NATIONAL CHENG KUNG UNIVERSITY, TAINAN, TAIWAN
BANYAN
Volume 3 Issue 10 - April 11, 2008
Commentary
Da Hsuan Feng
Classification of High Education Institutions: Blueprint for Regional Intellectual and Economic Developments?
Article Digest
Sheng-Yuan Chu
Effects of the MnO additives on the properties of Pb(Fe2/3W1/3)-PbTiO3 relaxors: comparison of empirical law and experimental results
Mei-Jywan Syu
Synthesis of bilirubin imprinted polymer thin film for the continuous detection of bilirubin in an MIP/QCM/FIA system
Teh-Lu Liao
Generalized projective synchronization of chaotic systems with unknown dead-zone input: observer-based approach
Min-Hsien Chiang
A Smooth Transition Autoregressive Conditional Duration Model
Po-See Chen
Brain function: neuroglia and epigenetics
Article Digest
Yueh-Nan Chen
Super-Poissonian noise in a quantum dot p-i-n junction
News Release
News
Cheng Kung University, Chung Hsing University and Sun Yat-Sen University Form the Taiwan T3 University League
News
The Faculty and students of Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School Visit Banyan Garden at NCKU
Opportunities
Activities
Editorial Group
Classification of High Education Institutions: Blueprint for Regional Intellectual and Economic Developments?
Da Hsuan Feng

Senior Executive Vice President, National Cheng Kung University

December 15, 2007

“A good army cannot only have generals. A good army cannot only have privates. A good army must have both. But that is still not enough. A private in a good army must have the chance, albeit small, to become a general someday, and a general could have the possibility of being demoted to a private, albeit slim.”

President Si-Chen Lee (李嗣涔校長) of National Taiwan University, President Tsong P. Perng (彭宗平校長) of Yuan Zi University (元智大學,) President Jei-Fu Shaw (蕭介夫校長) of National Chung Hsin University (國立中興大學,) I am deeply honored to be on this panel with you. You are clearly some of the major higher education architects of Taiwan.

In the 21st century, it is self evident that sufficient and robust higher education is a must for intellectual and economic development of nations, regions and continents.

I am still new to Taiwan and therefore am still learning about the higher education landscape here. As the new Senior Executive Vice President for NCKU, I was fortunate that in the past three months, I met a large number of truly outstanding individuals who all have the same concept vector of promoting higher education in Taiwan. This is indeed gratifying to me.

I also learned that in Taiwan, there are basically two types of post-secondary education institutions: National and Private. In the vernacular of the US system, that would be called “public” and “private.” Within the national category, there are basically two categories, although the separation line for these two camps is quite fuzzy. They are the research intensive universities, typified by “Tai-Cheng-Ching-Chiao,” (台成清交) and the large number of “Science and Technology” universities, typified by Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology (南台科技大學) and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (國立台灣科技大學), the former a private university in Tainan and the latter, not to be confused with National Taiwan University, is a national one in Taipei. I am hardly an expert in Taiwan education, and therefore will defer to the experts to teach me in the coming days.

There are now growing numbers of private universities in Taiwan, typified by Chung-Yuan University (中原大學) and Tunghai University (東海大學). Although “private,” unlike those in the United States where private universities are absolutely “private”, the Ministry of Education still appear to wield considerable influence, if not control, on the operations of these private institutions, thus rendering their growth at times to appear limited. Will there be a Harvard or a Stanford in Taiwan any day soon, I doubt it. Should there be? Absolutely! And watch out Asia, when that happens.

I should underline that, even with rudimentary knowledge, I find the entire higher education structure, just as the US system, rather intractable. This reminded me of a famous Chinese phrase, “the sparrow may be small, but it has a complete set of intestines!” (麻雀雖小﹐五臟俱全)

I learned in these three months that in the last two three decades, just as its economy, Taiwan higher education has gone through a metamorphosis. Literally “overnight,” it went from a “supremely elite” system to a “supremely common” system: from allowing only a few percent of students gaining entry to this form of education several decades ago to nearly 100%, yes, 100%, in 2007.

Copyright National Cheng Kung University