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Three top Taiwan universities to shorten semesters

NTU, NTNU, NTUST to truncate semesters to meet international standards starting fall 2022

Entrance of National Taiwan University (Getty Images photo)

Entrance of National Taiwan University (Getty Images photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Three top universities on Thursday (April 22) announced their decision to move the opening day for the fall semester to Sept. 1 as part of a plan to shorten semesters in compliance with international standards.

National Taiwan University (NTU), National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), and the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) will adopt a "16+2"-week semester this fall and a 16-week semester starting August 2022, according to NTNU professor Liu Mei-hui (劉美慧). She said the fall semester of the 2021-2022 academic year will begin Sept. 1 and end Jan. 4, while the spring semester will run from Feb. 14 through June 19.

This will be the first time in Taiwan's history that a university begins its fall semester at the same time as elementary and secondary schools. The change also means that both winter and summer vacations will start two weeks earlier.

Liu said the three schools have decided to reduce the length of semesters to ease the transition for Taiwanese students planning on studying overseas and to improve the quality of learning. She explained that the "16+2" schedule comprises 16 weeks of regular classes plus two weeks of online conferences or field trips, depending on instructors' preference.

Liu said the universities are hoping to eventually shorten the semesters from 18 to 16 weeks in order to offer a summer semester and give students more time to intern in their respective fields. However, tuition will likely stay the same even after the semesters are shortened, she noted.