Mon, Apr 19, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Legislative review on allowing Chinese students draws fire

COMING SOON If the two bills are signed into law, Chinese students will be able to come to Taiwan as early as September for the coming academic year

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Legislative Yuan’s Education and Culture Committee meeting on Wednesday looks set to face a firestorm of protest as it reviews two controversial bills that will allow Chinese students to study in Taiwan and give recognition to Chinese educational credentials.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator and committee chairperson Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲) said the committee “must do something” during Wednesday’s meeting because of its failure to review the bills despite four earlier meetings.

Minister of Education Wu ­Ching-chi (吳清基) has also expressed concern about the need to push through the bills as soon as possible, she said.

The proposed amendment to the University Act (大學法) and another amendment to the Vocational School Act (專科學校法) were included in the committee’s agenda on Friday night.

Review of the bills has been stalled because of a boycott by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators.


SEPTEMBER

At present, Taiwan does not recognize Chinese diplomas or allow local schools to recruit students from China. The KMT administration would like to relax the restrictions by the next academic year, meaning next September.

The number of Chinese students allowed to come to Taiwan for study would be capped at 1 percent of student vacancies at local colleges and universities if the necessary bills are passed by the legislature.

Wu, Vice Minister Lin Tsung-ming (林聰明) and Mainland Affairs Council Vice Minister Chao Chien-ming (趙建民) last month visited Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and lawmakers to solicit support for the proposed bills.

Chao said it was reasonable to include the bills on Wednesday’s agenda because the Ministry of Education has already held 21 public hearings on the issue across the nation at the request of the committee.

“We should not refrain from dealing with the bills just because some people have different opinions about them,” Chao said.

DPP MOBILIZATION

The DPP caucus has threatened to mobilize its legislators to stop the committee meeting from going ahead.

DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) criticized the KMT-­dominated committee for including the bills on the committee’s agenda at a time when most legislators were occupied by the review of the draft Industrial Innovation Act (產業創新條例) on Friday.

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