Sat, Jan 22, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Schools in uproar after demand to alter `China' names

STAFF WRITER

University directors were in an uproar on Wednesday after they received an urgent memorandum from the Ministry of Education demanding that institutions of higher education with the word "China" or "Chinese" in their name immediately set about renaming their institution.

The memorandum was addressed to nine universities and demanded a response by the next day as to which names relating to the institution would be changed, what they would be changed to, the time frame for the implementation of the change and expected problems in implementing the change.

The universities that received the memorandum were the Chinese Culture University (中國文化大學), the China Medical University (中國醫藥大學), Chung Kuo Institute of Technology (中國技術學院), Chung Hua University (中華大學), Chung Hwa College of Medical Technology (中華醫事學院), China Institute of Technology (中華技術學院), Overseas Chinese Institute of Technology (僑光技術學院), China College of Marine Technology and Commerce (中國海事商業專科學校) and the National Overseas Chinese Student University Preparatory School (僑生大學先修班).

University directors held a meeting to express disapproval of the demand and the manner in which it was presented.

The chair of the meeting, Mou Tsung-tsan (牟宗燦), who is also director of Shih Hsin University and chairman of the Association of Private Universities and Colleges, said that the Ministry of Education had acted thoughtlessly and failed to show respect for the academic institutions.

Most of the university directors indicated that the names of their schools had been in use for many years and recognition of these names was a reflection on their reputation.

Lin Shou-hong (林壽宏), director of the Chung Hwa College of Medical Technology, said that the school had been named in commemoration of Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) and any change of name would be a major issue for the school to consider. He said it was not something that could be undertaken on the orders of the ministry.

People First Party Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) held a press conference to criticize the education ministry for emphasizing ideological issues such as name changes at the cost of actual educational reform.

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