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【2024 THE IMPACT RANKINGS】NCKU Takes the Fifth Consecutive Crown of the Nation

Written by Hsu Tsu-Yueh. Image credit to NCKU News Center.
NCKU President Shen actively promotes five major governance principles: “Humanity Values, Health & Well-being, Intelligent Environmental Control, Resilient Disaster Prevention and Net Zero Carbon Emissions.” These efforts have earned NCKU recognition in six SDG indicators and a ranking among the top 50 universities worldwide.
The Times Higher Education (THE), based in the United Kingdom, announced the 2024 THE Impact Rankings on June 12th by Taiwan time. This year, a total of 2152 universities from 125 countries were ranked, an increase of 447 institutions compared to last year. The rankings evaluated the universities’ contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in terms of four main areas: research, stewardship, outreach, and teaching. National Cheng Kung University once again secured the top spot in Taiwan, ranking 25th globally.
NCKU President Meng-Ru Shen, since taking office, has actively promoted policies and plans based on five major governance principles: “Humanity Values, Health & Well-being, Intelligent Environmental Control, Resilient Disaster Prevention and Net Zero Carbon Emissions.” These efforts earned NCKU the recognition in terms of a total of six SDGs indicators, and the ranking among the top 50 in the world. NCKU ranks 9th globally in the SDG9 “Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure,” 18th globally in the SDG3 “Good Health and Well-being,” 23rd globally in the SDG7 “Affordable and Clean Energy,” 24th globally in the SDG12 “Responsible Consumption and Production,” 49th globally in the SDG6 “Clean Water and Sanitation,” and 50th globally in the SDG2 “Zero Hunger.”
SDG9 “Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure”
NCKU excelled in the SDG9 “Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure” category, achieving nearly perfect scores that placed NCKU among the top ten universities worldwide. The university actively promotes industry-academia collaboration, working hand in hand with industries to foster joint development. NCKU continues to dedicate itself to strengthening cross-disciplinary collaboration projects, nurturing diverse and multi-capable talent, and driving industry-academia innovation with a focus on meeting industry needs.
With the support of the National Science and Technology Council, NCKU has organized the Global Research & Industry Alliance 2.0 SOUTH (GLORIA SOUTH 2.0), expanding from Tainan to Kaohsiung. This Alliance brings together the research and development capacities and forward-looking technological achievements of 12 participating schools. The Alliance will serve as an ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) base and a platform for exchanging technical results related to Net-Zero transformation. The initiative aims to invigorate the talent network, foster innovative technologies, and facilitate exchanges needed for the Net-Zero transition of industries in Kaohsiung and the greater Southern Taiwan, collectively driving industrial transformation and striving towards the goal of Net-Zero carbon emissions.
The founder of NVIDIA, during his recent visit to Taiwan, showcased a list of collaborative partners, which included NCKU. NCKU and NVIDIA have had long-term collaborations in various fields, including AI hardware, algorithms, and applications in biomedicine, finance, and design. In addition to the cooperative ties with NVIDIA, NCKU also signed a five-year Patent Subscription Agreement with Intel in May this year and will quarterly provide a list of granted patents to Intel. NCKU is the only university in Taiwan to establish such a relationship with Intel.
SDG3 “Good Health and Well-being”
In the SDG3 “Good Health and Well-being” category, NCKU achieved a new milestone by ranking 18th globally. This achievement recognizes the contributions and efforts made by NCKU in promoting human well-being and cultivating international medical professionals.
NCKU is dedicated to nurturing international medical professionals through comprehensive systematic training and a well-rounded curriculum. The university extends its efforts beyond the campus into the community, advocating for health, care, and companionship. Additionally, NCKU expands its influence from Taiwan to the international stage, sharing research, knowledge, and technology through cross-border collaboration, aiming to make the greatest possible contribution to society.
NCKU also prioritizes the health of its faculty, staff, and students by providing mental health resources and employee counseling services. The university has established dedicated counseling spaces and expanded its team of professional psychologists. Initiatives such as “night-time counseling” and “daytime psychologist residency” have been implemented. NCKU is committed to supporting students in managing their mental well-being and providing emotional care. Additionally, the university ensures that all employees over the age of 50 are eligible for low-dose CT screenings, the internationally recognized method for early detection of lung cancer. This initiative aims to comprehensively protect employees' physical and mental health.
SDG7 “Affordable and Clean Energy”
NCKU is committed to building a green and sustainable campus by adopting the ESCO energy-saving performance contracting project by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Furthermore, the university collaborates with the industry partners to launch the ePaper campus signage system, demonstrating a sustainable model for campus signage system. The combined strengths of Darwin Precisions Corporation, E Ink, and NCKU exemplify an interdisciplinary collaboration between academia and industry that exhibits the innovative spirit of the Taiwan display industry. By responding to the national policy of Net-Zero Emissions in 2050 through technological innovation, the university is also advancing the digital transformation of the display industry.
The NCKU Magic School of Green Technologies, located on the Li-Hsing Campus, is the first zero-carbon green building in Taiwan. It has received the highest level green building certifications in both Taiwan and the United States: the Diamond Level of the Green Building Label and the Platinum Rating of the LEED certification, respectively. Moreover, it has been recognized as one of the world’s greenest buildings by the renowned British publisher Routledge in their publication The World’s Greenest Buildings. To date, NCKU has a total of eight buildings certified as green buildings.
