Higher Education in Taiwan

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1 Higher Education in Taiwan GPN: PRICE: NT$250 US$8

2 Higher Education in Taiwan

3 ontents Foreword from the Minister of Education 4 Overview 6 Higher Education in Taiwan 10 Internationalization and International Students 18 Programs for Future Development 24 Outlook 30 2 Higher Education in Taiwan

4 3

5 Education is the basis of humanity s cultural heritage. University education systems for modern times must be engines for accelerating and guiding human discovery of truth and innovation for the enhancement of knowledge. Therefore, there is not a single country that fails to emphasize the establishment and development of higher education systems, with an eye to nurturing highly skilled middle and top level talent, in order to ensure that its citizens can gain an unbeatable position on the world s highly competitive stage. oreword from the Minister of Education While the rapid technological discoveries and applications in the age of the knowledgebased economy have raised the basic living standards of most of us, mankind is however aware of the danger of imbalance emerging in both natural environment and the values of society, influenced by inequalities of resources, skewed information and other environmental and social factors. Therefore, the function of higher education should no longer be limited to providing the human resources required for industrial technologies and R&D, or to nurturing human resources with innovative and integrative abilities, as well as international vision and interdisciplinary skills. Rather, it should strive to play a more active role in the process of achieving a sustainable environment alongside social equality and justice. In view of this, the Ministry of Education will continue to safeguard academic freedom and the autonomy of universities, while also strengthening the ability on the part of institutions of Higher education to fulfill their role and to reflect the expectations of society, and work to improve and enhance our citizens and guarantee equal opportunities for education to promote universal well-being and social prosperity. 4 Higher Education in Taiwan

6 Higher education in Taiwan features a dual-track system of universities alongside technical colleges. In order to offer society greater insight into the overall structure of the current higher education system, as well as a statistical overview, policies and future development, the Ministry of Education has published Higher Education in Taiwan, taking the opportunity to update its content so that the public may obtain a more comprehensive and integral idea about Taiwan s Higher Education, which will in turn serve to help them become more familiar with Higher Education with greater facility, thereby increasing their concern and support for Higher Education policies. Minister of Education 5

7 "Whisper of Flowers" by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan 6 Higher Education in Taiwan

8 A World Champion You May Have Yet to Know A small nation in the Western Pacific, Taiwan has emerged a vibrant powerhouse in the world economy. It has secured a leading role in numerous industries worldwide, particularly on the IT front. The global economy couldn't function without it, BusinessWeek concludes in its May 16, 2005 cover story titled Why Taiwan Matters. Taiwan has accumulated such economic clout mainly on the back of an abundant pool of high-caliber human verview resources. The quality of human resources hinges on higher education. In its World Competitiveness Yearbook 2011 the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) ranked Taiwan 6th globally. When it comes to IT hardware, Taiwan is undoubtedly a leading player in both R&D and production. More than 90 percent of the world s laptops are attributable to Taiwan-based suppliers. Taiwan is also the world s leading supplier of computer chips, smartphones and GPS devices installed on automobiles, just to name a few. What s the secret behind Taiwan s success? Besides well-defined economic goals, the key lies in Taiwan s commitment to persistently bettering its higher education over the past six decades. Expand higher education to nurture a quality labor force The past 20 years have seen a gradual shift in emphasis to populism from elitism in Taiwan s higher education. What results is a big jump in the quality of its labor force. Those who have received higher education now account for over 60 percent of the population, putting Taiwan at 13th spot in tertiary enrollment in the 2011 Global Competitiveness Report compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF). With high-caliber talent readily available, Taiwan s job market hardly needs to worry about a scarcity of engineers or technicians. Local industries can thus focus on innovation that is key to their staying competitive internationally. On more than a few occasions, Taiwan has been hailed by major international financial media as one of the world s few centers clustered with high-tech wizards. It s no understatement. Taiwan Home to Greater China s No. 1 University In recent years Asian universities relentless pursuit for excellence has been duly rewarded in the form of enviable rankings in many international appraisals. Those in Taiwan are no exception. In the 2011 Academic Ranking of World 7

