Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) yesterday said that the nation’s universities would have to downsize by at least 10,000 faculty members by 2023 to deal with rapidly declining student numbers.
The idea is not to just close some universities, but to clearly see the big picture and resolve how at such a time, Wu said.
By the start of the 2016 school year, there will be 30,000 fewer students than now, which will reduce the demand for teachers, Wu said.
An expected increasing staff shortage will force the government to downsize, while requiring workers to produce twice the amount of products or services that individuals do today, Wu said, adding that declining birthrates would also create national security concerns.
There would be a surplus of educational facilities for the nation’s small population, which would mean the merger or closure of some facilities, Wu said.
No more than 1,500 new instructors have begun to work at universities nationwide, but Taiwan currently graduates more than 4,000 individuals with doctorates each year, Wu said.
The nation cannot shoulder such a great disparity between educational supply and demand, he said.
While downsizing is inevitable, the ministry must take care to provide for those made redundant, since they have areas of expertise, adding that graduates with doctorates should be steered toward the corporate sector to utilize their professional knowledge.
The corporate sector is not the only choice for college graduates and becoming entrepreneurs is also an option, Wu added, as he urged faculty members to focus on students’ future development, rather than concentrating solely on their own research.
National Chengchi University (NCCU) president Edward Chow (周行一) said the corporate sector often worries about whether graduates will be able to easily make the transition to corporate life, but it is not academia’s job to provide such personnel.
Taiwanese corporations need to consider what their definition of “talent” is, Chow said, adding that international corporations do not necessarily hire people who they think will seamlessly segue into their new jobs.
If local corporations are seeking to reduce the costs of human resources, businesses will not find any talented individuals, Chow said.
However, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) said academia should revise its attitudes and ask itself what it can do for society, adding that a large amount of the funding given to the Program for Teaching Excellence is being misused.
The Ministry of Education must be a positive model for academia and help steer academics into choices that benefit society, Hsu said.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
Opening-day ticket sales for a horror exhibition at the Tainan Art Museum were suspended twice on Saturday as the show attracted too many visitors. Titled “Ghosts and Hells: The Underworld in Asian art,” the exhibition runs until Oct. 16. It is the local version of a show that debuted at the Musee du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris. It was planned and curated by Julien Rousseau. The Tainan museum said that within an hour of its doors opening, more than 1,000 people had entered the exhibition. By noon, 3,000 physical and virtual tickets had been sold, while the museum had more than 4,000