Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taiwanese favor vocational colleges: poll

SHIFTING PERCEPTIONS:Foundation president Huang Kun-huei said that the nation’s past overemphasis on credentials resulted in a lack of talent in industry

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese society’s deep-rooted prioritization of credentials over practical skills might have shifted, as most of the respondents in a poll released yesterday favored vocational colleges over regular universities for their children.

The survey, conducted by the Professor Huang Kun-huei Education Foundation, showed that 49.3 percent of those polled would prefer that their children attend vocational colleges over regular universities if they were admitted to both, compared with only 18.3 percent who said they would opt for the latter.

The gap was less noticeable regarding senior secondary education for students aged 16 to 18.

About 36 percent of the respondents said they favored vocational high schools for their children, while 29 percent preferred senior high schools.

When asked whether they agreed that a higher qualification would lead to better career advancement opportunities, 66.6 percent of the respondents said “no,” while 27.4 percent said “yes.”

Of those who disagreed with the notion, 53.4 percent favored vocational colleges, while 15.2 percent preferred regular universities.

An overwhelming 87 percent of those polled said that they believed the possession of professional skills outweighed financial wealth.

This idea was most prevalent among those aged 20 to 34, those who had received higher education and parents with at least one child attending a vocational high school or vocational college, the poll found.

A total of 8.1 percent of respondents disagreed with the concept.

Only 45.3 percent of those polled said they believed that going to cram schools results in better grades, while 40.5 percent disagreed.

Taiwanese’s overemphasis on credentials over the past few decades has resulted in a lack of the talents that the nation’s industries require, said foundation president Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝), a former interior minister and presidential secretary-general.

“In light of the shifts in social perception shown in the poll, concerned government agencies ought to put forward policies to respond to such changes,” Huang said, adding that the foundation would continue to conduct polls to monitor the public’s views about education.

The telephone-based survey, conducted from May 21 to May 23, collected 1,068 valid samples and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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