Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University, known as HSNU, is one of the highest ranking high schools in Taiwan. The competition to get into HSNU is fierce, as the High School Entrance Exam scores of admitted students typically are in the top 3% in the country. However, academic excellence is not what sets HSNU apart from other high schools, but rather the shared values of spirit, identity, and the transformative experiences that every HSNU graduate carries out into the world.
The rich history of HSNU can be traced back to its founding in 1937. The school was founded during the time of authoritarianism, when governmental suppression and forced subservience dominated the society. The second dean of HSNU, Hui Huang, spearheaded education values and created an environment at HSNU where both teachers and students were allowed to question, explore, and innovate. His famously quoted motto, “We develop talents, not slaves,” set an early tone of the styles and spirits of HSNU that has been followed there ever since.
Perhaps in no other high school in Taiwan is the enthusiasm of a student body better captured than at HSNU. The students are famously described as those who “work hard and play hard,” which is made possible by a liberal environment where students are encouraged to explore their imaginations and put them into practice. The three major student associations, the Student Association, the Club Association, and the Senior Association, work closely with more than 50 student clubs, taking the lead to organize events like proms, the orientation evening shows, the school anniversary, Student Association presidential elections, and commencement ceremonies, with the faculty playing a supporting role. These experiences mark unforgettable memories for students, who not only gain hands-on experiences but also learn to think both critically and independently.
In a society where students are expected to be followers, HSNU cultivates leaders, scientists and artists. This is why the HSNU alumni are visible around the world in all areas across the entire social spectrum. However, it rarely takes more than a split second to recognize them as both alumni and current students are closely bonded by common memories that have left valuable and indelible marks on their high school lives.