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North Taiwan's St. John's University may stop recruiting students from 2023

Once ranked among Taiwan's top three industrial colleges, St. John's is running short on cash as enrollment has dwindled

St. John's University could stop recruiting students from 2023. (St. John's University photo).

St. John's University could stop recruiting students from 2023. (St. John's University photo).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — St. John's University will reportedly stop recruiting students from 2023 after running up a deficit of NT$170 million in the 2021 school year.

According to Mirror Media the school's top management hosted a meeting in May to brief teachers and students about the plan. Meanwhile, efforts to secure new funding and source its operations are ongoing.

Taiwan's education officials have confirmed rumors about the school running short on cash but said the education ministry has yet to receive an application to stop recruiting students.

Located in Tamsui District, New Taipei City, the 57-year-old school was jointly founded by alumni of St. Mary's Hall in Shanghai and the American Episcopal Church in Taiwan after the then-Chinese Nationalist Party-ruled Republic of China relocated to Taiwan. The school opened for classes in 1967 and offered degrees mainly in industrial engineering.

Over the following decades, the school increased in size and scope under the leadership of several highly-ranked religious leaders and, in recent decades, renowned academics. During the 1970s and 1990s, St. John's was ranked among the top three industrial colleges.

Today, it offers 26 courses of study through its three colleges, ranging from industrial engineering to business management and design. Three of its academic departments — fashion management, creative design, and information and communication engineering — are no longer accepting new students for the 2022 school year.

The school recorded an enrollment of 540 students in 2019, 352 in 2020, and 212 in 2021. The declining national birthrate has been partly blamed for the lower enrollment.