The Ministry of Education yesterday rebutted speculation that it would increase the number of Chinese students allowed to attend local universities by 1 percent every year.
Vice Minister of Education Lin Tsung-min (林聰明) told reporters that the number of Chinese students enrolling annually would remain capped at 1 percent of the openings in the College Entrance Examinations, or 2,000 people.
The ministry’s Law Affairs Committee approved the threshold yesterday, Lin said.
The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) yesterday quoted Chen Chen-kuei (陳振貴), president of the Association of Private Universities and Colleges of Technology and member of a ministry panel tasked with recruiting Chinese students, as saying that the ministry was mulling amending the law to increase the number of Chinese students by 1 percent per year until a maximum of 5 percent was reached.
The paper said that as many as 60,000 Chinese could enroll in local universities per year if the threshold were relaxed.
The legislature passed amendments on Aug. 19 enshrining three bans in the law: No recognition of Chinese medical degrees, Chinese students are barred from taking Taiwanese national examinations and they are barred from entering departments related to national security.
Although the ministry previously promised to cap the student number at 1 percent of total openings, Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers were not able to have the threshold written into the amendments.
Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) said at the time that codifying the threshold would deny universities flexibility in recruitment.
Lin said yesterday the proposed increase was attributable to the “personal opinions” of some members of the panel.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲), head of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee, said it would be reasonable for the ministry to consider relaxing the threshold in response to the needs of private universities.
Chao said she had received complaints from private universities, whose presidents hoped the number of Chinese students allowed in each year would be raised to about 70,000.