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Yung Ta Institute of Technology to close down

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Principal Chen Lien-tung (陳連棟) of the Yung Ta Institute of Technology and Commerce (永達技術學院) yesterday confirmed that the school will close, making it the second higher education institute to cease operations this year.

According to Deputy Minister of Education Chen Der-hua, (陳德華) the Ministry of Education (MOE) has approved of the institute's request for closure. Reportedly, higher education institutes such as Yung Ta have been experiencing enrollment difficulties as a result of decline in birth rates. Kao Fong College of Digital Contents (高鳳數位內容學院) of Pingtung County was the first school to declare closure in February of this year.

Yung Ta, also located in Pingtung, allegedly became the second school to close due to financial difficulties. The school's faculty reportedly had their wages withheld since July of last year, and was thus categorized by the MOE as one of seven universities to undergo counseling and support from the ministry to academically reconstruct the institution.

To aid in sustaining the school, the MOE stated that related ministry departments have ordered the school to cease admissions for one year so as to construct plans to improve the educational quality of the institution. The university's board of directors reportedly announced that the school would not cease operations, but would instead be reorganized as a smaller institution with specialty courses as their forte.

However, as the school has failed multiple times to submit a constructive solution to the MOE, the board decided to apply for closure, a report confirmed yesterday by the school's principal. Of the 65 faculty members, 53 reportedly have applied for retirement while the remaining 12 have been laid off.

Reportedly Director Li Yan-yi (李彥儀), of the MOE's Department of Technological and Vocational Education will be accompanied by the MOE's personnel and accounting departments to conduct occupational discussions and consultations with faculty and staff.

All 642 students of the school will be protected under the same method as did those from Kao Fong, Chen said, where they will receive counseling and transfers to nearby institutions. The school has stated that it will hold a briefing session for the placement of its students on Aug. 18.

Yung Ta to be Reconstructed as University for Professional Studies

Yung Ta Principal Chen Lien-tung (陳連棟) told local media yesterday that the school has also submitted an internal reconstruction plan to the MOE along with its closure application. The school came from an engineering background, said Chen, which will be used as its focus to attract potential enrollment.

According regulations, the school must be operational and sustainable three years from its reconstructed launch. The success of the plan would be dependent on the fundraising capabilities of the school's board of directors, Chen said.

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