MOE may allow hikes to college tuition, fees: minister
By Chi-hao James Lo ,The China Post
August 6, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The new Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) yesterday stated on a radio show that the Ministry of Education (MOE) will likely allow increases to college tuition and fees.
Wu, who avidly supported the move to increase college fees during his tenure as president of National Chengchi University, was interviewed by famed media personality Clara Chou (周玉蔻) on her radio show yesterday.
During the interview, Chou reportedly asked Wu whether he could promise that no decisions would be made to support Taiwanese colleges by increasing fees or allowing individual colleges to raise their own rates.
In response, Wu stated that the resources for higher education in Taiwan are severely insufficient. In comparison to other countries, Taiwan has four times fewer resources for higher education than Hong Kong and 30 times fewer than the U.S..Therefore, increasing resources for higher education is a shared responsibility for all, a responsibility to be carried out mostly by the government and the business sector, with partial responsibility to be taken up by students in higher education, Wu said.
When questioned by Chou on whether he would prevent any universities from raising their tuition fees an acceptable amount, Wu answered that any universities that wish to increase their fees have to fulfill two conditions.
The first, Wu said, is clarity of all college expenses following the increases. The expenses must also be publicly available so that parents of students may fully understand them. Secondly, the entire university, including the student body, must reach a consensus on the new fees.
Wu went on to state that all increases may only reflect inflation levels, meaning that for the current year, college tuition and fees will only be allowed to increase by 1.5 percent.
12-year Compulsory Education Won't Be Abolished: Wu
During Chou's radio interview, Wu also responded to questions regarding the 12-year compulsory education scheme, stating that no new policies will be added to the plan, but existing policies will be reviewed and adjusted.
The current version of the 12-year compulsory education plan is good, Wu said, which is why it will not be abolished. However, room for improvement has been noted, and in line with amendments suggested by the public, a new system of enrollment under current regulations will be finalized as early as the end of August.
Wu also aimed to clarify his previous statement in which he referred to the educational plan as a test. New policies are likely to be received negatively during their initial implementation, Wu said, which is why the MOE will continue to try and communicate with students and parents.