The Internationally successful graduate programme in Taiwan

Our ED had the privilege of speaking recently at the Chang Jung Christian University, home to the International Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Eco-Center, and its graduate programme run by Kelly Kok, Executive Director.

The Eco-center takes the concept of the University’s Christian spirit as its main driving force for development. Based on the principle of holistic education, the Center follows the practice of the Universities development strategy, gradually expanding its international perspective and striving to provide sustainable education for everyone, while affirming the dignity and value of all life. Committed to becoming a deep-rooted, international, and socially responsible university, the center also continues to promote environmental education in line with the principles of the Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program.

In 2014 Dr. Jane Goodall visited the Chung Jung Christian University (CJCU) to plant a tree, and to give a talk to the students. What followed next was a dream come true.

“For years we have been looking for ways to support our global network of Roots & Shoots members,” Kelly Kok, executive director of JGI Taiwan, reminisced. “So when CJCU President Lee Yung Lung offered to start an all English international program for sustainable development, and provide full scholarships to qualified Roots & Shoots alumni, we were simply elated.” It turns out to be one of the most rewarding programs of the Jane Goodall Institute Taiwan.

Sustainable development is one of the most pressing issues of this century and requires practical solutions backed by sound theoretical knowledge. Chang Jung Christian University, in cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute Taiwan, offers the International Program for Sustainable Development (IPSD), a 4-year bachelor’s degree program for young people who are eager to make the world a better place.

This program emphasizes solving real-world problems and learning by hands-on action. It aims to equip students with interdisciplinary knowledge of environmental sustainability, civil action, international affairs, and cultural diversity in the search for solutions to environmental challenges, in the spirit of Roots & Shoots.

Recruitment efforts began in late 2015, and by September 2016 the first batch of 23 international R&S students arrived on the campus of CJCU. The students were from Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, UAE, South Korea, and Italy. In 2021, there are currently over 80 international students from more than 10 countries.

This summer, we proudly celebrate the graduation of our first batch of students. During the graduation ceremony, student representative Nathan Thadeo shared his journey in his speech, “Over the last four years we have achieved goals that we never imagined we could reach. Coming from a poor family in Tanzania, I was inspired by Dr. Jane Goodall and Roots & Shoots, and became committed to environmental protection. I have spent four fruitful years in Taiwan, conducting research and hosting events, learning to communicate with different people, coordinating many things, and making the best decisions. I learnt Chinese from scratch, and was able to practice my Chinese through hosting events and daily interactions. And now I have been accepted by the National Taiwan University to pursue a graduate degree. Hopefully I will be able to apply what I have learnt when I return to Tanzania. A final word: Share what you have, and teach what you have learnt.” 

For more information about the program, please visit


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