection and Social Cultural Department, Indonesian Economic and Trade Office to Taipei
Hsiao-Wen Wang, Vice President of NCKU Office of International Affairs, expressed that NCKU appreciates highly the value of PhD students and has therefore set up substantial scholarships to offer to international students. Of the recipients, some now serve as university professors in their home country, and some has established their own research team. Having connected with the international scholars, NCKU is able to reach a wider community in terms of international collaborations in academic research.
Yueh-Heng Li, Associate Vice President of NCKU OIA, pointed out that the competition for the VCS is fierce every year, as it is the most substantial scholarship for international PhD students not only in NCKU but among all universities in Taiwan. First-year PhD students are to compete against other new PhD students, but starting from second-year, they will have to compete with all PhD students in second-year and above. “If a student has received the VCS twice or more, they are a really outstanding student.”
The NCKU Veritas et Conscientia Scholarship was established for international students, encouraging their studies and research by alleviating their financial burdens
Of the 62 students who have been chosen to receive the VCS, 20 are from Indonesia, and 18 are from Vietnam, which are where the first and second most international NCKU students are from. 11 recipients have received the VCS twice or more. NCKU offers abundant resources for international students. In addition to the VCS, there is also the NCKU Butter Program, which connects the academia and industry to help international students carry out internships during their studies and to start their careers after graduating.