Lawmakers accuse ministry of ignoring policy

By Lee Yu-hsin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 - Page 3

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday accused the Ministry of Education of breaking the “three limits, six noes” (三限六不) policy on Chinese students by asking colleges to provide scholarships for Chinese students.

To allay concerns that allowing Chinese students into Taiwanese universities might affect educational and job opportunities for local students and graduates, the ministry imposed restrictions on Chinese enrolment, known as the “three limits, six noes” policy.

Under the policy, acceptance is limited to students from prestigious Chinese schools, the number of Chinese students is restricted to 0.1 percent of total domestic student recruitment and Chinese students are barred from courses in pharmacy, Chinese and Western medicine, advanced technology and national security.

The six noes refer to no preferential grading on entrance exams, no effect on student enrolment opportunities for Taiwanese students, no scholarships, no off-campus work and no taking of tests for Republic of China professional certificates or civil servant examinations.

At a press conference yesterday, DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said the University Entrance Committee for Mainland Chinese Students had recently asked colleges across the nation to setup special scholarships for Chinese students to begin next year.

According to Chen, the committee suggested that colleges, “according to Ministry of Education plans,” use school affairs funds, Chinese students’ tuition and miscellaneous fees, and funds raised from communities and local government budgets for the scholarships, adding that they must be worth at least NT$10,000 (US$340) for college students and NT$20,000 for graduate students.

“The ministry has repeatedly guaranteed that it would be pursuing its policy to allow Chinese students to come to Taiwan to study on the basis of ‘three limits, six noes,’ but the ministry’s actions have shown that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has finally revealed its China-leaning mindset,” Chen said.

DPP Legislator Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪) said the funding allocated for scholarships for graduate students was more than the basic wage for Taiwanese laborers of NT$18,780.

“How would Taiwanese laborers feel?” Liu asked. “It is ridiculous that the Ma administration would rather spend money on Chinese students than reverse hikes in tuition and miscellaneous fees for domestic college students.”

DPP lawmakers Yang Yao and Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) added that with local governments facing financial difficulties, it was difficult to understand why the ministry was encouraging schools to use local government funding as a source for scholarships.

The school affairs funding for all colleges across Taiwan should be used for school affairs or student rights, and not on Chinese students, the legislators said.

Aside from demanding the ministry adhere to the “three limits, six noes” policy, lawmakers also demanded the resignation of Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧), as well as a public apology.