Scholar warns of cross-strait student competitiveness gap
CNATAIPEI -- Competitiveness is key to the country's future development amid the trend of a low birth rate, a local scholar said Sunday, warning that a competitiveness gap is apparent between Taiwanese and Chinese university students, indicated by their attitudes toward class attendance.
September 16, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Hsueh Cherng-tay, a professor at the Taipei-based National Taiwan University's department of sociology, raised his concerns at a forum in Taipei, describing the gap as “more frightening than (China) having 1,000 missiles targeting Taiwan.”
Hsueh, a former minister without portfolio, said that Chinese university students tend to have an active attitude toward learning, which is reflected by their high attendance rates for morning classes, while many Taiwanese students tend to skip classes in the morning.
Hsueh offered no statistical evidence to support his views.
Hsueh said that maintaining competitiveness is key to the country's future development amid the trend of the lowered birth rate.
The government should make preparations in response to the low birth rate and an aging society, and educational institutions in Taiwan should also consider how to improve students' competitiveness as society changes, he said.
In 2016, freshmen in universities and colleges will decrease by 50,000, or 15 percent, from current figures. According to Hsueh's estimates, it may drop by 35 percent in 2026 from what it is now.