Earlier this year, Delta Electronics and NCKU announced the establishment of the “Delta-NCKU Joint Research Center.” This center focuses on advanced technologies such as green energy and smart automation, aiming at research and applications in high-efficiency power supply, renewable energy, and smart manufacturing. By combining academic research with the development needs of industrial technology, the center aims to cultivate a new generation of innovative and practical technical talents.
SDG12 “Responsible Consumption and Production”
NCKU actively supports SDG12 through the implementation of relevant policies. On campus, restaurants are required by their procurement contracts to prioritize sustainable farming practices, locally sourced products, low-carbon vegetarian options, and sustainable ingredients, and working to minimize the use of disposable plastic products. In 2023, the university achieved a green procurement rate of 99.33%, demonstrating its commitment to a sustainable low-carbon campus. Furthermore, based on the “Regulation for Obliged Purchasing Units / Institutions to Purchase the Products and Services Provided by Disabled Welfare Institutions, Organizations or Sheltered Workshops” procurement guidelines, the university ensures that procurement activities adhere to principles of fairness and justice, enhancing the well-being of relevant stakeholders. These measures not only support local food suppliers but are also overseen by a committee comprising student representatives, faculty, and administrators to ensure accountability and sustainability in food procurement. Processes.
The NCKU Innovation Headquarters supports entrepreneurship. NCKU’s first invested company, Techome Technology, specializes in the design and manufacture of professional sludge and construction residual soil resource recycling. Under the brand “LOTOS,” it has emerged as a rising star in the domestic waterproof material market. Through the development of ”reservoir sludge modification technology,” it has produced “LOTOS Waterproof Powder,” which boasts high waterproof capability and excellent cost-performance ratio in waterproof materials, while ensuring compatibility between materials and meeting the requirements for the CNS3763 Waterproof agent of cement for concrete construction.
SDG6 “Clean Water and Sanitation”
The NCKU Magic School of Green Technologies is equipped with water recycling technology, featuring by a three-story “Rainfall Piggy Bank” that collects rainwater and utilizes its potential energy to directly pressurize the water for plant irrigation. The Rainfall Piggy Bank not only serves a functional purpose but also enhances the visual harmony of the building, akin to a piece of visual art. This design achieves nearly zero waste in ecological water circulation, maximizing water efficiency and minimizing wastage.
NCKU has a total of 8 rainwater and wastewater treatment facilities across its campuses. These facilities utilize natural groundwater infiltration for reuse in irrigation during dry seasons. Additionally, abandoned underground tunnels connecting the Cheng-Kung and Kuang-Fu campuses are repurposed into rainwater storage systems.
Distinguished alumnus Wen-Tsao Lee, Chairman of Chong Hong Construction, as a way to give back to his alma mater, has generously established the “Chong Hong Culture & Education Foundation Chair Professorship” to recognize outstanding professors. The inaugural recipient of this award is Professor Tsiar-Fuh Lin from the Department of Environmental Engineering. Professor Lin has dedicated many years to researching harmful algae monitoring and water treatment. His mission is to “protect water quality,” and through his research on the potential societal impacts, he has become a pioneer in identifying odor-causing substances in Taiwan’s water bodies.
SDG2 “Zero Hunger”
NCKU has implemented a food waste reduction strategy to minimize and eliminate food waste. The university has set up a food waste recycling system and partnered with qualified companies to transport waste to legally designated livestock farms for reuse. Additionally, plans are underway to establish a composting facility for food waste on the An-Nan campus, ensuring the recycling and reuse of food waste.
The NCKU Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, aiming to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, collaborates with professional teams to hold workshops in various locations, directly teaching farmers skills in cultivating beneficial microorganisms. This initiative helps farmers reduce production costs effectively.
The NCKU Digital Biomedical Research Center (DBMRC) assists a smart offshore aquaculture team in launching the world’s first “unmanned ocean ranch” demonstration site. This site integrates unmanned 3D smart marine aquaculture farms with AIOT and 5G innovative technologies. It strengthens edge computing technology and modularizes system modules. Simultaneously, it is constructing a “Smart Aquaculture Central Control Exhibition Center” to transmit field data to cloud systems for AI algorithms.
While NCKU did not maintain its position within the top 100 globally in SDG17 “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development” this year, the university continues to actively expand international relationships with global university partners and collaborate to share achievements in academia, industry, and research on a global scale.
This year, NCKU continues to actively expand international exchanges and cooperation by joining the Campus-in-Campus Initiative, a global strategic alliance of top international universities led by the University of Tsukuba. Participating universities enhance the quality of teaching and research through shared educational and research resources. As the 12th member of this alliance, NCKU aims to develop international connections across Europe, Asia, and the Americas through this platform, thereby increasing opportunities for international cooperation and boosting international exchanges for its students and faculty.
Soaring Brilliance Towards Centennial
NCKU has solidified its position as a cornerstone for industrial development through its significant social contributions, establishing itself as one of the most valuable academic brands locally, nationally, and globally. Engaging in education, research, international exchanges, and industry-academic collaborations, the university strives to become a sustainable institution capable of responding to key societal and global issues. NCKU’s impact extends beyond academia to encompass scientific advancement and social welfare. Serving as a hub for both humanities and sciences, NCKU is committed to creating a university environment that fosters happiness. By actively cultivating its local brand, NCKU strengthens regional connections and has emerged as a global role model for responsible university practices.
Provider: NCKU News Center
Date: 2024-06-25
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