The Institute of Tropical Agriculture was established in August 1997 as part of the expansion of the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST). Since its establishment, the number of foreign students enrolled in this institute has continuously increased each year, and the interaction with foreign academic institutions has become much closer than it was before. Therefore, this institute was renamed as the“Institute of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation (ITAIC) in August 2002. In 2004, it was renamed once again as the Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation (DTAIC) when it started to offer undergraduate courses to international students.
DTAIC offers both undergraduate and graduate studies leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. DTAIC maintains a close tie with ten disciplinary departments, including agribusiness management, animal science, aquaculture, food science, forestry, plant industry, plant protection, rural planning, veterinary medicine, and wood industry. Students can take courses and conduct research according to their interests in any of those departments. This is one of the unique features of the DTAIC.
As of the end of 2004/2005 teaching year, there are or have been 138 students from 25 countries either studying or have completed their studies at the institute. The countries are listed as follows: Belarus, Belize, Burkina－Faso, Chad, Commonwealth of Dominica, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, Gambia, Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Micronesia Liberia, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Fiji, Nepal, Nicaragua, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Solomon Islands, St. Vincent, Swaziland, Thailand, and Vietnam."