Taiwan's Ministry of Education announces new "Open University" programs

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On May 3, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education announced that the government would begin implementing a new program to attract students from the country's working population, one that would significantly extend the time period in which people can remain enrolled at universities in bachelor degree programs.

The Deputy Minister of Education Yao Leeh-ter (姚立德) announced a new “open university” concept that would give new students up to 10 years to complete a bachelor’s degree, and potentially do away with minimum credit requirements per semester, while also making it possible to pursue dual degrees, without dropping out of their first degree program.

The move comes after years of declining enrollment faced by the inordinately high number of universities in the country, some of which are already facing closure. The new “open university” concept will hopefully attract a new demographic to enroll in bachelor programs, while also promoting a slightly different approach to higher education.

By extending the timeline for graduation, the ministry hopes that students will be more likely to engage in interdisciplinary training, possibly gaining critical work experience or developing secondary skills, as they will be able to approach university education at a much more leisurely pace.

The Ministry says it has designed two programs as part of the new “open university” initiative, which universities will opt into by applying with the Ministry.

One program is for those who are working but would like to pursue their first bachelor’s degree. The other is for those who would like to begin a multidisciplinary course of study, and study in two programs, working towards a dual major degree.

For those who have to work to support themselves and would not be able to attend a regular four year program, the ministry hopes to reduce per semester credit requirements, so that students will not be forced to drop out of the school, and can instead take their time planning courses as they work, being given 10 years to complete their degree.

The “open university” plan also aims to promote multidisciplinary education by relaxing regulations on a studying in two disciplines while enrolled, so long as the student has reached a certain number of credits in the first degree program, according to the report from Liberty Times.

For new students, it may relieve some of the financial burden and stress of rushing to complete a degree in the shortest amount of time possible. Likewise, it will make the pursuit of a more varied and multidisciplinary education possible.

It would also provide a much wider range of potential disciplines for students to experiment with as they discover what manner of study or skill training suits them best.

For those interested in the programs, contact information is available at the MOE's website.
資料來源: 台灣英文新聞/ 報導日期: 2018-05-04 點閱人次: 138人