Taiwanese students can pursue PhDs at WUSTL through new partnership

Up to five full-tuition scholarships will be available yearly

Up to five PhD students from Taiwan per year will receive full-tuition and living stipend scholarships to attend Washington University in St. Louis because of a recent agreement signed between the university and Taiwan’s Ministry of Education.

WUSTL Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and Tony W.T. Lin, director general of the ministry’s Bureau of International Cultural and Educational Relations, signed a memorandum of understanding on an educational collaboration during a ceremony June 24 in Taipei City.

WUSTL and the Ministry of Education will contribute an equal share to the “Taiwan-Washington University in St. Louis Scholarship” program, which will enroll its first students in fall 2012.

“I am grateful to Taiwan’s Ministry of Education for their commitment to Washington University and more importantly, to the education of Taiwanese graduate students,” says Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.

“Washington University has long been regarded as one of the world’s leading institutions for graduate study, and I am pleased that we are playing a critical role in the education and training of future scholars from Taiwan.”

The scholarships will cover full tuition and living expenses for up to five students per year from Taiwan to pursue a PhD degree or other doctoral degree in a wide range of fields of study. The support will continue as long as the scholarship recipient is making satisfactory progress toward a degree.

While the scholarship program agreement states that doctoral students from Taiwan will be able to receive financial assistance for a maximum of four years, Washington University has committed to providing funds until the completion of the student’s degree studies.

“We want applicants to know that they can count on support all the way through to the end of their PhD work,” says James V. Wertsch, PhD, WUSTL associate vice chancellor for international affairs, director of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy and the Marshall S. Snow Professor in Arts & Sciences.

This is not the first partnership WUSTL has established that provides opportunities for Taiwanese students to pursue graduate studies at the university.

In 2005, WUSTL founded the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, a global education and research initiative that partners the university with premier foreign universities and leading multinational corporations from around the world.

The National Taiwan University in Taipei is one of the 15 founding partners of the McDonnell Academy. Based at WUSTL, the McDonnell Academy enrolls exceptional graduate and professional students from partner universities — 27 to date — across all graduate disciplines and professional schools at the university.

These future leaders have all expenses toward their degree work paid, including tuition, room, board and travel.

Among those who attended the signing ceremony in Taipei with Wrighton and Lin were Si-Chen Lee, president of National Taiwan University in Taipei; Wei-ChungWang, dean of International Affairs of National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan; Tuan-Hua David Ho, PhD, WUSTL professor of biology in Arts & Sciences and the McDonnell International Scholars Academy ambassador to university partner National Taiwan University; and Wertsch.

“This Ministry of Education-WUSTL Scholarship Program provides an excellent opportunity in promoting collaborations between Washington U. and Taiwanese institutions,” Ho says.

“We anticipate that some of these new students will be from National Taiwan University and will become McDonnell Academy Scholars, but we want to recruit from other outstanding institutions as well,” Wertsch says.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Education established a similar scholarship program with Cambridge University last month.

Details of the “Taiwan-Washington University in St. Louis Scholarship” will be on the Ministry of Education’s Bureau of International Cultural and Educational Relations website sometime in late November or early December at edu.tw/bicer/index.aspx.

Beginning this fall, applicants can simultaneously apply for admission to a PhD program at Washington University through the Graduate School at graduateschool.wustl.edu/ and complete an application with the Ministry of Education. In addition, those applicants who are alumni of National Taiwan University can apply to the McDonnell Academy at mcdonnell.wustl.edu.