9 Universities (ARWU) compiled by Shanghai Jiaotong University, National Taiwan University was ranked ahead of such eminent Chinese counterparts as Qinghua University, Fudan University and Nanjing University as well as all eight universities in Hong Kong. It is now generally recognized as the No. 1 University of any on either side of the Taiwan Strait. No. 9 innovator in the world In the WEF s 2011Global Competitiveness Report, Taiwan also did exceptionally well in the category of innovation. Of the 142 countries on the list, Taiwan was ranked 9th;better than the United States. The achievement has a lot to do with Taiwan s higher education as well. When it comes to innovative research, Taiwan s higher education was rated as No. 3 in a survey of presidents of 135 Asian universities. The quest for innovation by the universities in Taiwan is best illustrated by the vibrant creativity exhibited by their students. To help students bring out their creativity to the fullest, the Ministry of Education (MOE) now selects the finest of them for overseas studies annually, with all the expenses paid for by the government. The initiative has paid off. Students from Taiwan have emerged frequent winners of such prestigious honors as if and red dot product design awards over these past few years. Influence Over Ethnic-Chinese Communities Another invaluable achievement scored by Taiwan s higher education has been its contribution to talent cultivation across ethnic-chinese communities around the globe. In certain parts of Asia, college education is simply not taken for granted by everyone. What s worse, anti-chinese sentiment prevalent in some countries means that higher education is simply denied to quite a few ethnic-chinese youngsters. For its part, the Republic of China on Taiwan has adopted a proactive approach toward caring for fellow countrymen and women residing abroad since it was founded in In particular, favorable treatment is provided in the country s higher education mechanism from a fair quota of students to low tuition,reasonable lodging and opportunities to learn Mandarin. A good number of overseas Chinese youth have thus been able to attend universities in Taiwan, and many of them have ultimately emerged prominent figures and even leaders in their respective home countries. For instance, Khein-Seng Pua whose ingenuity brought about the world's first USB flash removable disk comes from Malaysia and is a graduate from 8 Higher Education in Taiwan

10 National Chiao Tung University. Barry Lam, founder and CEO of the world s largest laptop contract-maker Quanta Computer Inc., comes from Hong Kong and graduated from National Taiwan University. Tsai Ming-liang, a prize-winning filmmaker who has made a name for himself at many international film festivals, comes from Malaysia and graduated from the Department of Theatre Arts, Chinese Culture University. Since 1990, a cumulative 49,377 overseas Chinese youth mostly from Macau, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Indonesia have attended universities, colleges and junior colleges in Taiwan. A Rich and Diverse Culture As an immigrant society, Taiwan has long been a melting pot for residents coming from the Chinese mainland and Southeast Asia as well as aborigines. This has resulted in a great diversity in spoken language and diet. Furthermore, the biological diversity in Taiwan is equally impressive due to its unique geographic location and climate. Taking up a mere percent of the planet s land area, Taiwan is home to 2.5% of its species. National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Taiwan s cultural diversity has never undermined its longstanding role as torchbearer of orthodox Chinese culture. Many international visitors who yearn to build a better understanding of Chinese culture have continued to regard Taiwan as their foremost choice to the present day. The rationale is simple. Whatever cultural heritage had been left on the Chinese mainland after the communist takeover in 1949 was ruthlessly disrupted during the Cultural Revolution. Hong Kong and Singapore, both former colonies of Western powers, have a cultural propensity leaning toward the West. As an open society, Taiwan is a hearty host to all kinds of cultural activities. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, for instance, has long enjoyed worldwide fame. National Palace Museum Taiwan s hard-earned position as a legitimate heir of orthodox, rich Chinese culture must be traced to its underscoring education and lavishing investments all these decades. In the curriculum of general studies meant for college students, Chinese literature and history have remained compulsory courses to the very present day. At quite a few campuses, meticulously designed courses are made available for international students to learn Mandarin. Of ethnic-chinese communities around the world, Taiwan is the only place where traditional Chinese is designated the official written language. 9

