Amendment eases evaluation rules for junior colleges

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 3

Lawmakers yesterday passed amendments to the Junior College Act (專科學校法) to allow such colleges more freedom when undergoing evaluations.

The act previously stated that an evaluation panel “must” be formed to assess junior colleges and serve as a reference for the Ministry of Education when adjusting the number of junior colleges, departments and classes, as well as tuition and recruitment limits, which could affect whether a school would be closed.

The amended act stipulates that an evaluation committee “should” be formed to evaluate such colleges, the decisions of which would be used as a reference by the schools when handling affairs pertaining to their development.

Evaluations should be conducted in a diversified and professional manner, the amendments say, adding that the ministry would define which aspects of the schools’ operations would be reviewed, how the evaluations would be carried out and the grading criteria.

The amendments were introduced to bring evaluation rules for junior colleges in line with those stipulated in the University Act (大學法), as well as proposed changes to the Supplementary Act (補習及進修教育法) to annul rules on “institutions of continuing education.”

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑), a sponsor of the amendments, said that the changes would enable junior colleges to focus on education rather than achieving high scores in evaluations.

The amended act also includes an article that allows people who self-study and pass an annual scholastic ability test to earn a diploma certifying that they have achieved an educational level equivalent to that of a junior college graduate.

Rules on testing and conferral of degree would be set by the ministry, the amendments say.

As the University Act no longer contains regulations on higher education institutions staffing departments of evening education — which were in charge of academic affairs for evening classes — the amended act changed the wording from “department of night school” to “department of continuing education.”