New department formed
National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung has established a new department for studies in material and optoelectronics engineering. P.H. Tseng (曾百亨) has been appointed director of the new department. The department, the first of its kind in the country, was developed from the Institute of Material Science and the Institute of Optoelectronics. The department will have 50 students in the fall semester.
Macau students pass exam
A total of 954 students from Macau have passed this year's joint entrance examination for colleges and universities, a Taiwanese educator said in Macau yesterday. He said the number of high-school graduates in the territory willing to take the examination in order to receive a higher education in Taiwan is increasing. This year's number is a record high. T.C. Tsai (蔡之中), representative of the Taipei Trade and Tourism Office in Macau, said the number of Taiwanese investors in Macau and other areas of China is increasing and they tend to prefer job seekers who have received higher education in Taiwan.
Jobless rate dropping: Chen
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said Saturday that the jobless rate will drop, from 4.98 percent in May to an estimated 4.25 percent in November. Citing a forecast by the Council for Economic Planning and Development, Chen said the overall jobless rate for this year is estimated at 4.8 percent. "It will certainly go even lower next year," he said. Speaking at the inauguration of an enterprise association, Chen said the world is facing the problems of "high joblessness and low economic growth. We can resolve these problems by sharpening our competitive edge." He said the public should have confidence in the economy. "Our jobless rate is not too high when compared with those of other countries," he said.
Expatriates offer help
Several associations of Taiwanese expatriates in South Africa donated daily necessities yesterday to about 1,000 destitute families in a remote area located in Northwest Province, with a donation ceremony presided over by the Taiwan's representative to South Africa. Du Ling (杜稜), representative of the Taipei Liaison Office in the Republic of South Africa, praised the expatriates for launching the charity activity, saying that they have always devoted themselves to helping promote the welfare of local disadvantaged groups. Vusi Madonsele, executive director of the South African Ministry of Social Development, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the expatriates for extending a helping hand to destitute families. About 250 volunteers from Johannesburg, Pretoria and other cities assisted in distributing the donated goods, including sugar, soy beans, laundry detergent, cornmeal, blankets and clothes, at the square in front of the Sisters of Mercy Church.
Police monitor election
Police authorities said yesterday they have activated their monitoring mechanism to prevent vote-buying and violence in the upcoming Hualien County commissioner by-election. With only two weeks to go until voting day, police said they have stepped up precautions against vote-buying and violence in the campaign activities. The Hualien Prosecutors' Office has so far laid 10 vote-buying and violence charges.