Thu, Dec 23, 2010 - Page 3 News List

University Act amendment passes preliminary review

By Flora Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The legislature’s Education and Culture Committee yesterday passed a preliminary review of an amendment to the University Act (大學法) that would give the Ministry of Education increased powers to merge national universities.

The amendment would enable the ministry to “merge national universities for the best interests of the nation’s higher education resources.”

It would have the authority to compel national universities to merge if the ministry saw the need.

Under such a system, national universities would have no choice but to accept calls for mergers.

During a question-and-answer session with legislators at the committee, Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) called university mergers a “trend” amid a declining birthrate.

At present, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology and National Pingtung University of Education are negotiating a merger, as are National Taiwan University and the National Taipei University of Education.

National Taiwan Normal University and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology have also been in talks for years.

Wu said National Taichung Institute of Technology and National Taichung Nursing College could submit a merger plan by the end of March.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔) said several universities may have difficulty meeting their student quotas during the 2016 academic year because the number of students entering university that year is expected to shrink by 60,000.

Wu said he would also propose an exit mechanism for private universities wishing to leave the market.

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