11 National Taiwan University 10 Higher Education in Taiwan

12 History In 1928, Taipei Imperial University, the very first university in Taiwan, was established. By the 1960s, because of the rise in labor intensive industries and other factors, higher education (especially junior colleges) expanded rapidly. Between 1950 and 1970, the number of higher education institutions increased from 7 to 92, of which private institutions comprised 67 percent. igher Education in Taiwan With the establishment of the first technical college in 1974, Taiwan began to place technical education and higher education on the same track. Higher education thereafter found different paths for its future development. In 1996, authorities began to encourage junior colleges to upgrade to colleges and universities of technology with a view to creating unimpeded access to vocational education. From 1985 to 2000, the number of higher education institutions increased from 105 to 150. At present, there are a total of 163 higher education institutions in Taiwan. Government Spending To keep the country s higher education competitive, Taiwan spares no investment in the field. While OECD countries invest an average 1.5 percent of their GDP in higher education, Taiwan puts in about 1.93 percent (2008). Taiwan is aware that other countries are funneling more resources toward their higher education as well. Over the past five years Taiwan has set aside an annual US$300 million on average as an incentive for universities to further upgrade their quality of research and teaching. The strategy has been handsomely rewarded as a good number of them have made big strides and even come to the forefront in various global appraisals. Under the government s performance-oriented initiative, the more outstanding a university proves itself, the more subsidies it can get. Educational System In Taiwan, students can pursue higher learning at two-year and five-year junior colleges as well as universities and colleges. Like in many other countries, university undergraduate programs require four years of study; internships from six months to two years are sometimes required. Graduate 11

13 Fig. 1: The Educational System of Taiwan Yuan Ze University 12 Higher Education in Taiwan

14 programs leading to a Master's degree require one to four years; those for a doctorate, two to seven years (Fig. 1). Quality Assurance In 2005, the MOE collaborated with local universities and colleges to set up the Higher Education Evaluation & Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT). The HEEACT undertakes both institution evaluations and program evaluations every six years. Institution evaluations are aimed at determining if universities have carried out their respective development plans. Targeting the individual departments of universities and colleges, program evaluations focus on their faculty, teaching, research and services at large. A smaller quota of students awaits those departments that score poorly in the evaluations. Furthermore, the MOE urges local universities to secure the accreditation of various international institutions. To date the HEEACT has been accepted as a member of such international accreditation organizations as the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN) and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). Reach of Higher Education Currently in 2012, there are 163 universities, colleges and junior colleges in Taiwan. Given the sharp increase in the number of schools over the past two decades, higher education is now meant for the general public rather Fig. 2: No. of University, College & Junior College Students (2011): 542, , , ,083 Public Universities & Colleges Private Universities Public Vocational/ Private Vocational/ & Colleges Technological Technological Universities & Colleges Universities & Colleges 13

15 Chang Gung University National Taiwan University 14 Higher Education in Taiwan

16 than an elite few. University and college students now number around 1.35 million(fig. 2). With students still in their first three years at five-year junior colleges and graduate students excluded, the tally comes in at approximately 1.08 million, translating into a gross enrollment ratio (GER) of percent. Meanwhile, greater demand in the marketplace has also led to a substantial increase in the number of graduate students lately. Technology tops the list when the students of Taiwan choose a field of study as their academic specialization. Coming next are social sciences and the humanities. Given the inherent nature of vocationally oriented schools, more than 50 percent of their students major in technology-related fields. But the gap between technology and non-tech majors is gradually narrowing as a good number of humanities departments have been added to local universities and colleges in recent years. Technology majors account for the bulk of the local student body for a simple reason. They are what Taiwan s industrial sector needs the most. It is hardly surprising that technology ventures provide the most vacancies for the local job market each year (Fig. 3 & Fig. 4). Fig. 3: Majors of University/College Students (2011): Humanities 152, % 42 % Technology 287,516 Social Sciences 239, % Fig. 4: Majors of Vocational/Technological University & College Students (2011): Humanities 88, % Social Sciences 256, % 49 % Technology 327,286 15

