Low fees make local universities competitive: poll

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 3

University tuition in Taiwan is cheaper than at other Asian institutions, giving Taiwanese schools an edge in the region’s education marketplace, a Reader’s Digest survey on higher education has found.

The survey, conducted for the fifth time last year, invited the magazine’s readers in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China to take part in the online survey and received 2,618 valid responses.

The survey’s results, released yesterday, found that 70 percent of parents in Asia think that tuition and scholarships are important in choosing universities.

Taiwanese universities have an edge, Reader’s Digest said, because they are cheaper than their counterparts in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong and about the same price as universities in China, and they also offer scholarships.

Tuition at South Korean universities has soared in recent years and is now twice the average in Taiwan, while Japanese schools are three times as expensive as their Taiwanese counterparts, the report said.

Public universities in this nation charge less than NT$100,000 per semester, and that, along with increasing job opportunities in Asia, has induced some ethnic Chinese parents to send their children to Taiwan to get a university degree, according to the report.

Taiwanese schools also have the advantage of having their diplomas recognized by Malaysia, as of last year, and accepting students from Hong Kong without entry examinations.

They were also praised for their diverse and democratic teaching methods, the high employment rate of graduates and the quality of their teachers, the survey said.