TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Three top universities in Taiwan have reportedly shortened their semesters to ease the transition for Taiwanese students planning on attending academic institutions overseas.
According to UDN, National Taiwan University (NTU), National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), and the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) have decided to reduce the length of semesters from 18 to 15 weeks. The change is expected to be implemented as early as August 2020.
The director of NTU's Office of Academic Affairs, Ding Shih-Torng (丁詩同), said that Taiwan universities have the longest semesters in the world, whereas most overseas universities follow a 15-week schedule. She said that students participating in foreign exchange programs are often faced with the problem of course articulation, either by returning to Taiwan too early or arriving at foreign universities too late.
Ding added that another consideration is that instructors and students often lose their focus after 15 weeks into the school year and demonstrate lower efficiency in learning. Meanwhile, NTUST President Liao Ching-jong (廖慶榮) has said that all three universities have started to redesign their curriculums, according to the report.
Both Ding and Liao pointed out that online classes and conferences could serve as alternative sources of learning during the three missing weeks. Tu Chun-ching (凃峻清), head of the NTU Student Association, also approved of this new change, saying that a shortened semester would create less stress for students and provide them with more freedom, reported ETtoday.