A delegation from the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office (TECO) based in Los Angeles visited the University of New Mexico campus recently to learn more about collaborative opportunities between Taiwan universities and businesses and UNM. TECO Vice Consul Jerry Liu remarked that Taiwan has a strong base in research and development and that UNM is an ideal partner for more student and faculty exchange programs, among other initiatives.”
“New Mexico is one of the most interesting states in terms of culture, diversity and language,” Liu said. “Our offices are in L.A. so this visit is a good way for us to experience America in a different way.”
UNM President Robert Frank welcomed the delegation prior to a tour of campus, facilitated by State Senator Cisco McSorley.
“Visits such as this one are a great opportunity for us to show off the campus, during one of the most beautiful times of the year,” Frank said. “They not only got to see what UNM offers in academics, research and economic development, but also got a chance to take cultural and fun events such as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.”
The delegation included representatives from TECO’s science and technology division who met with President Frank and also visited UNM’s economic development engine, STC.UNM.
“We see many opportunities for collaboration between our respective innovation economies in Taiwan and in New Mexico,” Lisa Kuuttila, president and CEO of STC.UNM, said. “This is a great moment for UNM and the Taiwanese government to explore partnerships for economic development.”
Hosted by the UNM Global Education Office, the conversation focused on ways to enhance academic opportunities for UNM and Taiwanese students. Mary Anne Saunders, special assistant to the president for global initiatives, said, “Starting conversations with organizations like TECO allows us to develop the academic programs that we already have with Taiwan at an even more substantive scale.”
Currently, approximately 20 students from Taiwan are studying at UNM, with exchange agreements in place with three universities in Taipei.
“These kinds of conversations can lead to new global opportunities for students, faculty and our community. Interfacing with different cultures, business practices, and ideas inspires innovation,” McSorley said.
“Feel free to come to Taiwan,” Liu said. “New Mexicans won’t feel like a stranger in Taipei. It is famous for its hospitality and is friendly to Americans.”