Located in Chiayi, Taiwan, Nanhua University was founded in 1996 by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Through the support of millions of Fo Guang Shan worshippers, the first comprehensive university of Fo Guang Shan was funded. The school is also a member of “Fo Guang Shan’s Associated Universities,” the country’s first cross-nation university system. Currently, the school has about 5,200 students and a strong faculty of 220 full-time teachers. The proportion of assistant professors to full-time teachers above is more than 96%, and the proportion of doctorates among them is 91%, which means the school ranks among the top private universities.
The school is built on a mountain slope and set in a quaint garden. The school area is about 63 hectares, with vast grasslands and towering trees. The unique natural environment of the elegant and quiet campus has earned the school the name “Forest University.” The rare and protected species and the natural and cultural ecology make the school the perfect model for promoting green campuses and environmental education. The school primarily focuses on general education and the humanistic spirit. It is an important institution in the southern region for national general education, and the school currently has a General Education Center and Five Colleges: Management, Humanities, Social Sciences, Arts, and Science & Technology. There are 21 undergraduate departments, 24 master’s programs, and a doctoral program. The Department of Life-and-Death Studies is renowned nationwide. Other well-known departments include the Department of Biotechnology, the Department of Tourism Management, the Department of Architecture and Landscape Design, the Department of Ethnomusicology, the Graduate Institute of Religious Studies, the Graduate Institute of Nonprofit Management, and the Graduate Institute of Natural Healing Sciences. Moreover, general education with award-winning performance year after year has further increased the school’s positive reputation. At the same time, transnational learning programs, including international student exchanges, overseas study, and e-learning platform (wireless internet/digital media/language learning), strongly promote the unique features and competitiveness of the school.
The university is centered on the balanced development of five principles, humanization, specialization, digitalization, industrialization and internationalization. The university’s unique educational mission is to achieve religious and cultural coordination in a spirit of charity and justice, with high-quality teaching. This unique mission encompassing life awareness, religious and humanistic spirit, and the ideals of a public service university, is injected into the education process, promoting the growth and transformation of both teachers and students, while enhancing each student’s character, vision, and professional competence. At the same time, students are strengthened by nurturing them to become good citizens and to serve others. Personnel Nurturing Objectives:
- (A) To develop modern citizens with character and virtue through the spirit of service.
- (B) To develop modern citizens with a broad international perspective, civic literacy, and strong communication skills.
- (C) To develop modern experts with a sense of responsibility, professional competence, and creative ability.
3.The Developmental Features
Establishing the Humanistic Spirit through a College Education As a religious school with a deep humanistic spirit, the university focuses on the enhancement of general education and character development of students. The continued practice of age-old academic traditions, such as the “ancient rite of passage” for freshmen each year, renew the school’s humanistic spirit and have been the school’s distinguishing feature since its inception. The university has established a cultural city, where character education, general education, and professional education nurture talents, and a moral education curriculum adapted to the needs of modern society helps transform students into responsible and compassionate adults through enlightenment. Integrating Local Industries’ Emphasis on “Practical Learning” The quality of teaching and knowledge applications is nurtured in the school environment that centers on “consciousness-based life education” and “conscious learning of students.” The school implements industry-integrated courses and a “practical learning” system that seamlessly connect academic theories with industry standards, thereby enhancing students’ employability and competitiveness. In addition, each department’s highlights are synchronized with the pulses of the local industry and community. The school’s future development will focus on end-of-life care, health care, philosophy, biotechnology in organic agriculture, tourism and leisure, non-profit organizations, and cultural and creative industries. Taiwan’s First Associated Universities System Goes International The school jointly established the “Fo Guang Shan Associated Universities,” the country’s first transnational associated university system including Fo Guang University, the University of the West in the U.S.A, and Nan Tien Institute in Australia. The system combines the advantages of the four universities to provide a wide range of resources as well as develop students’ international perspective. The approach of “register for four schools at one school” will be adopted to help students earn dual degrees. In order to foster students’ international flexibility capabilities, the school will form an important network with Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) and Fo Guang Shan temples on five continents for international exchanges and student learning.
