The intake of military academies used to be mostly students who failed to get into civilian universities, but the situation is changing.
The new image of military universities was highlighted recently by Chang Ying-hua (張穎華), who got top scores in the joint college examination but chose to study at the National Defense Management College, rather than the National Taiwan University, the nation's top university.
Her choice caught the attention of the press since it was the first time that the student with the highest grades in the college examination had decided to go to a military academy.
Over the past few years, military academies have been receiving increasing numbers of outstanding students who could have entered the nation's best universities with their scores in the joint college examination.
This year a record number of senior-high school graduates applied to the military academies.
But the number of places is largely static, so only 1,373, or 5.4 percent, of the 25,482 who applied got in.
In announcing the record low admission rate on Tuesday, the Ministry of National Defense said it was proud of the performance of its academies.