Sun, Jan 24, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Vice president touts plan to attract education talent

GLOBALIZATION Vincent Siew said the government plans to raise salaries to recruit and retain top professors as well as attract more students from Southeast Asia

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) said yesterday that the government plans to recruit top professors by offering globally competitive wages as well as attract more international students as part of its effort to promote globalization.

Speaking at a national conference on nurturing talent, Siew said the government would step up its investment in education and increase the education budget each year.

The government will also recruit more international students by touting Taiwan's advantages in advanced education to other Southeast Asian nations, he said.

“The government will map out a comprehensive plan for nurturing, retaining and recruiting talent,” Siew said.

Globalization means every country is striving to recruit the best talent, he said, mentioning China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea.

“Although Taiwan lacks natural resources, it has a wealth of outstanding talent,” Siew said.

The key to nation building is the government's ability to retain top human resources, whether locally or overseas trained, he said.

The government will take into consideration education, population and industrial policies as part of the process of charting the nation's development, the vice president said.

The plan will be designed on the basis of short, medium and long-term human resource needs, he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education introduced a draft plan on recruiting and retaining top-quality university professors.

Under the proposal, the salaries of professors could be subsidized by the ministry's five-year allocation of NT$50 billion (US$1.56 billion) for the development of top-class universities, from special projects or from the National Science Council (NSC).

There will also be no cap on the pay offered, the proposal states.

“Allowing flexible salaries will help attract top teaching talent and boost Taiwan's international competitiveness,” NSC Minister Lee Lou-chuang (李羅權) said. “Taiwan cannot afford to be excluded from the world trend of recruiting the best talent.”

National Cheng Kung University president Michael Lai (賴明詔) agreed, saying the “salaries of Taiwan's teaching and research personnel are too low.”

“A salary increase will help attract the best,” Lai said. “Salary flexibility is crucial, although it will by no means suggest an across-the-board pay raise.”

The 150 representatives at the conference at the National Central Library also included Academia Sinica President Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠), Delta Electronics founder and chairman Bruce Cheng (鄭崇華), Minister of Education Wu Ching-chi (吳清基) and the presidents of several universities.

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