Fri, May 19, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Chinese school list was never valid, says ministry

CONFUSING The Ministry of Education said a list of recognized higher educational centers in China drawn up in 1997 was not abolished but was `not applicable'

By Jean Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Education ministry officials yesterday said a list of 73 recognized Chinese higher-education schools set by the ministry almost 10 years ago was never valid since the Executive Yuan did not accept the list. However, the list was never abolished, they added.

The list of 73 schools approved by the Ministry of Education was compiled in 1997 along with the Guidelines for Reviewing and Accrediting Academic Degrees on the Chinese Mainland (大陸地區學歷檢覈及採認辦法).

However, a month later, the then Executive Yuan of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration told the ministry that "Chinese degrees are not merely an education problem, but are connected with cross-strait policies" and advised the ministry to rethink the list.

The Control Yuan said in the same month that due to the large number of Taiwanese students going to China to study for medical degrees there may be a surplus of doctors in the country once they all returned. It also said the ministry's policy could pose a threat to national security.

During an Education and Culture Committee question session at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, legislators queried why the guidelines and list were still in existence and had not been abolished.

KMT Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) said the ministry had not reassessed the list after advice from the government and had not yet abolished the guidelines nor the list but merely said they were "not applicable."

Vice Education Minister Lu Mu-lin (呂木琳) acknowledged the situation was unclear and said it led to the education ministry's recent loss of a lawsuit in which the ministry was forced to recognize an application for the accreditation of a Chinese diploma. The application was filed by a woman who had obtained her university degree at Jilin University of Technology in China. The education ministry has appealed the ruling.

According to Lu the court said that since the list and guidelines still exist the public may not be aware that they were "not applicable."

However, the guidelines cannot be abolished at the moment because Taiwan still recognized Chinese qualifications below university level, Lu said.

Elementary, junior high, and high school diplomas obtained in China all follow the guidelines, he said.

The ministry has no plans to abolish the list or guidelines, nor to start accrediting Chinese university diplomas, Lu said.

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