Colleges and universities in Taiwan will see their lowest enrollment and highest vacancies when the new school semester begins next month, the latest enrollment statistics released by the Joint Board of the College Recruitment Commission showed.
A total of 76,434 students enrolled in Taiwanese universities, resulting in a record high of 6,802 vacancies on campuses and a record-high college admission rate of 97.14 percent, commission statistics showed. That was up from 4,788 vacancies and a college admission rate of 97.1 percent for last school year, it said.
Both admission rates and vacancies at higher learning institutions have been steadily rising in recent years.
Taiwan’s falling birth rate and the rapid increase in the number of colleges and universities that have opened in Taiwan in the past 15 years are the main reasons behind this trend.
In 1986, there were 28 four-year colleges and universities across Taiwan, but the number rose to 147 last year — the result of a government policy to make it easier for high school students to get into university.
The Ministry of Education on Friday urged colleges with low enrollment to protect the interests of students and teaching staff despite the low enrollment.
Ho Cho-fei (何卓飛), director of the ministry’s Department of Higher Education, asked low-enrollment colleges and universities to remain committed to giving their students sufficient training, no matter how small their student population is.
To cope with this problem, Ho said the ministry would work out a mechanism to require schools with low enrollment to transform or withdraw from the market.
Eighteen college and university departments in Taiwan failed to recruit any students for the coming semester, commission figures showed.
Hsing Kuo University of Management in Tainan City had the highest number of vacancies at 1,465, with five of its 13 departments unable to attract a single applicant.
Only 14 would-be freshmen were recruited by Hsing Kuo, despite a total of 1,479 vacancies.
Four departments at Leader University in Tainan City also posted zero enrollment, with the university recruiting 49 potential freshmen.
One department each at Mingdao University and NanHua University also failed to attract a single student.
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