Fri, Aug 10, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Lu says quality of university education has become a crisis

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday criticized the education system, saying that the quality of higher education had declined and was a "crisis."

Lu said that a score of just 18 points out of 400 on the college entrance exam would get a student into university this year, adding that the declining quality of higher education was a crisis.

Lu said that universities cannot spend their time and energy jockeying for a bigger share of the "mega fund" that comprises state financing for universities without working to improve the quality of their education and research.

Lu made the remarks during a lunch with reporters at the Presidential Office.

She said that although she is not an education minister or a member of the education reform committee, she believed the education system required thorough examination or the government would pay a high price for ignoring it.

Lu, however, complemented attempts at educational reform, saying that some reform programs had been successful.

Nevertheless, "constant reviews must be conducted to discover any problems that arise along the way," she said.

As she will officially establish the Pacific University Alliance on Monday, Lu said that she hoped the organization would help improve the quality of education.

The alliance, part of the Democratic Pacific Union (DPU), will enable 41 local and international colleges and universities to engage in various exchange programs and offer scholarships.

Founded by Lu in August 2005, the DPU brings together 28 democratic countries from the Asia-Pacific region and aims to promote democracy, peace and prosperity worldwide.

The second annual convention of the DPU will begin in Taipei on Monday. About 100 guests from 33 countries are expected to attend.

The organization has three new member states this year: Colombia, Ecuador and Nauru.

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