Universities in Taiwan are putting efforts to make the world a better place, showing their commitment to promoting equality and improvement to the communities and our living environment with various sorts of resources. In 2010, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology (CGUST) cooperated with Sunshine Social Welfare Foundation to change the situation of those stressed over facial disfigurement. Lessons of advanced cosmetics skills such as cosmetic camouflage, the only one of its kind in Taiwan, were set up to help those with facial disfigurement regain their confidence when facing society. With the school’s help, the Sustained Progress and Rise of Universities in Taiwan (SPROUT) project bolstered by the Ministry of Education (MOE), which serves to advance the U.N Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), can be better forwarded in the field. Last year, a new USR project of CGUST aimed at designing prosthetic devices catering to individual needs was initiated to ameliorate the conditions of people in demand for a customized prosthesis. Moreover, the university co-developed four new prosthesis production techniques with exceptional qualities and applied for related patents in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
In the meantime, the National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology (NKUST), known for its marine studies, has started a USR project to breathe new life into coastal townships of Linbian and Jiadung by building sustainable aquaculture in the region. Since its launch in 2018, 10 departments and institutes have participated in the project, with more than 200 fish farmers in total. In addition to installing water- and power-saving equipment and introducing probiotics and photosynthetic bacteria to improve water quality in lieu of antibiotics, teachers and students also assisted in transporting local fish products to where the species are rarely found in the market. Besides, collagen is derived from the byproducts and incorporated into facial masks and lotions to reduce waste effectively. On the other hand, teams from NKUST have introduced local fishery products to e-commerce platforms and enhanced the packaging designs while closing supply contracts with restaurants. For more awareness among the public, students also visited local elementary schools regularly to share their experiences in the projects and encourage environmental consciousness.
National Chung Cheng University (CCU) also took a step forward in promoting SDGs by developing bamboo as a sustainable material using nanotechnology to turn waste bamboo into deodorizing charcoal, which had been deployed at six turkey farms in Chiayi. Also, the immune system-strengthening far-infrared radiation emitted by the charcoal can be helpful in reducing illness among poultry. Furthermore, in addition to making an air purifier with bamboo and charcoal instead of plastic, CCU has partnered with South Asia Bamboo Foundation in India to co-organize the inaugural Global Bamboo Tech Forum, attracting many academics and entrepreneurs, and government officials worldwide.
Lastly, To preserve and expand the influences of USR projects, students in the universities are trained to enter targeted career fields in various ways according to different schools. Taking CCU, for example, courses of bamboo literacy are arranged into a part of the general education program. Likewise, the program I Turn, which focuses on regional revitalization, was launched in NKUST, while the cosmetic science department in CGUST has opened a new course instructing students in the designs and productions of the high-quality prosthesis. With the support of MOE, universities in Taiwan are striving to devote more time and energy to the environment and the society while elevating the students’ skilled workforces and fulfilling social responsibility.