Wed, Aug 06, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Students must help ‘shoulder burden,’ new minister says

Staff writer, with CNA

National Chengchi University president and Minister of Education appointee Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) yesterday said that while the government’s investment in and support of the business sector are essential to promoting higher education, students also need to “shoulder a basic burden.”

He made the remarks during a radio interview when asked to comment on the increase in college tuition.

Before raising tuition fees, universities must ensure that their spending is transparent and open to scrutiny, and obtain an internal consensus on the issue, he added.

Wu yesterday pledged to improve the new high-school admission system, which has caused widespread complaints among students and parents, as soon as he assumes office today.

The appointee is scheduled to be sworn into his new position today to replace former minister of education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧), who resigned on July 14 after being linked to a scandal over fake peer reviews of several research papers published by a Taiwanese academic.

Wu yesterday said that the responsibility of a new education minister is not creating a batch of new policies, but allowing the policies that already exist to “return to the basics” to let limited resources produce the most results.

He stressed that the government’s new 12-year education policy would not undergo any major changes in the near future.

Despite widespread criticism against the recently launched high-school admission system, a core feature of the 12-year education program, Wu called the system “passable.”

He said that more than 60 percent of high-school applicants were accepted by their first-choice schools in the first round of exam-free admissions, while most of the remaining students also found suitable schools through special entrance exams.

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