"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world"——Former President of South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize Laurate
Reflecting back on the establishment of Oriental Institute of Technology, cultivating talent with government’s directive to reform education in order to solve the shortage of industrial talents and employment challenges for the youth, Far Eastern Group Founder Mr. Yu-ziang Hsu took the advice of then Economic Minister Mr. Kwoh-ting Li and Secretary General of the Executive Yuan Mr. Y. S. Chiang, followed the German model of vocational schools, and founded “Oriental Academy of Industrial Technology.” The initial funding of NT$12 million was contributed by Far Eastern Textile Ltd. and Asia Cement Corporation, together with 53,345 square meters of land located at Banqiao, Taipei County, adjourning the Far Eastern Textile plant. This is the first educational institute established by Mr. Y. Z. Hsu, and also Taiwan’s first two-year private college of technology.
Starting from the initial four departments and 383 students, Oriental Academy of Industrial Technology followed the nation’s economic and social developments, with innovative spirit to enhance and transfrom as “Oriental Institute of Technology” (OIT) in 2000, continued to expand into Institute of Information and Communication Engineering, Institute of Materials Application Technology, Institute of Marketing, and Institute of Distribution Management to provide a more comprehensive talent nurturing system. Currently there are three colleges, namely Telecommunications, Engineering, Management & Health, and comprised of total 11 departments. The hardware facility also expands from the first two Fang Chen and Engineering buildings to the present modern Yu-Ziang Technology, Sincerity & Thrift, and Yuan Ze buildings, where many outstanding technical talents were cultivated to contribute to the success of the nation’s economic developments, as well as serving as a role model of enterprise investing in education.
After half of century of restructuring and transformation, the School has achieved outstanding result. Thus, we are grateful for the efforts of the first President Mr. T. N. Soong till the current President Mou-Chuan Huang who have followed the Founder’s guideline, carried forward the excellent founding motto of “Sincerity, Diligence, Thrift, and Prudence,” and upheld the education philosophy of “Innovation, Pragmatism, Vision, and Cooperation.” During the past, OIT has expanded exchanges with universities overseas, such as Korea, Australia, Singapore, China, Japan, Malaysia, and U. K. to broaden global outreach, and accumulate the research momentum. Furthermore, Oriental Institute of Technology has long initiated industrial-academic cooperation projects since 1985 with renowned domestic and international corporations including Far Eastern New Century, Far EasTone Telecommunications, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, and Ericsson to successfully cultivate the professional talents through industry and academic institutions.
Since its establishment, the number of graduates from OIT has reached to nearly 80,000. Outstanding alumni are innumerable. In early years, mostly were graduates from the Department of Textile who operate businesses in Indonesia, China, and Taiwan. After 1981, graduates are performing well in the areas of Mechanical Engineering, Communications & Information, Opto-Electronic Engineering, and Bio Technology, demonstrating the School’s advancing with time and in keeping with the progress of Taiwan’s industry and commerce, setting up an excellent example of higher vocational education.
The current economy is entering into crucial transformation period given multiple developments of technologies, globalization, and impact caused by the lower birth rate and aging society in Taiwan. The educational institution must adapt with flexibility to keep up with time. Oriental Institute of Technology, embedded with the legacy of Far Eastern Group’s Innovative DNA, has managed to make breakthroughs and improvements in its educational approaches, and achieve outstandingly. In 2017, the School was selected by the Education Ministry as “Training Base for Industrial Elites” to lead the production and development of Taiwan’s functional textile materials. Furthermore, 12 invention projects from OIT participated in the ITEX Malaysia 2017 and won 6 golden and 6 silver awards, showcasing that Taiwan has the most prominent creativeness and state-of-the-art technology, and most outstanding talents. I take pride in these excellent performances of the School, which also best demonstrate the innovative approaches of OIT.
This year we celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of OIT. In view of its academic excellence, we hope that the best gift would be that the Oriental Institute of Technology may be able to elevate to the University of Technology. Looking into the future, facing dynamic “New Economy,” the common application of AI, cloud computing, IoT, 3D printing, robotics, all will disrupt the existing lifestyle. The School should be more committed to innovation, transformation, and restructuring. The planning and construction of its new campus must be adapted to smart technologies; design of lectures and class materials should follow the global trend so as to cultivate modern talents equipped with a sense of technology and global perspective. By simultaneously advancing both software and hardware, we can create more competitive advantage for the School, and promote OIT to become the top technology university in Taiwan.
Education is the most driving engine to elevate the nation’s overall competitiveness. During the half century, Oriental Institute of Technology has accompanied Taiwan’s growth, and nurtured youths to serve the society, and collaborated to achieve the current prosperity. Taiwan will not cease its development in the future. Though the external environment is becoming more and more challenging, we must march forward expeditiously. In the next 50 years, OIT will still bear the responsibility of cultivating the pillars of the nation. We urge all faculty and students to continue to be motivated and maintain our leading position, and jointly build a brighter tomorrow!＃