17 Faculty As Taiwan s universities become increasingly geared toward the general public, faculty reform is regarded as a crucial link. Thanks to policy guidance and the establishment of a better-rounded evaluation system, the quality of university faculty has improved conspicuously. Currently more than 80 percent of the faculties at Taiwan s universities hold doctoral degrees. This has resulted from a 14 percent jump over the past decade. Furthermore, a third of the collective faculty is accounted for by professors. As far as the quality of university faculty is concerned, Taiwan is generally recognized to be superior to China and Hong Kong (Fig. 5 & Fig. 6). Fig. 5: Professors take a third of full-time faculties at general universities (2011): Others Assistant Professor 8,144 Instructor 2, % 7 % 841 3% 30 % Professor 8, % Associate Professor 8,626 Fig. 6: Nearly 80% of full-time professors at general universities hold doctoral degrees (2011): Bachelor s Degree 1,096 4% Others 71 0% Master s Degree 4, % China Medical University 82 % Ph.D. 22, Higher Education in Taiwan

18 Admission of Local Students In terms of university and college admission, high school students in Taiwan are mainly given two options: by recommendation and screening or by examination and placement. Those who choose the recommendation and screening channel are supposed to apply to universities of their choice. Based on their respective aptitude and competence, applicants must also present records of their performance at high school and their General Scholastic Ability Test (GSAT) scores. In 2011, some 29.8 percent of Taiwan s high school students chose to apply for university admission this way. Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts The second option is to take the Department Required Test (DRT) organized by the College Entrance Examination Center (CEEC). A majority of local students, about percent, intended to secure university admission through this channel in On the other hand, a Star Plan has been introduced to make available more admission opportunities to students from remote towns and villages, thereby bridging the higher education gap between city and countryside. When the Star Plan was first initiated in 2007, it admitted 786 high school students to universities and colleges. From 2012, the program will accommodate a larger quota of 8,575 students. Tuition Taiwan s higher education has done well on more than a few fronts. Its universities are placed among the top one percent of research institutions from around the world in a total of 17 categories, according to Essential Science Indicators (ESI) rankings based on each institution's research output in high-standard international scholarly journals. In Taiwan, university tuition accounts for percent of per capita GDP. Studying at a national university costs approximately US$1,880 a year; about US$3,469 is needed for a private one. To be sure, university education in Taiwan is relatively inexpensive as tuition often takes over 30 percent of per capita GDP in many other countries. On average, Taiwan s university tuition comes in at 35 percent of that in Hong Kong and 14 percent of that in Singapore. Attending medical school in Taiwan costs only 30 percent of what it normally does in South Korea. But even so Taiwan s higher education remains highly competitive in the region. 17

19 Southern Taiwan University of Technology 18 Higher Education in Taiwan

20 Status Quo of Internationalization Technological advancement has all but removed boundaries dividing nations and markets. Today s university students are thus granted mobility virtually unthinkable for their predecessors of just generations ago. Imbuing university students with global citizenship in a truly internationalized campus setting is increasingly a topic higher education must address. Exposing students to cross-cultural experiences To help students broaden their international horizons and familiarize themselves with other cultures, a total of 34 universities in Taiwan have entered into joint/ dual degree partnerships with international counterparts. Joint/Dual Degree Students are allowed to study at two separate locations to earn their degrees. nternationalization and International Students Advancing English proficiency of students Most universities now require students to pass accreditation of their English competence upon graduation. Meanwhile, a growing number of universities are offering English-taught courses and programs, which is surely a practice beneficial to international and local students alike. As of the middle of 2011, a total of 41 universities had introduced 193 programs delivered in English or other foreign languages. Subsidizing enrollment of international students The past several years have seen a significant increase in the number of international scholars and students who have come to Taiwan for visits and studies. Over the past five years, the number of international students in pursuit of an academic degree in Taiwan has surged 91 percent. The number of exchange students from abroad has also jumped 57 percent. At present, there are a total of 40,843 international students from 148 countries who study in more than 23 different fields. Promoting the Industrial Technology R&D Master Program at universities Taiwan s IT industry weighs heavily on the world. But it is all the more important to recruit the best talent from around the world to keep its innovation going. As such, the MOE joined forces with industry and academy 19

