A new collaboration between Teachers College and Ming Chuan University of Taiwan will focus on cross-cultural comparative education, affirmed by an agreement signed on March 17.

“Ming Chuan University is a perfect partner for Teachers College to expand and deepen our rich history in international education,” said President Thomas Bailey, who traveled to the university as part of his visit to Asia to connect with TC alumni and friends. “Our institutions understand the value of global cooperation and cross-pollination, which only strengthen the possibilities for growth and the development of new and exciting educational ventures in New York, Taiwan and around the world.”

The collaborative endeavor will focus on research topics such as large-scale international measures, sustainable development goals, and environmental education. TC and Ming Chuan University also plan to explore scholar visits, student exchanges, and interdisciplinary programs.

TC President Thomas Bailey (third from left) and Dr. Hsuan-Shih Lee, President of MCU (second from left) witnessed by the Chancellor of MCU, Dr. Chuan Lee (fourth from left) sign a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation and research between the two universities, laying the foundation for academic exchange and research collaboration, accompanied by TC alumnus Gary (Economics & Education '00), a consultant for the university and founding partner & COO of Anatole Investment Management Limited (far left). (Photo: MCU) 

The memorandum formalizes a cooperative relationship between the two private institutions that began in 2021, when Teachers College alumnus Gary Lee (M.A. ’00, Economics and Education), a former student of President Bailey, made an introduction between MCU and TC with the goal of fostering cross-cultural collaboration and exchange.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of being a professor is seeing students you have had the chance to teach and mentor go on to accomplish great things in their careers,” President Bailey said of Lee during the agreement signing in Taiwan. “The fact that Gary made the connection between MCU and TC means a great deal to me, personally and professionally…Knowing how important Ming Chuan University is to Gary and his entire family makes this historic agreement all the more special.”

President Bailey with a sculptural depiction of Dr. Teh-Ming Pao, the “Mother of Ming Chuan.” (Photo: MCU)

Ming Chuan University was founded by Lee’s grandparents, Dr. Ying-Chao Lee and Dr. Teh-Ming Pao. The institution would become Taiwan’s first business school for women, co-educational university, and the first U.S.-accredited university in Asia. Teachers College, too, was founded by a woman — Grace Dodge — to support the education and well-being of immigrant women.

“The parallels between Teachers College and Ming Chuan University are uncanny and fortuitous— the foundational focus on the empowerment and advancement of women, the immeasurable and lasting impact on society and the recognition of the merits of international cooperation and understanding— which are all particularly thoughtful and grounded focal points, especially in the midst of global volatility and uncertainty,” said Lee, Founding Partner & COO of Anatole Investment Management Limited and a consultant for the university. “With two visionary institutions joining forces, it’s fun to imagine what exciting and boundless collective impact they may exert.”

President Bailey participates in a special craft in honor of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. (Photo: MCU)

Cooperation between Ming Chuan University and Teachers College was solidified in 2022, when professors Oren Pizmony-Levy and Nancy Green-Saraisky of the Department of International and Transcultural Studies at Teachers College began working with Ming Chuan University on comparative research projects focused on the environment, sustainability and education; and international large-scale academic assessments.

President Bailey visits a sustainable garden at Ming Chuan University with colleagues. (Photo: MCU) 

In February, Green-Saraisky and Ming Chuan University colleagues presented findings from their first paper—“Perspectives on International Large-Scale Assessments: Interpreting Taiwan’s Media Coverage of the Program for International Student Assessment”— at the annual Comparative and International Education Society Conference in Washington, D.C.

“We are proud to sign an MOU with Teachers College, Columbia University, an institution that shares our commitment to providing quality education to students worldwide,” said Dr. Chuan Lee, Chancellor of Ming Chuan University. “Our shared accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education is a testament to the quality of our institutions, and I am confident that this collaboration will enable us to further promote academic exchanges, explore interdisciplinary programs, and conduct research collaboration.”