In first, NTNU to scrap student conduct score
By Alan Fong, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU, 台灣師範大學) will become the first national higher education institute in Taiwan to stop grading conduct for its students starting next school year.
September 25, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The school, one of Taiwan's top teacher-training universities, said that the difficulty for professors to understand students personally enough to grade their conduct as one of the reasons behind its decision, which it said was made after six months of deliberations. As adults, undergraduate students should be responsible for their own behavior, the school added.
Students will still be hold to account for their misconduct — such as cheating in examinations or the use of illegal drugs — despite the cancellation of conduct grading. In addition, the demerit point system is still in effect, said Hu Yih-jin (胡益進), the associate dean of student affairs of the NTNU.
Conduct scoring has been generally seen as a formality in Taiwan. It is graded by undergrad advisors or military instructors. The majority of university students generally receive high conduct grades of around 85 (out of 100) unless they were penalized for misbehaviors, mostly cheating at exams.
Several universities expressed support of the NTNU's decision. Juang Rong-huay (莊榮輝), dean of academic affairs at the National Taiwan University (NTU), said NTU does not rule out following NTNU's lead. Juang pointed out, however, that cancellation might have practical difficulties since conduct grades are still criteria for consideration in a majority of scholarships. He called on the Ministry of Education to promote unified conduct grading cancellation among Taiwanese universities. National Chiao Tung University also expressed concern over conduct grading as a point of consideration for scholarship applications.
Shih Hsin University President Lai Ting-ming (賴鼎銘) also question the importance of conduct grading, saying schools can enhance moral education through activities and courses. Both Lai and Tatung University's Dean of Student Affairs Lin Yung-jen (林永仁) regarded conduct scores as a non-distinctive benchmark. Tatung University decoupled conduct grades from students' class attendance rates three years ago and only students who have committed serious violations of school rules will be given low scores, Lin pointed out. The university had considered canceling conduct grading all together then but decided the change to be too radical, he added.