21 to devise the Industrial Technology R&D Master Program, a curriculum aimed specifically at international students. After earning their degree, they can go on to work for the companies participating in the program. Launching Taiwan International Graduate Program (TIGP) Academia Sinica is the most prominent academic research institution in Taiwan. Several of its academicians are Nobel Laureates. To help grow interdisciplinary talent, seven higher education institutions in Taiwan National Taiwan University, National Tsing Hua University, National Central University, National Chung Hsing University, National Defense Medical Center, National Yang-Ming University and National Chiao Tung University joined forces with Academia Sinica to launch the TIGP. The program covers the following nine fields: chemical biology and molecular biophysics; molecular science and technology; molecular and biological agricultural sciences; molecular and cell biology; bioinformatics; nano science and technology; molecular medicine; computational linguistics and Chinese language processing; and earth system science. Over the years TIGP students have accumulated a proven track record. Upon graduation, many of them have been recruited by some of the world s best-known research institutions and major biotechnology ventures as well as Academia Sinica and its various research units. These include UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Scripps Research Institute, Bruker Daltonics National Pingtung University of Science and Technology 20 Higher Education in Taiwan

22 Inc., and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Research papers submitted by TIGP students can also be found in such eminent academic periodicals as Nature, PNAS and The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC). Subsidizing universities to offer competitive compensation packages to attract the world s top academics for teaching or research Around 1,000 distinguished international scholars have come to Taiwan since In the meantime, the number of international academic conferences held in Taiwan also increased to 1,697 in Enhancing international visibility of local universities Universities in Taiwan have long been urged to look up to the best higher education institutions in the world as their benchmark. In the 2011 Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings, nine universities from Taiwan were ranked among the top 500, with National Taiwan University taking the 87th spot. According to the 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) compiled by Shanghai Jiaotong University, National Taiwan University beat all counterparts in China and Hong Kong to come in at 123th among the top 500. Over the years National Taiwan University has built its solid standing as one of the best universities across all ethnic-chinese communities. Documents for Application Submission (Degree students) Application forms Photocopies of the original diploma (If not in English or Chinese, student should give English or Chinese translations of the original diploma) Financial statement Statement of purpose Letters of recommendation Application fee Other documents as required by the universities and colleges Setting up Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET) The Association of National Universities of Taiwan (ANUT), Association of Private Universities and Colleges of Taiwan (APUC) and Association of Private Universities and Colleges of Technology of Taiwan (APUCT) are about the three most important higher education organizations in Taiwan. The MOE teamed up with the three to establish the FICHET to undertake international interchange and cooperation in higher education. Admission of International Students Degree Students A good number of universities and colleges in Taiwan welcome international applicants. Applicants can choose a school based on their personal interests and the courses offered. A list of universities and colleges, both public and private, can be found at the Study in Taiwan website: Students who want to apply for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs can do so all year round. The deadline for new semester submission varies 21

23 Documents for Application Submission (Mandarin-learning Students) A completed application form A copy of the photo page of your passport An original copy of your personal financial statement valid within the last 6 months (The requirements for this statement will be specified by the center of your choice) High school or higher diploma/admission letters (varies from center to center) Research proposal/study plan (varies from center to center) Two to four 1- or 2-inch photos Health report Insurance certificate Application fee Other documents as required by a given center from school to school, but it usually falls in March. Likewise, tuition for international students are left to the discretion of universities and colleges. Please note that each institution has its own requirements and standards to determine whether applicants are qualified for admission. Only applicants found to be qualified through review or special screening tests will be granted admission. Students shall produce proof of medical and personal accident insurance or national health insurance at the time of registration. Exchange Students Most universities in Taiwan offer exchange programs, with their duration varying from school to school. International students interested in pursuing studies in Taiwan are encouraged to make inquiries about such programs at their own schools. Mandarin-Learning Students Taiwan is an ideal place for international students to learn Mandarin, the official language of the country. In Taiwan, traditional characters are used, and learning them will allow students to fully appreciate Chinese language and to communicate, in writing, with people who speak other Chinese dialects. Students who want to take Chinese courses can apply to any of the 35 Chinese language centers at local universities and colleges. While most applications are accepted year round, some of these institutions will take in only those applicants who are in time for a given academic year. There are usually four terms of courses: spring, summer, fall and winter. Scholarships Scholarships meant specifically for international students are available at many of Taiwan s universities. The government also offers scholarships to students and researchers from abroad. Shih Chien University Taiwan Scholarship Intended for international students undertaking degree programs in Taiwan, it provides not only tuition, but also a monthly stipend. For undergraduate students, the monthly stipend is approximately US$500 for up to four years. For graduate students the monthly stipend is about US$660; the duration for students in pursuit of a Master s degree is two years and that for those undertaking a doctoral program is four years. 22 Higher Education in Taiwan

