More than 70 percent of Taiwanese worry that the quality of higher education is worsening and failing to produce students with the skills needed to be competitive in the global market, a Professor Huang Kun-huei Education Foundation poll released yesterday said.
Global competitiveness was the top concern among respondents, with 78.3 percent saying that university students might not be learning enough skills to help them compete internationally.
This was followed by the gap between skills and industry needs, which 77.7 percent said was worrying.
The poll also found that 76.5 percent of respondents were concerned that the quality of higher education is going downhill, as the number of universities and colleges has increased significantly over the past few years.
Loss of talent was another issue highlighted by the poll.
While 72.3 percent of respondents said they were worried about students studying at overseas universities rather than domestic ones, 67.1 percent said that higher education is facing a serious brain drain, as more professors opt to move abroad for better salaries.
A total of 58.8 percent of respondents were also concerned that higher education might be solidifying class gaps, as students from lower-income families are far more likely to attend a private university than a public one, compared with 29.9 percent, who said they were not worried about the issue.
While 80.6 percent said that they believe the high unemployment rate among new graduates is a serious problem, 11.8 percent said the problem is “not serious.”
As part of a solution, 89.1 percent said that the government should focus on workforce planning and help universities design programs that better meet the needs of businesses, while 33.5 percent disagreed.
When asked whether university autonomy should only be exercised under government supervision to ensure adherence to the law, 67.1 percent agreed, while 21.5 percent disagreed.
The recent controversy over the election of National Taiwan University’s (NTU) president has sparked an ongoing debate over the scope of university autonomy and what constitutes reasonable supervision from the government.
The poll asked respondents whether they agree with the view that government supervision over such autonomy is a form of political intervention.
A total of 45.9 percent said the view was “reasonable,” whereas 38.2 said the opposite.
The poll result underlines people’s key concerns for higher education, foundation head Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said at a news conference in Taipei.
“The government used to pay great attention to workforce planning, which is linked to the design of school programs and their permitted recruitment quotas,” he said. “The poll results should serve as a reminder to the government that it must resume work on that.”
The government should also set down clearer regulations for university autonomy, as much of the controversy surrounding the NTU elections was due to the ambiguity surrounding its scope, said Yang Guo-ci (楊國賜), National Taiwan Normal University professor emeritus and former vice minister of education.
The telephone-based survey was conducted from July 19 to July 21 and collected 1,069 valid samples. The results were weighted to fit the population profile.
The poll had a confidence level of 95 percent and margin of error of 3 percentage points.
The Taipei City Government yesterday officially launched the “YouBike 2.0” system, an upgraded version of the bicycle rental service, saying that it aims to expand the service to more than 1,200 stations throughout the city. The system yesterday activated 160 new stations, in addition to 103 stations in the Gongguan (公館) shopping area near the National Taiwan University campus. A trial run of YouBike2.0 was launched there in January last year. The Taipei Department of Transportation said that bicycles of the upgraded system feature solar panels and card censors, which allow users to rent them by swiping their EasyCard or scanning a QR
‘COLD ATTITUDE’: The man claimed that his wife of nearly 50 years had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years and that she refused to bathe A court last month rejected a man’s application for a divorce over lack of evidence that his wife “would rather feed stray dogs” than her husband. The 90-year-old man, surnamed Chao (趙), filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 50 years, surnamed Tung (董), saying that she had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years. “Every morning my wife goes to Gaoping Bridge to feed stray dogs and does not come home until late,” Chao said. “I am 90 and I need to be taken care of,” he said, complaining of his wife’s “cold attitude” toward him. Chao also complained in
QUARANTINE BLUNDER: The government should be responsible for a cluster infection at a hotel, as the cases have caused panic, DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen said The Ministry of Transportation and Communications should make it mandatory for pilots and flight attendants, as well as their family members, to be vaccinated in view of a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, lawmakers said at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. The cluster infection at the hotel had led to 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, including hotel workers, as well as China Airlines flight and cabin crew, and their family members. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday tightened quarantine requirements for pilots and flight attendants, who must quarantine
DATA-DRIVEN: The dedicated department used big data to find sexual harassment hot spots on the Mass Rapid Transit system to take measures against perpetrators Most incidents of sexual harassment and secret photography in Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway system over the past five years occurred at three stations, the Rapid Transit Division of the Taipei City Police Department said in a statement yesterday. Most incidents were recorded at Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT Station, followed by Taipei Main and Zhongxiao-Dunhua MRT stations, the department said, adding that the results were obtained through big data analysis. The system, which serves Taipei and New Taipei City, handles about 2.2 million passengers per day, and most cases of secret photography and sexual harassment — usually involving touching a victims buttocks or chest