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Taiwan universities need to be globally competitive: Ma

Taiwan universities need to be globally competitive: Ma

Kaohsiung, Feb. 2 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou stressed Tuesday the importance of making Taiwan universities globally competitive, and said he hopes they can attract 30,000 foreign students over the next four years.
"It is urgently important to make local universities and colleges internationally efficient so as to recruit more students from other countries to help Taiwan sharpen its competitive edge, " Ma said at the opening of a two-day meeting of university and college presidents at I-Shou University in Kaohsiung County, southern Taiwan.
Currently foreign students account for only 10 percent of the student body at Taiwan's tertiary institutions, he noted.
"Judging from Taiwan's past history, it is a fact that opening to the rest of the world will make our country strong, and we hope to lure more foreign students," Ma said.
The president said a scholarship program run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has initially succeeded in attracting foreign college students, but he called for a further upgrade so that all courses can be taught in English. So far, all-English courses are offered at 39 Taiwanese universities, he added.
Ma said Taiwan's dwindling crude birth rate -- which was the world's lowest at 8.29 last year -- poses a great threat to its higher education system, which might see an oversupply of places in the coming years.
The president announced that the government is planning to implement a performance-based "flexible salary program" from the fall semester of this year, to keep good professors and researchers at home as part of its efforts to cultivate world-class human resources over the long term.
According to Ma, education is at the core of the government's efforts to secure Taiwan's continued survival, as the country does not have rich natural resources and because of its disaster-prone environment.
Minister of Education (MOE) Wu Ching-ji also announced in the meeting later the same day that tuition and miscellaneous fees at nationwide universities and colleges will not be raised for the next academic year.
In light of rising consumer prices, decreasing salaries and shrinking household incomes, the MOE has decided to freeze tuition for one academic year, starting from September, until the economic recovery takes hold, Wu said.
(By S. K. Chen and Flor Wang)




Updated : 2021-10-21 23:29 GMT+08:00