24 Huayu Enrichment Scholarship (HES) Mandarin-learning students deemed qualified for the scholarship receive a monthly stipend of about US$780 for up to a year. Short-Term Research Award (STRA) Meant for postdoctoral researchers and doctoral students, the package includes an economy-class roundtrip airline ticket and a stipend of about US$830 per month. For more information on the aforementioned scholarships, please visit the following website: 32&mp=1 Living in Taiwan Friendly, safe, convenient and dynamic are some of the expressions commonly used by international friends to describe Taiwan where they have spent some time for work, study or sightseeing. Taiwan s convenient location in the region must prove quite attractive to international students. At the center of Asia s air traffic network, it is readily accessible from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and India. Domestic transportation is just as convenient. By way of a Taipei Metro ride that connects to a Taiwan High Speed Rail service, one can travel from metropolitan Taipei to the southern port city of Kaohsiung in two hours. One can easily take care of every aspect of daily needs in Taiwan where, among other things, there is one of the world s highest convenience store densities. Another equally memorable experience shared by international visitors to Taiwan must be its great diversity of delicacies and snacks. The inexpensive tuition and relatively low consumer prices make it possible for international students to enjoy a decent living standard while undertaking their academic pursuits. In terms of medical care, the comprehensive coverage provided by Taiwan s low-premium National Health Insurance scheme is widely deemed as worth emulating. Above all, Taiwan is rightfully the best-rounded environment for learning Mandarin throughout Asia. Learning Mandarin will be a convenient plus for any international student coming to Taiwan for academic pursuits. All else being equal, Taiwan is undoubtedly the perfect learning ground for international students who yearn for a future career in Asia. 23

25 Chang Gung University 24 Higher Education in Taiwan

26 rograms for Future Development The Aim for the Top University Project In today s flattened world, competition for talent is bound to intensify by the day. The strength of universities is a useful gauge of national competitiveness. It explains why many countries have spared no funds and taken other bold moves to upgrade the quality of their higher education. To prevail in this arena, Taiwan initiated the Aim for the Top University and Excellent Research Center Project in Later renamed the Aim for the Top University Project, it is to be implemented in two phases: from 2006 to 2010 and from 2011 to 2016 respectively. With a US$300 million outlay a year, it is meant to further sharpen Taiwan s competitive edge by giving the country s higher education an extra push. Phase I ( ): Transformation and Growth Over the course of four years, subsidy recipients in this project have registered tremendous progress in teaching, research, internationalization and collaboration with industry. During this period, emphasis was placed on ushering the outside world into campuses and boosting the number of first-rate instructors and international students. Meanwhile, top-tier universities covered in the subsidy project fulfilled their responsibility of helping take care of less fortunate youngsters by ensuring their access to higher education. Likewise, they made available a wide range of interdisciplinary and general courses, fully aware of the lasting influence that general studies will have on students over their lifetime. According to the 2011 research output rankings of Essential Science Indicators (ESI), National Taiwan University, National Tsing Hua University, National Cheng Kung University, National Chiao Tung University and National Chung Hsing University were ranked among the top one percent of the world s research institutions in 17 of 21 specialized fields of study. Meanwhile, at least one university from Taiwan was ranked among the world s top 100 in the following 11 fields: computer science, engineering, materials sciences, environment/ecology, chemistry, clinical medicine, pharmacology & toxicology, physics, geosciences, plant and zoology sciences and agricultural sciences. 25

