MOE punishes University of Kang Ning after Sri Lankan students found working in slaughterhouses

MOE issues 5 punitive measures for 3 violations committed by University of Kang Ning in its treatment of Sri Lankan students

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Kang Ning (CNA image), students working (UPRISE image).

Kang Ning (CNA image), students working (UPRISE image).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After news broke last week that 40 of its Sri Lankan students were sent to work in slaughterhouses in Taipei and Tainan, the Ministry of Education has issued five punitive measures against the University of Kang Ning for its handling of the situation, including initiating fines for both the chairman and the president of the university NT$500,000 (US$16,000) each, reported CNA.

Vice Minister of Education Yao Leeh-ter (姚立德) said that, after the MOE in November of last year received a report that foreign students at the University of Kang Ning had been working illegally, it quickly rectified the situation and prohibited the university from recruiting students from overseas. After last week's news broke, the MOE organized an investigation team on Nov. 7 at the request of the Legislature's Education and Culture Committee, said Yao.

On Nov. 9, investigators made an unannounced visit to the Tainan campus of Kang Ning and found three violations. Yao said that two of the violations had been reported by the media, including illegal recruitment of Sri Lankan students and their subsequent illegal employment.

Yao said the third violation Kang Ning committed was transforming continuing education classes into formal degree courses without going through the legal admission channels. In response to the three major violations, the MOE has issued five punitive measures.

First, in accordance with Article 55 of the Private School Law (私校法), and after consulting with the private school advisory committee, part or all the grants and enrollment quotas for the 2019 academic year at Kang Ning will be suspended.

Second, on Oct. 26, Kang Ning announced through the media that it would be restructured back into a community college. The MOE requested that Kang Ning should not use the halting of recruiting or restructuring as a reason to layoff teachers or ask students to transfer to other colleges without properly handling illegal activities.

Third, Yao pointed out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) was suspicious after the records for Sri Lankan students enrolled at Kang Ning did not include financial certificates. It was only when Kang Ning promised to provide a full four-year scholarship to the students that MOFA agreed to issue visas for them.

Therefore, the MOE is requiring the school to keep its promise and provide a full scholarship to the students for all four years.

Fourth, the MOE requires that the continuing education and non-credit courses that have not yet started at Kang Ning be canceled immediately. However, taking into account the rights and interests of the students, classes that are already underway should continue to be taught.

Fifth, in accordance with Article 80 of the Private School Law, the chairman and president of Kang Ning shall be fined NT$500,000 each, and a deadline for improvement is required. If the improvements are not satisfactory, a request will be made to the court to have the chairman be terminated or relieved on some of his duties as chairman and director.