Ed­u­ca­tion chief mulling tu­ition in­crease re­quests

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY CHI- HAO JAMES LO

Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Wu Se­hwa ( ) yes­ter­day con­ducted a re­port at the Leg­isla­tive Yuan re­gard­ing tu­ition fee in­crease re­quests from 23 lo­cal uni­ver­si­ties, stat­ing that each ar­ti­cle of the re­quests would be strictly in­spected to guar­an­tee the rights of un­der­priv­i­leged stu­dents.

Re­cently, 23 uni­ver­si­ties in Tai­wan have ap­plied for an av­er­age of 1.5 to 3.5 per­cent in­crease to tu­ition fees for the year 2015, re­quir­ing stu­dents to pay an ex­tra of NT$300 to NT$1800 per se­mes­ter. The amount of uni­ver­si­ties that asked to in­crease their fees has also been noted as the high­est num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions since a reg­u­la­tion was passed in 2010 to al­low fee in­crease re­quests on a yearly ba­sis.

Re­gard­ing the re­quests, Wu at­tended a ses­sion con­ducted by Leg­isla­tive Yuan’s Ed­u­ca­tion and Cul­ture Com­mit­tee to con­duct a re­port and a sub­se­quent brief­ing.

Wu’s brief­ing mainly con­cerned the ef­fects the tu­ition fee in­crease would have to­ward un­der­priv­i­leged stu­dents.

The min­ster said that the safe­guard­ing of the rights of un­der­priv­i­leged in­di­vid­u­als serves as one of the three main prin­ci­ples when in­spect­ing tu­ition fee in­crease re­quests.

For the sake of the de­mo­graphic, Wu said that the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion ( MOE) will seek to launch a pro­gram which will re­quire Tai­wan’s top uni­ver­si­ties to in­crease en­roll­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for un­der­priv­i­leged stu­dents an­nu­ally. Cur­rently, the amount of un­der- priv­i­leged stu­dent en­roll­ment at such uni­ver­si­ties has been av­er­aged at 1.3 per­cent, with the Na­tional Tai­wan Uni­ver­sity at 0.98 per­cent. Through the an­nual in­crease of op­por­tu­ni­ties, the MOE is seek­ing to drive the pop­u­la­tion up to an av­er­age of 2 per­cent by 2018. The MOE has also pro­posed var­i­ous ideas to ben­e­fit un­der­priv­i­leged stu­dents, such as in­creas­ing fund­ing for the de­mo­graphic at public schools from NT$90 mil­lion to NT$260 mil­lion, and at pri­vate schools from NT$140 mil­lion to NT$260 mil­lion.

ACEU Protests against

Fee In­crease

In re­sponse to uni­ver­si­ties’ re­quest to in­crease their tu­ition fees, the stu­dent-or­ga­nized An­tiCom­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of Ed­u­ca­tion Union ( ACEU,

) protested out­side of the MOE yes­ter­day, im­plor­ing the min­istry to turn down the fee in­crease re­quests from the 23 uni­ver­si­ties.

The ACEU, a familiar face that usu­ally ral­lies against school fee in­creases, stated that by adding fees to ben­e­fit the un­der­priv­i­leged is mu­tu­ally dis­ad­van­ta­geous to the en­tire stu­dent pop­u­la­tion.

If the gov­ern­ment re­ally aims to help un­der­priv­i­leged stu­dents, the ACEU rec­om­mended that the gov­ern­ment fully pays for the school­ing of such in­di­vid­u­als.

Aside from ask­ing the MOE to turn down fee in­crease re­quests, the ACEU also gave five de­mands to the min­istry, in­clud­ing the re­moval of the pol­icy that en­ables uni­ver­si­ties to ap­ply for fee in­creases an­nu­ally.

CNA

Stu­dents from the Anti-Com­mer­cial­iza­tion of Ed­u­ca­tion Union post protest­ing mes­sages at the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion to con­vey crit­i­cism of tu­ition fee in­crease ap­pli­ca­tions from 23 lo­cal uni­ver­si­ties. The ACEU stated that by adding fees to ben­e­fit the un­der­priv­i­leged is mu­tu­ally dis­ad­van­ta­geous to the en­tire stu­dent pop­u­la­tion.

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