27 National Central University National Taiwan University 26 Higher Education in Taiwan

28 Additionally, Taiwan s universities have seen a big jump in their global rankings over the years. By pushing ahead on charts of this sort, higher education institutions in Taiwan make it clear that theirs is an international benchmark. They are keenly aware that their bar of excellence is ultimately a global rather than regional one. Shih Chien University Phase II (2011 April-2016 March): Aim for the Top University Building on what has been achieved in Phase I, the project is meant to further help recipient universities attain the goal of topping the world. In addition to assisting local universities in resources integration and upgrade of teaching and research competence, special emphasis is to be placed on fostering closer cooperation with esteemed international counterparts and broadening the world outlook of students and instructors alike. Meanwhile, guidance is to be extended to universities for them to better meet the needs of the local industry by turning themselves into an R&D hub that excels in both academic research and practical applications. Last but not least, toptier universities will be called upon to help recruit and cultivate leaders for the future so that Taiwan can be justifiably recognized as a land inhabited by global citizens who have a well-rounded world outlook and the capacity to pursue self-improvement constantly. The ultimate goal is to make possible the world s best universities in Taiwan with an unwavering dedication to the pursuit of excellence in both teaching and research. Program for Promoting Teaching Excellence of Universities In 2005, Taiwan initiated the Program for Promoting Teaching Excellence of Universities to ensure that higher education remains a reliable source of high-caliber talent. As of the end of 2008, a cumulative US$500 million had been set aside for the program. Given its great success and the extensive support it elicits in society, the government is ready to funnel another US$430 million between 2009 and By helping universities further boost their infrastructure and bolster their curriculum, it aims to upgrade the quality of teaching by instructors and learning by students alike. Highlights of the program include the establishment of mechanisms for extending assistance to teachers and training of teaching assistants. It also has bolstered the mechanisms for evaluating the performance of teachers and led to an overall upgrade in the teaching quality of those who are still novices in the profession. Likewise, universities have mapped out their 27

29 National Taiwan University of Science and Technology National Chiao Tung University 28 Higher Education in Taiwan

30 respective mechanisms for extending guidance to students with regard to their learning and career planning. Furthermore, school authorities have gone to great lengths to ensure learning effectiveness on campus by introducing comprehensive appraisal measures and various competence indicators as requirements for graduation. When it comes to the working of curriculum committees at the universities, graduates and industry representatives are ushered in to make sure that they can come up with the best-rounded curriculum truly useful to students in the job market. Special attention was also paid to strengthening the course selection system and making E-learning readily available to every student. To date the program has proven quite effective in helping students learn more efficiently in a well-appointed academic environment. Academia-Industry Collaboration Entrepreneurship is a telling feature that sets Taiwan apart from most of its Asian neighbors. Against the dominance of a few conglomerates in many countries, small and medium-sized enterprises account for 98 percent of the Taiwan economy as local people have a natural disposition for starting their own business. In this entrepreneur-led society, universities have a lot to offer when it comes to R&D. In the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2011, Taiwan s science in schools was ranked 3rd among the 59 surveyed countries. To facilitate the transformation of research output from universities into economic fruits, the MOE has put in place an incentive program (the Incentive Program of the Performance of Academia-industry Collaboration) to further advance academia-industry collaboration. Operation centers are installed at 11 universities where specialized managers are brought in to help consolidate their respective R&D resources and incubation centers as well as technology transfer projects. The objective is to provide industry with a friendly, competent service platform. Between 2008 and 2010 profits from academic intellectual property rights increased by 48%. Simply put, all the operation centers under the incentive program for academia-industry collaboration are charged with the duty of unifying each university s R&D, technology transfer and incubation endeavors. Furthermore, the Program of the Alliance of Academia-Industry Collaboration is intended as a provider of one-stop services linking the two sectors with a view to helping consolidate specific industrial technologies. 29

