Taiwan university association opposes govt. interference after decision on NTU president

The Association of National Universities of Taiwan expressed their concern and dissatisfaction with the actions of the Ministry of Education

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The front of the Ministry of Education building

The front of the Ministry of Education building (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (CNA- The Association of National Universities of Taiwan said Saturday that the government should not interfere in the decisions of a university's selection committee.

In a statement issued late Saturday, the association of 50 state universities said an overwhelming majority of their members supported the position that the government should not be involved in a university's selection of its administrative team.

The association's Secretary-General Lee Chiun-chang (李俊璋) of National Cheng Kung University said the statement was not only related to the Ministry of Education's (MOE) decision the previous day not to confirm Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) as president of National Taiwan University (NTU), but was also to express the view that the government should not interfere in the selection of any university president.

In the statement, the universities quoted Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution that advise university autonomy and limited oversight by the government on university matters.

Furthermore, university selection committees usually follow the existing strict regulations established by the MOE, the association said.

If there are problems with the regulations, the ministry should move to have them amended, but within the current framework, a university's decision on the selection of its president should be respected, the association said.

In the NTU case, which had been ongoing since January, the education ministry and the government have been accused of interfering inappropriately in university affairs.