A dozen graduate student representatives from nine universities, including National Taiwan University, petitioned the Ministry of Education yesterday about the paltry stipends they currently receive.
The students asked the MOE to raise the stipends for graduate students and address the issues of different amounts of stipends for different departments and graduate schools.
Chang Yuan-hsiu, the head of NTU's Graduate Student Association, who initiated the petition, said that several surveys have shown that 60 percent of graduate students receive less than NT$3,000 a month, with around 75 percent of the graduate students saying the money is not enough, and would like between NT$5,000 and NT$10,000 per month.
The graduate students who are studying for Ph.D. degrees would like between NT$10,000 and NT$20,000 per month, Chang said, citing the surveys.
Chen Teh-hua, the MOE's official in charge of advanced education, said the ministry will base stipends on schools’ development and the financial situation of the students to encourage colleges and universities to adjust the way they distribute the money for graduate students.
The ministry will also ask universities to actively help graduate students serve as research assistants to their schools or the National Science Council, hoping to help them upgrade their research, teaching and administrative capabilities and solve their financial problem as well.