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Taiwan university causes stir by seeking Chinese department professor who teaches in English

Local academics complain about being ill-positioned to compete with those who speak fluent English

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(Facebook, National Taiwan Normal University photo)

(Facebook, National Taiwan Normal University photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — National Taiwan Normal University’s (NTNU) Department of Chinese has sparked debate by seeking to hire a professor who can conduct classes in English.

The job post published on the department’s website says it is looking for a full-time assistant professor or above, who has a doctoral degree and who is capable of using English as a medium of instruction (EMI). The position involves teaching courses in “Philosophy & Linguistics” and “Literature & Application.”

As a leading academic institution in nurturing teachers, the move has come under scrutiny and triggered a controversy about whether this is appropriate. The measure is considered in line with the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration’s initiative to go bilingual by 2030, with schools at all levels scrambling to recruit English-teaching talent.

The job opening has also received criticism from Taiwanese nationals with doctorates. Many lament that universities nationwide are now requiring advanced English skills, which has put them at a disadvantage and is unfair, per UDN.

Responding to the criticism, NTNU said the university has promoted EMI education for years, an effort that has been recognized by the education ministry. The new job position is in response to the rise in global interest in Mandarin, Sinology, comparative literature, and other related fields, wrote CNA.

The university added it has set a target of employing 10% foreign faculty by 2025. Dismissing the noise surrounding the approach, it noted that even Academia Sinica, the national academy, has employed many foreign fellow members.

Taiwan university causes stir by seeking Chinese department professor who teaches in English
(NTNU Department of Chinese website screenshot)