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Academics push for tuition-free Taiwan universities

To highlight the growing disparity between income and the cost of higher education, a group of academics made their case Monday that Taiwan’s higher education system should eventually be tuition-free.

Chung Ming-lun, a student pursuing a doctorate in education at National Taiwan Normal University, said that in the past, a high school degree holder had no trouble landing a job. However, companies tended to look for college graduates nowadays and offer them inadequate starting salaries, a form of exploitation, he said.

He continued that the expenses students have to pay to become part of Taiwan’s labor system should be shared by society. The short-term goal is to lower tuition fees, with the aim of eventually abolishing them for higher learning institutions altogether, he said.

Chung made the remarks with other academics from Taiwan Normal University, National Cheng Kung University, National Hsinchu University of Education at a conference held in Taipei earlier in the day.

The Education Ministry is due to release its latest formula for calculating the country’s college tuition fees in March. The group said should the government increase tuition fees, it planned to initiate further measures to protest against such a decision.

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