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First in Taiwan: NPUST Obtains (USA) IFT Accreditation

At National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST), the undergraduate curriculum in the College of Agriculture’s Department of Food Science has passed the accreditation process of the (US) Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and received the seal of approval from the IFT-Higher Education Review Board. As a result, NPUST has become the first university in Taiwan to obtain the US accreditation. 
In order to achieve IFT’s high standards, the entire faculty of the Department of Food Science took the initiative to undergo the IFT Higher Education Review Board’s (IFT-HERB) strict evaluation process, with the overall aim of getting their curriculum online with international standards. Dr. Ho-Hsien Chen, the Dean of the College of Agriculture and a professor at the Department of Food Science, said that in addition to evaluations of domestic agencies such as the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council, the Taiwan Assessment and Evaluation Association and the Institute of Engineering Education Taiwan (IEET), the College of Agriculture also encourages its departments to participate in courses offered by professional international societies and apply for quality assurance certifications in order challenge themselves and line up with international standards. The Department of Food Science has been operating for 67 years and currently offers an undergraduate program, continuing education program, master’s program and PhD program to cultivate talent for middle and high-level food R&D and management. The department has about 700 students, including more than 20 international graduate students. Students can select all their courses in English and the department is very international.
Department Director Dr. Jenshinn Lin thanked all the teachers of the department for their unity and sense of honor. The teachers in the department cooperated to prepare the complex evaluation materials, including areas of expertise, curriculum design, core competencies, student learning analysis and feedback on learning achievement. All of these were incorporated in the quality assurance certification process. A foreign faculty member of the department, Dr. Mo-Sen Gao, assisted with reviewing the English forms and served as the contact window to the IFT. The IFT certification will help the department align its courses with the curriculum of world-class universities and facilitate exchange. It will also be useful for students of the NPUST Department of Food Science looking to get recognition for course credit if they choose to study at renowned institutions abroad.
The Department of Food Science received high marks from the committee, especially with respect to the sufficiency of equipment for research and practical studies. In the initial five years of the quality assurance recognition (2022-2027), the multi-field faculty will work on innovation and tracking measures. Currently, the IFT has accredited food science departments at 80 world-renowned schools, including 42 top American universities, such as Cornell Univ., Purdue Univ., Penn State Univ., Rutgers Univ., Texas A&M Univ., UC-Davis, Ohio State Univ., Univ. of Florida, Univ. of Illinois, Univ. of Maryland, Virginia Tech, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison. 
National Pingtung University of Science and Technology has become the first national university in Taiwan with a food science department accredited by the American Institute of Food Technologists and the teachers and students feel deeply honored by the achievement.


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