Mon, Aug 20, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Lawmaker slams university rankings site

SPOILED VICTORY:Taiwanese universities were lauded by the rankings’ publisher, which was great except that it also listed Taiwan as part of China, the lawmaker said

By Lee Yu-hsin  /  Staff reporter

An announcement made on Wednesday by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2012 said that Taiwanese universities had obtained their highest score yet compared with previous years. However, a legislator yesterday said the name for Taiwan listed on the ARWU Web site was “China, Taiwan” and the Chinese Taipei Olympic flag was posted as its national flag, once again highlighting China’s suppression of Taiwan.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said that the incident was “beyond reasonable” and that as China continues to erode Taiwan’s sovereign status, the government continues to ignore the problem.

The ARWU is published by China’s Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiaotong University each year and lists the top 500 universities in the world. This year, nine Taiwanese universities have been included on the list, an increase of two from last year.

In addition, National Taiwan University’s ranking went up two places to No. 121, National Tsing Hua University climbed 68 places to No. 258, and two newcomers to the list — China Medical University and National Sun Yat-sen University — ranked No. 453 and No. 479 respectively, which accumulates to the best score Taiwanese universities have ever gained on the list.

“It is great to see the performance of Taiwanese universities improving each year,” Huang said, “but irritating to see Taiwan’s national status being disparaged on the ARWU Web site, especially the use of ‘China, Taiwan’ as a country name and the national flag replaced by the ‘Chinese Taipei Olympic flag,’ which is beyond reasonable.”

Addressing the government, Huang said: “‘Taiwan’ is not a name only called out for Taiwanese to hear,” but needs to be accepted and recognized by international society.

However, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration does not dare declare Taiwan’s independent sovereignty to China and the world, but only speaks of it loudly to citizens, he said.

Under the DPP’s administration, the government always objected strongly when Taiwan’s national status was repressed, to signal to international society that Taiwan is not a part of China, he added.

Huang said situations where Taiwan’s sovereignty has been stifled have continued to arise in the past four years, but the Ma administration has not stood up to defend the nation, and instead has always dodged the issue by saying “objections have been expressed to the organizer.”

Why not make these objections to the Chinese government, he said, adding that the Ma administration only cares about signing cross-strait agreements, but does not know how to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty in negotiations. Huang added that he worries that Taiwan will by misunderstood by the global community as being a part of China if cases like the ARWU’s announcement continue unabated and unchallenged.

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