Origin

The 1980s witnessed the rise of international awareness of serious environmental problems arising from human development and the urgent need to remedy the situation. Institutions of higher education thus began to seek for a proper role in the drive towards sustainable development. Universities in the United States and Europe started a renewal movement centered on the concept of improving campus sustainability, or the so-called green university movement.

A common value shared among green universities around the world is their ultimate goal of taking sustainable development for human society as a direction in developing higher education. This means the incorporation of appropriate steps into university administration, development plans, teaching and research, environmental maintenance and student life. From the perspectives of the functions and missions inherent to universities, this demands from institutions of higher learning more dedication towards the training of global citizens, orientation towards developing a reformed human society, and a determination towards bringing sustainability to human civilization. The concept of green university demands not just the incorporation of a spirit of sustainability into university operations, curriculum planning and daily life on campus; it likewise means providing assistance to the university itself, the community, the society in general, the country and the entire human race in facing a sustainable future through teaching, research, innovation and campus activities.

As the pioneer comprehensive university in Taiwan enjoying excellent academic reputation and with graduates that exert strong influence on Taiwanese society, the National Taiwan Normal University sets the pace in local universities’ efforts to promote the green university concept by incorporating relevant ideas into campus affairs, development and planning. We have set short-, medium- and long-term goals in research and innovation, curriculum design, environmental management, student life, arts and aesthetics, social services and other areas, through a reform of actual campus environment and pedagogical methods. To keep up with ideals set globally and among Chinese societies, and to fulfill its mission of education, the University seeks to set the example in terms of management and operation, and through its faculty, also seeks to train graduates armed with green competitiveness. All these are made possible by joining hands with the university community, the society at large and the whole world in marching towards sustainable development.

Moreover, as a manifestation of our dedication to the concept of green university, we have become a signatory to the Talloires Declaration in May 2009 through the “National Taiwan Normal University Certificate of Commitment Toward A Green University.” A Green University Promotion Committee has also been set up involving university departments and administrative units, together with setting relevant goals, strategies and action plans. The university president personally leads in integrating administrative, research, teaching and service resources needed for the implementation of plans aimed at achieving objectives. Inspired by the university motto that upholds sincerity, discipline, industry and simplicity in propagating higher education, we divert resources towards the achievement of our goals by making these values a part of the university’s faculty and student body. We have thus set the following development goals:

1. Creating a green university that emphasizes ecology, the environment, energy conservation, zero garbage, safety, health, aesthetics and technology.

2. Re-developing or incorporating curriculum used by teachers from various disciplines, with emphasis on the concept of sustainable development through the inclusion of materials needed (knowledge, values and competence), following the university's insistence on sustainability in art, the humanities and ecology.

3. Emphasizing that a green university is a platform for teachers, employees and students to learn from one another. Through taking action with flexibility, dynamism, passion and long-term dedication, it is hoped that the university could create an atmosphere and university culture conducive to sustainable operations. Moreover, university administration, teaching, research and daily campus life will be directed towards sustainable campus living.

4. Building partnerships with other universities and communities through exchange of resources and information, all with the goal of integration towards a green university community.

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