The 21s t century is an era of rapid globalization wherein knowledge-based economy plays the pivotal flagship role for any country's development. Amidst intensified global competition, there is no doubt that Taiwan's science and technology need to continue to pursue innovations and breakthroughs. Education is the key to achieving this goal.
In order to encourage the integration of research-oriented universities, the Ministry of Education has initiated the "Research-Oriented University Integration Program" in 2001 to encourage research-oriented universities to pool together resources through integration in order to pursue excellence more effectively.
National Central University, National Chiao Tung University, National Tsing Hua University, and National Yang-Ming University are four outstanding research-oriented universities in Taiwan. However, standing alone, none of the four can claim to be a comprehensive research university due to limitation in size and lack of full coverage in disciplines. On the other hand, these four universities complement with each other in academic disciplines and research strengths. Furthermore, they are structurally compatible in size, while enjoying regional proximity. Facing intensified national and international competition, these four universities have decided to integrate their pedagogical functions and research resources in order to more fully and extensively cooperate in seeking further breakthroughs in overall teaching quality and research excellence.
National Central University, National Chiao Tung University, National Tsing Hua University and National Yang-Ming University have therefore together established the University System of Taiwan (hereafter called UST). UST integrates the four universities, sharing teaching and research resources. Those fields of academic research that already possess considerable collaborative foundation and potential for advanced development, have been selected as basis to establish trans-university research centers in order to achieve cumulative effects with accelerated pace in the pursuit of internationally recognized academic excellence in research. The Ministry of Education has formally authorized the establishment of The University System of Taiwan on January 24, 2008, as the first and the only integrated university system in Taiwan.