National Yang-Ming University (NYMU) yesterday said that it is forming an ad hoc task force to handle issues related to its proposed merger with National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), adding that further discussions over the merger plan would resume next semester.
The decision to halt discussions on the merger was made at a Yang-Ming school management meeting yesterday, in which the administration, students and faculty spent more than two hours debating the merger and whether they should approve the terms stipulated in a memorandum of understanding the university signed with NCTU on Dec. 16 last year.
The memorandum outlines a plan for the two universities to combine their resources in the areas of medical engineering, life sciences and other relevant fields, as well as the integration of biomedicine and transnational medicine.
Both universities also promised to seek funding from the Ministry of Education’s “Aim for the Top University Plan,” as well as from the private sector.
National Yang-Ming University Student Association representatives said that the institution had not provided an estimate on the cost of the merger.
Even though the product of a merger between two of the nation’s top universities would have no problem attracting students, the association said that neither university would be able to maintain their unique characteristics in the merged organization.
The association also said that the distance between the two campuses — almost 100km — would create learning difficulties for students.
Several faculty members and alumni also supported a motion by the association for a comprehensive survey among students and faculty on the merger.
They said that students, teachers and administrative personnel did not know about the plan until earlier this week and were not given the opportunity to participate in discussions, which they compared with being forced to accept an arranged marriage.
National Yang-Ming University president Liang Kung-yee (梁賡義) said that the merger would create a win-win scenario for both universities, adding that Yang-Ming lacks personnel, space and funding to expand its operations.
National Yang-Ming University Hospital is establishing a branch in Yilan, which would increase the number of beds at the hospital by 400, Liang said, adding that NCTU resources would help turn the hospital into a “smart” healthcare facility and enhance the quality of medical education.
“We would like to invite NCTU to join us in discussions about the merger,” he said.
Liang also said that no faculty or staff would be laid off when departments were integrated in the merger, which would allow for more course choices for students.
Liang said the Taipei university would provide shuttle buses or distance learning facilities to ensure the distance between the two campuses would not be a problem.
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