The UST has been established to break through developmental and structural impasse obstructing creative integration of research personnels and resources in higher education in Taiwan. The UST aims to actively forge close communication and cooperation among the four universities involved. A fundamental reconstruction of undergraduate education will be introduced step by step. Best teachers from the four campuses will be organized to offer a core curriculum for all undergraduate students entering the four campuses of UST. These will include course for general education, basic science courses and classics. This is possible only under UST because none of the four campuses have the breadth and depth in their teaching staff to do it alone. Research laboratories within UST will offer opportunities to upper class students to join them as ¡§student helper¡¨. We believe that early exposure to the state-of-the-art environment of academic research can be inspiration to the young minds. To initiate this reconstruction, we need first to integrate the educational resources on the four campuses. Units in charge of the ¡§teaching affairs¡¨ of the four universities will be asked to work together under the leadership of the UST Vice Chancellor of Academics to plan and coordinate action plans leading to the implementation of the reconstruction. These will include both hardware and software infrastructure building. Some of them have already begun.

(1) UST Digital Education Network
The UST plans to integrate and connect the four universities' teaching and research resources via the internet. The integration of such resources will render more costeffective and efficient intra- and inter-university bureaucracy as well as offer high quality internet access for faculty and students to conduct learning and research. Such a digital network will provide the basis for future collaborative pedagogical and exchange programs among the UST universities and between UST and other international universities. Students will be able take cross-campus and eventually international courses through internet.

Digital learning is an integral part of modern life and society. It breaks through the limitations of space and time in traditional modes of learning. Learning websites, virtual classrooms, digital libraries, online learning communities and other modes of digital pedagogy offer an autonomous learning environment. Recognizing this important trend, The National Science Council of Taiwan has authorized the Digital Learning National Science and Technology Program in 2002. The program office is located at NCU and UST will play a key role in this important national program. The first e-university of Taiwan is being planned under the leadership of UST.

(2) Compatible Computer Network Configuration for each UST campus
The four campuses will build compatible computing networks. This includes the following: (a) campus network backbone; (b) devices for synchronous long-distance teaching and videoconference; (c) network learning system; (d)administration computing.

(3) Distant learning and Video Conference

UST Digital education network will facilitate and support long-distance and real-time teaching as well as inter-university asynchronous teaching and video conference . It will also enhance inter-university activities including learning and research collaborations. Digital libraries will achieve the pooling of library resources and offer personalized learning and research virtual environments.The network will play an important role in the implementation of the new UST undergraduate core curriculum.


(1) Cooperative Collection Development
¡@¡@The holdings of each library of the four UST universities respectively have their own strength in the fields of science, engineering, culture, management and medicine etc. Each library focuses on the development of her core collection, and reduces the purchase of materials duplicate with the other three libraries as possible. Available resources will be maximized as well as made more efficiently accessible for learning and research use.

(2) Reciprocal Borrowing and Borrow Direct Service

¡@¡@One way to facilitate efficient access to available resources is reciprocal borrowing. A patron of each of the four UST university libraries can use his/her own library pass to enter the other three libraries and borrow books from there. In addition, he/she can apply the borrowing of books of the other three libraries through an online system and fetch the books directly from his/her library.

(3) Interlibrary Photocopy Service ¡@¡@
Another way to facilitate efficient access to available resources is the interlibrary photocopy service. A patron of each of the four UST university libraries can apply photocopies of non-returnable materials (including journal and proceeding papers) of the other three libraries through an online system and fetch the photocopies directly from his/her library. The price of the interlibrary photocopy service is reasonable and the turnaround time is about two da

(4) Cooperative Digital Libraries Development
In the digital library era, the digitalization of library holdings and the provision of electronic services is a must. The four libraries share their domain and technical expertise to cooperatively digitalize library holdings and provide electronic services, with the eventual goal of providing more innovative services more efficiently at lower costs through common servers. Up to present, a federated search system for databases and E-journals (called SMILE) and an electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) system operate through common servers; a MOD (multimedia on demand) system is acquired through group purchasing (operates individually in three of the four libraries) and a majority of the MOD materials are shared among the four libraries.

  ¡@In order to promote administrative contact among the four universities, academic inter-communication, as well as to further facilitate physical travel for collaborative learning and research work, a special shuttle service runs between the four UST universities.

(1) Integration and Development of Human Resources
In order for the UST to jointly employ full-time and part-time academic staff, rules to establish¡§UST Chair Professorship ¡¨ and regulations for¡§Visiting Appointment¡¨ are drafted. Administrative personnel at-work training and new teaching staff training sessions will be implemented across the system.

(2) Integration of Academic Affairs
a. Establish mechanism for joint graduate student recruitment and admissions, as well as joint recruitment of transfer students.

b. Develop Inter-University Graduate Programs and Course Modules
(ii)) Inter-university Cultural Studies Course Module
(ii)) Inter-University Nano Science & Technology Course Module
(iii) Inter-University Bio-Information Course Module
(vi) Inter-University Brain Science Course Module
(v)) Inter-University International Management Course Module

c. Develop General Education Lecture Series and Core Curriculum

(3) Integration of Student Extracurriculum Activities
(a) Workshop for officers of student clubs
(b) Joint art exhibitions and concerts
(c) Joint athletics meetings
(d) Concert tours by joint student orchestra

(4) New unified Academic Calendar for UST