31 30 Higher Education in Taiwan

32 Creating an Educational Hub for Southeast Asia A Center for Converging Asian Talent Emerging 21st century trends, within higher education, show that greater numbers of international students are taking advantage of their educational mobility opportunities. Students from Southeast Asia have become an important focus and are receiving more government subsidies than ever before, especially in the areas of technical education. utlook Since Taiwan s education standards and institutions of higher education are among the leading institutions of the world, Taiwan has become an important educational gateway for many countries in Southeast Asia. Taiwan s relatively low tuition rates, favorable living conditions, and conducive Mandarin Chinese learning environment are some of the strong reasons why international students select Taiwan as their final study destination, especially after students compare the cost of living in Taiwan with other western countries. Additionally, Taiwan s institutions of higher education have been actively recruiting outstanding international students with exceptional talents, which has also led to Taiwan s status of becoming a Center for Higher Education within Southeast Asia. Given this background the following approaches have been adopted: 1. Creating learning environments for international students 1.1 Subsidizing special university projects such as degree programs taught completely in English, all English speaking campus environments and international academic academies. 1.2 Executing the assessment/evaluation of university degree programs taught completely in English, including departments and graduate schools. 1.3 Offering discounts on Chinese language courses to international students, overseas Chinese, as well as short-term exchange students who are enrolled in the English-taught courses. 31

33 32 Higher Education in Taiwan

34 2. Establishing a system to provide international students with counseling services and support. National Cheng Kung University 3. Retaining outstanding international students and overseas Chinese students with exceptional skills. 3.1 Facilitating professional business internships for international and overseas Chinese students. 3.2 Relaxing restrictions applying to international and overseas Chinese students allowing them to stay in Taiwan after their graduation, thereby retaining outstanding international talent. Yuan Ze University 4. Expanding and strengthening overseas networks 4.1 Increasing education specialist staff at Taiwan Overseas Representative Offices in key countries around Southeast Asia, in order to enhance the function of the nine Taiwan education centers ( Thailand- ChiangMai and Bangkok), (Vietnam- Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City), (Malaysia -Kuala Lumpur), (Korea- Seoul), (Mongolia- Ulan Bator), (Indonesia- Jakarta) and (India- New Delhi). 4.2 Organizing annual Taiwan Education Exhibitions and bilateral forums in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and India. 5. Promoting Taiwan s international links and networks 5.1 Executing comprehensive plans to ensure the participation of Taiwanese universities at annual meetings of international educational associations globally, in order to raise the international profile of Taiwan institutions of higher education, and to facilitate the development of international joint degrees with overseas universities, as well as attracting talented young students to Taiwan for study or for the study of Mandarin Chinese. 5.2 Combining Taiwanese business organizations and local Chinese communities, in order to make good use of the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific Program (UMAP), and to utilize the international inter-school cooperative platforms between the presidents of Southeast Asian and Taiwan institutions of higher education, thereby strengthening the channels of educational cooperation between Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries. Tainan National University of the Arts 6. The Elite Study in Taiwan Program for students from Southeast Asia: 6.1 The Elite Study in Taiwan Program offers one-stop application service for students wishing to study in Taiwan through special service platforms for student recruitment from Southeast Asia. 33

35 National Taiwan University of Science and Technology 34 Higher Education in Taiwan

36 6.2 Continuing on-going discussions with representatives from Vietnam, Thailand, India, and Indonesia regarding the selection of lecturers from their colleges to participate in post graduate education in Taiwan. 7. Strengthening the Mandarin Chinese language learning environments 7.1 Establishing the Test of Chinese Language Proficiency (TOCL) in Taiwan and overseas for international language learners. 7.2 Recruiting more international students of Mandarin Chinese to come to Taiwan for study, while offering Mandarin Chinese overseas language teachers continued support, along with overseas internship programs for teaching assistants and short-term Mandarin Chinese teacher training courses in Taiwan. Taiwan has a lot to offer to the world. International students are now considering Taiwan as their first choice for Mandarin Chinese language learning, undergraduate and graduate degree programs, along with short-term study programs. Taiwan is known for many outstanding cultural aspects: its popular multi-ethnic cuisine, historic landmarks and pristine environment to name a few. However, what Taiwan is best known for among international students is its world renowned and friendly Taiwan spirit a place where students dreams can come true. National Tsing Hua University National Tsing Hua University 35

SET for success. The supply of people with science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills. The report of Sir Gareth Roberts Review

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