Initiated by the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau (SWCB) under the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, the "Rural up!" Project received high recognition from representatives of prestigious enterprises and university professional experts including Google, Apple, QS, etc. to win the Asian Region bronze medal of 2015 Reimagine Education Award on Dec. 8 at the Wharton School. The award-winning project, which offers solution to improve the status quo in rural areas by means of higher education creativity, outstood from a crowd of innovative educational projects submitted by more than 500 top universities, companies, and research institutes.
The COA stated that the SWCB is the only nominated finalist representing Taiwan and the only participating government institution. Team leader Wu Ching-ching said that other countries were impressed by Taiwan’s government in setting up a public platform which links up with human resources to solve diversified rural issues. Representatives from Oxford Brookes University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the University of Manila among others, all expressed their desire to come to Taiwan and participate in the “Rural Up!” project in order to understand its implementation and interchange leaning experiences with each other.
The COA explained that in addition to the award ceremony, there were seminars on educational innovation where representatives from different countries shared their unique ideas. The SWCB took the opportunity to gain an insight to the latest trend in higher education which focuses on training professionals needed for the future, enhancing self-learning motivation, and utilizing technology to lower the cost of learning.
The COA added that 700 students have already participated in the Rural Up Project since its implementation. Not only did the project bring changes to the rural communities but also prepare more young talents for Taiwan’s agriculture. With this award recognition, the COA hopes that more universities would join the effort to help the industry and the rural communities.