MoE: Taiwan university and college departments closing due to declining birth rates

A total of 172 courses in various institution across the island will be suspended next year

(Photo by National Chiao Tung University)

(Photo by National Chiao Tung University)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Education (MoE), a total of 172 courses across colleges and universities throughout Taiwan will be suspended in 2019 due to low recruitment levels.

Schools say that the majority of these courses cannot be filled because of the country’s declining birth rates, according to CNA, as well as new trends in industry development. Most of those being canceled are Master’s programs and vocational courses.

The MoE says of the courses being suspended, 96 are regular university courses and 76 are technical training programs.

Local media has cast much attention upon National Chiao Tung University, which is canceling its Electrical and Information Engineering Bachelor’s program. The school issued a press release recently, however, to say the course is to be integrated into a much larger field of study in response to the need of students to receive cross-disciplinary education.

Yilan County’s (宜蘭) Lan Yang Institute of Technology has also addressed concerns about its many departmental closures. The school admitted it had met problems due to declining birth rates and said in order to sustain operations, it will reorganize departments and begin to recruit less students next year.

Director of the MoE Technological and Vocational Education Department Yang Yu-hui (楊玉惠) pointed out during a meeting at the Legislative Yuan today that Lan Yang comprises many subject departments, and given reduced recruitment levels, it would be impossible for all to remain fully operational.

Yang said Yilan values its tourist industry heavily, and it is hoped Lan Yang can direct resources towards further developing its tourism department.

The MoE said it will continue to pay close attention to the financial affairs of Taiwan’s colleges and universities, and assess whether their resources are sufficient to sustain high education quality for students and uphold workers’ rights for teachers.