Fri, Dec 29, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Institutions fail to attract enrollments

UNDER CONSIDERATION: Students are drawn to institutions in urban areas and prefer the north of Taiwan, which is the biggest challenge facing educational facilities

By Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan Hospitality and Tourism University in Hualien County’s Shoufong Township is pictured yesterday.

Photo: CNA

A total of 198 university and college departments failed to recruit any students in the 2017 to 2018 academic year, up from 151 last year, a report published by the Ministry of Education said yesterday.

The report found that 198 majors of the 8,849 offered in vocational, bachelors, masters and doctorate programs did not attract any students for the academic year.

The trend is not limited to average or lower-ranking universities.

A few doctorate programs at some of the nation’s top schools, including National Taiwan University, National Tsing Hua University, National Chiao Tung University, National Cheng Kung University and National Chengchi University, were unable to attract students, despite many of these elite schools having undergraduate enrollment rates of 90 percent or more, the report said.

Excluding colleges of religious studies, 17 had a new student registration rate of less than 60 percent, the report said.

Taiwan Hospitality and Tourism University (THTU) in Hualien County had the lowest new student registration rate at 29.87 percent, it said.

Since 2013, THTU has been listed as a so-called “school under ad hoc consultation” by the ministry and its recruitment has been poor for a long time, Department of Technological and Vocational Education Director Yang Yu-hui (楊玉惠) said in September.

This year, THTU recruited 74 students, or a recruitment rate of about 40 percent, Yang said.

Nan Jeon University of Science and Technology in Tainan had the nation’s second-lowest new student registration rate at 32.17 percent, the ministry said.

Last year, then-Nan Jeon president Huang Tsung-liang (黃聰亮) was indicted by the Tainan District Prosecutors’ Office for allegedly selling fake academic degrees.

Nan Jeon has also been listed as a “school under ad hoc consultation” by the education ministry.

Other institutions that failed to reach a 60 percent new student registration rate included Huafan University, Hsuan Chuang University and Kainan University, the ministry said.

According to Article 55 of the Private School Act (私立學校法), private institutions with less than 3,000 students that have failed to reach a 60 percent new student registration rate for two consecutive years can be ordered to make improvements by a specified date and forced to undergo ad hoc consultations.

This is the first time the ministry has made student registration rates for universities and colleges public.

In November last year, at the request of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) promised to make registration rates public so prospective students would have more information in their decisionmaking.

Location is the biggest disadvantage facing universities trying to recruit students, Deputy Minister of Education Yao Leeh-ter (姚立德) said.

Students prefer to attend universities in urban areas, especially in the north of Taiwan, a trend that has become more obvious with Taiwan’s sub-replacement birthrate, Yao said.

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