Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) yesterday said that he is happy to see the planned merger between National Yang-Ming University and National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), which he said could expand their operations and enhance their international competitiveness.
Speaking on the matter for the first time while on a visit to National Taichung Industrial Vocational High School, Wu said that a merger of the two universities would only be carried out after careful consideration over its effect on the overall development of the nation’s higher education system.
While some universities in Taiwan have competitive advantages, their development is constrained by their small size and narrow fields of study, Wu said, adding that through mergers, these institutions of higher learning can increase their chances of success in the international arena.
Wu cited the proposed merger as a good example of the ministry’s “Aim for the Top University Plan,” as Yang-Ming only has about 4,000 students, while NCTU has about 10,000 students.
Through the merger, the two universities would be able to expand their scale and complement each other’s fields of study, he added.
Similarly, if National Cheng Kung University’s planned merger with Tainan National University of the Arts could be completed, they would become more competitive, he added.
Another merger on the horizon is the planned pairing of National Tsing Hua University, a comprehensive university in Hsinchu, with National Hsinchu University of Education, a teacher’s college, which is expected to help the development of the overall education system in Hsinchu.
In addition, National Taitung University is in talks with National Taitung College to integrate regional resources.
The planned merger of Taipei-based Yang-Ming and Hsinchu-based NCTU has attracted opposition, partly because of the distance between the two schools.
In response, Wu said the distance should not be a problem, adding that with advanced Internet technologies and online learning tools, classes could be shared by students at the two campuses.
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