December 4, 2018

Purdue Online, Taiwanese university pact helps fill crucial need for engineers on global scale

Chiang Taiwan From left, Pei-Yin Chin, vice dean of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Woei Shyan Le, dean of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering, both of National Cheng Kung University, formalize the partnership with Mung Chiang, Purdue’s John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, and Dimitri Peroulis, associate dean for external affairs for the College of Engineering. (Submitted photo) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — How serious is the need for more engineers around the world in the coming years?

According to a 2017 infographic from, the United Nations projects world population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Worldwide demand for water is projected to increase 30 percent. Basic infrastructure is lacking in many places.

That’s why an agreement between two universities prominent in engineering in the United States and Taiwan is so significant.

Purdue Online, College of Engineering, has reached a new and global scale with the signing of a groundbreaking agreement between Purdue University and the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), based in Tainan, Taiwan, and one of the premier engineering-focused universities in Asia.

In a precedent for Purdue, the partnership will create dual-degree engineering programs for NCKU students that are centered around online education. For the first time, the students will be able to complete Purdue Online courses to fulfill some of their requirements.

Purdue Engineering courses with online registration options will be open to NCKU engineering students. Every NCKU student who successfully completes one or more of these courses will have the opportunity to apply for and, if accepted, enroll in a dual degree program between Purdue and NCKU. The first to be rolled out is called ‘3+1+1,’ for which NCKU students can spend three years studying at NCKU and two additional years in West Lafayette, earning a bachelor’s degree from NCKU and a master’s degree from Purdue.

“Purdue Engineering aspires to the pinnacle of excellence at scale, and teaching a large pool of premier engineering talents is one of the three strategic directions,” said Mung Chiang, Purdue’s John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering. “Through our world-class and diverse online education offerings, we are scaling up new dual-degree programs that will benefit many engineering students around the world.”

George Chiu, assistant dean for Global Engineering Programs and Partnerships at Purdue, noted the long history with NCKU, which dates to 1952. Funded as part of the U.S. aid program, the Purdue-Formosa Project provided significant financial and technical support that helped propel NCKU’s growth into a major research-led comprehensive university. Prominent Purdue faculty, such as Norris Shreve and Lillian Gilbreth, led or participated through the 1950s.

“NCKU has since produced alumni whose efforts and achievements were pivotal to transform Taiwan from a once agricultural island to a technology power house,” he said.

Chiu also said there are more than 1,000 Purdue Engineering alumni in Tawain, and a recent trip there helped mark Purdue’s 150th celebration of Giant Leaps, discussing innovations through the first international Ideas Festival panel while further cementing connections in the country.

Said Dimitrios Peroulis, associate dean for external affairs for the College of Engineering: “Purdue and NCKU have forged a new bond in our lasting academic alliance that now enters a new era. We are very excited to create this first-of-its-kind partnership that enables NCKU students to enroll in dual-degree engineering programs and, at the same time, complete of their degree requirements online.”

The partnership launched today is meaningful for Purdue in demonstrating progress toward its goal of becoming the world’s premier provider of online education. 

"The College of Engineering has been quick to see the possibilities in the online learning initiative President Mitch Daniels and the Board of Trustees have added to Purdue's strategic plan," said Gerry McCartney, executive vice president for Purdue Online. "This partnership with NCKU adds a significant international component, and more importantly, the opportunity exemplified by this novel arrangement opens the door for partnerships with other institutions that wish to augment their current engineering instructional content with Purdue content.”

Purdue Online, College of Engineering programs are designed to help students advance their technical skills while pursuing their careers. The courses offer resources, as well as academic and technical support, that enable students to make the most of the online learning experience. Purdue’s online graduate engineering program is ranked No. 5 by U.S. News & World Report

For more information on Purdue Online, College of Engineering, visit 

Media contact: Brian Huchel, 765-494-2084, 

Sources: Mung Chiang,

George Chiu,

Dimitrios Peroulis,

Gerry McCartney,

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