4.Fo Guang Shan Four-in-One University Consortium
Founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, Fo Guang University and Nanhua University in Taiwan, along with University of the West (UWest) in the United States, and Nan Tien Institute in Australia combined on July 17, 2012, and all four Presidents co-announced the international Fo Guang Shan Four-in-One University Consortium, which is the first of its kind in Taiwan.
On March 22, 2013, under the witness of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, Nanhua, Fo Gung, UWest, and Nan Tien Presidents signed the agreement of the consortium at the 17th Anniversary Celebration of Nanhua University, where Fo Guang University President Yung Chaur-shin was appointed an executive director. In the years since the consortium’s implementation, teacher and student exchanges, inter-uni credits, remote learning programs, distance learning programs, and dual degrees have been introduced; while the universities have joint resources with Fo Guang Shan temples worldwide. This allows students the opportunities to learn and work overseas.
5.Three Acts of Goodness
Venerable Master Hsing Yun promotes Three Acts of Goodness as follows.
- Body – do good deeds: the wondrous merits of simple acts in serving and contributing are like the full moon shining in the sky.
- Mouth – speak good words: words of loving-kindness are like the winter sun; encouragement and praise are like fragrant flowers spreading their perfume everywhere.
- Mind – think good thoughts: sincerity and good conditions bring good fortune; with the sages and the sacred in our minds, we will reap a good harvest.
Master Hsing Yun hopes that everyone will practice the acts, and he believes Nanhua University will be able to become a Three Acts of Goodness School. Under Dr. Lin’s leadership, Nanhua University will foster the three acts of goodness in the minds of all students.
6.Message from the president
“ Revitalize Nanhua, reward excellence and help the disadvantaged. Pursue the prominence, and move toward the global stage. " Nanhua University is a university founded on the collective power of millions of Fo Guang Shan worshippers. It possesses humanity, religious and artistic qualities. Located in Chiayi, it is a tertiary school with a strong cultural atmosphere and strong faculty. We collaborate to develop the school in innovation, and adopt the educational philosophy of the founder, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, to be sure that Nanhua will emerge as an elite international school with sound character and strong academic standing in the context of higher education. New Pattern –Fresh Outlook of NHU In response to the flourishing school and the recruitment of international students, school facilities and the campus landscape has been expanded in recent years. Featuring an artistic and educational landscape design, the new construction includes teaching buildings, student dormitories, an international conference center, a stadium, a baseball field, and vegetarian restaurants. Through the humanistic spirit and characteristics of the school campus, a humanistic academic environment is being built. Promotion of Excellence Awards and Helping the Disadvantaged – Recruitment of International Students The “Reward Excellence and Help the Disadvantaged” scholarship system not only rewards outstanding students but also looks after the low-income household and disadvantaged students. A variety of scholarships and grants subsidize overseas study based on entrance examination results. Preferential programs provide tuition and fees to support students of low-income households and lower to middle-income households. Fo Guang Shan has over three hundred branches, including sixteen Buddhist colleges, four universities, kindergartens, many elementary and high schools, and temples around the world, which are all recruitment channels under development. Through such platforms and channels, young students from around the world are encouraged to learn and grow together at Nanhua. Teaching Excellence – Global Transitioning The school focuses on “life awareness,” “professional competence,” “international mobility,” “employability,” and “teacher and student harmony.” Furthermore, through conscious education, the school also aims to foster correct attitudes in students, provide domestic and international internship opportunities to improve students’ literacy and foreign language skills, and subsidize students to participate in contests to win honors, allowing every student to gain a deep reflection on life, personal expertise, an international perspective, and the far-reaching recognition of Nanhua. Enhanced Employability –Strengthened Competitiveness The employment rates of graduates from undergraduate departments and graduate institutes are 90% and 93%, respectively. According to an employee satisfaction survey, more than 80% were satisfied or very satisfied, which indicates that school-nurtured talents are meeting business requirements. Through continuing academic traditions while rebuilding the humanistic spirit, traditional Chinese culture and humanities are combined with modern knowledge systems to develop a competitive international and domestic model of university teaching.