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Skepticism over university department mergers in Taiwan

Reporter Jamie Lin Pinzon
Release time:2024/01/22 17:36
Last update time:2024/01/22 17:47
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — In response to a declining birth rate and fewer college students, many private universities in Taiwan are closing or reducing enrollment. Tamkang University, for instance, plans to merge its Spanish, French, German, and Russian departments into one, a move described as necessary by Wu Wan-bau, dean of the College of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Data from the University Admission Committee reveals a startling 62.47% vacancy rate in the Foreign Language Group in 2022, the highest across all eighteen discipline clusters, signaling a waning interest in language studies. Despite these figures, the efficacy and benefits of such mergers are under scrutiny. 

 

Yu Jung-hui, president of the Union of Private School Educators, expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of merged systems in saving departments or improving situations.

Lin Po-yi, of the Taiwan Higher Education Union, raised concerns about the potential decline in teacher numbers and education quality following such mergers. To address these challenges, experts recommend that public universities adopt the departments that private institutions cannot sustain to continue nurturing talents in humanities and social sciences. 

Additionally, education groups are urging the government to support struggling departments, safeguard teachers' and students' rights and interests, and maintain teaching quality to prevent private institutions from halting student enrollment. 
 
 

The Taiwan Briefing

#Taiwan universities#department mergers#student enrollment#education quality#private schools#public universities#government support#teacher rights#humanities and social sciences#declining birth rate
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