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Taiwan private universities cut admissions on low birthrate

Reporter Isabel Wang
Release time:2023/11/24 12:22
Last update time:2023/11/24 12:22
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Taiwan's higher education system is confronting significant challenges due to a declining birthrate. Recent data from the Ministry of Education (MOE) reveals a concerning trend: at least ten private universities are set to reduce their undergraduate admissions by 10 to 30% in 2024. 

Admission Reductions in Taiwanese Universities

 

Among the universities leading this reduction is Chinese Culture University, which plans to cut 800 seats, a move that surpasses Aletheia University's reduction of 440 seats. Following closely are Chang Jung Christian University and I-shou University, with plans to reduce admissions by over 200 seats each.

Education Consultant Lan Tien-yu commented on the situation, noting, "The impact is usually most severe on English departments because of the more solid English education offered widely. Undergraduates may not necessarily choose to major in English to enhance their language proficiency." This trend reflects a shifting focus in educational preferences and needs among students in Taiwan.

Stagnant Wages and Quality Concerns
 

Further complicating the landscape of higher education in Taiwan is the issue of stagnant wages for educators. The Taiwan Higher Education Union has brought to light that 58 private universities nationwide have not increased the hourly wage for part-time teachers in three decades. This stagnation is so pronounced that the union has sought recognition from the Guinness World Records for the university with the longest unchanged hourly wage globally.

Chen Shu-han, a staff member at the Taiwan Higher Education Union, stressed the impact of these practices: "Many private universities still use the salary level from 30 years ago to hire a large number of part-time teachers. This undoubtedly impacts the teaching quality of private universities and is quite unfair to these teachers."

Proposed Solutions and Future Outlook

In response to these challenges, experts are advocating for broadening international student admissions to meet Taiwan's talent needs. They are also emphasizing the urgent need to address the issue of low salaries in the education sector to retain and attract more talent.

Lan Tien-yu adds, "Chinese departments are also reducing admissions because of job prospects. Private universities are indeed following the trend of declining birthrates and will at least reduce admissions until 2028."

As Taiwan's higher education sector navigates these complexities, the balance between maintaining educational standards and adapting to changing demographic and economic realities remains a critical focus for universities and policymakers alike.
 

The Taiwan Briefing

#Taiwan education#university admissions#birthrate decline#private universities#wage stagnation#higher education challenges#part-time teachers#Taiwan Higher Education Union#education sector salaries#international student admissions

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