Univer­sity cuts down on in­sur­ance for its teach­ing as­sis­tants to save money

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY LAURA LIN

Na­tional Tai­wan Nor­mal Univer­sity (NTNU, ) de­clared yesterday that it will carry out a new train­ing pro­gram in place of the old teach­ing as­sis­tant (TA) pol­icy, which will soon be im­ple­mented in the com­ing se­mes­ter and no TAs will be on cam­pus in the fu­ture, said NTNU.

Stu­dents ap­ply­ing to this new pro­gram are still re­quired to carry out the same tasks TAs did, such as work­ing with pro­fes­sors on re­search, teach­ing and also help­ing slower stu­dents who find classes dif­fi­cult to catch up, ac­cord­ing to NTNU.

Only ju­nior, se­nior and grad­u­ate stu­dents can ap­ply for the pro­gram. They don’t ac­tu­ally get paid, but will be of­fered two “bonuses” of NT$8,000 each se­mes­ter. At the end of the se­mes­ter, pro­fes­sors grade the ap­pli­cants and give them bonuses ac­cord­ingly, the school said.

To cut down on staff ex­pen­di­ture was the school’s main con­cern when plan­ning the pro­gram, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal media. In June, the Min­istry of La­bor ( ) or­dered that univer­sity TAs be cov­ered by la­bor in­sur­ance, which wor­ried many univer­si­ties. Now un­der the new pro­gram, TAs are tak­ing the role of “ap­pren­tice” in train­ing, so they are not cov­ered by in­sur­ance, said the school.

NTNU Pres­i­dent Chang Kuo-en ( ) said that some TAs from low-in­come house­holds used to get gov­ern­ment re­im­burse­ment. If they are cov­ered by in­sur­ance, their salary will be counted as part of their house­hold in­come then they may not be counted as low­in­come house­holds and there­fore lose the re­im­burse­ment, said Chang.

On the other hand, the Tai­wan Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Union (THEU,

) said that, by law, TAs should be cov­ered by in­sur­ance. It pointed out that the ba­sic prob­lem is that univer­si­ties don’t have suf­fi­cient fund­ing to sup­port the TA pro­gram and univer­si­ties are forced to re­duce the num­ber of TAs or to shut down the whole pro­gram, said the THEU.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.