NATIONAL CHENG KUNG UNIVERSITY, TAINAN, TAIWAN
BANYAN
Volume 13 Issue 7 - April 23, 2010
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Commentary
Yue-Dian Hsu
Anticipating a Well Functioning University Numerous Stars Program
Article Digest
Jang-Yu Hsu
Molecular Dynamics Study of Thermal Conductivity of Carbon Nanotubes
Mau-Phon Houng
Analysis and Suppression on Simultaneous Switching Noise Coupling Between Multi-Cavities For Multilayer PCBs
Shih-Chun Hsiao
On the evolution and run-up of breaking solitary waves on a mild sloping beach
San-Ching Wang
WRITING FORMATIONS IN DUN-HUANG MANUSCRIPTS AND EASTERN CULTURES
News Release
NCKU Press Center
NCKU Prof. Jhing-Fa Wang Promotes Orange Technology
NCKU Press Center
AUO Chief Technology Officer and Deputy General Fang-Chen Luo Delivered Speech at NCKU on April 12th
Banyan Forum
Opportunities
Activities
Editorial Group
Anticipating a Well Functioning University Numerous Stars Program
Distinguished Professor and Chairperson, Department of Law, National Cheng Kung University
The admission list of the 2010 University Numerous Stars Program was released recently. While I am happy to see high school students from various regions can enter universities to receive higher education, it is disappointing that many of them are from elite high school. Moreover, regional prestigious and private high schools snatched most quotas. Only a small portion is awarded to remote area students. This fails to fulfill the Program's mission to urge fairness and equal opportunities for all of Taiwan's high school students by giving priority admission to disadvantaged ones.

To attain the goals of cultivating homogeneous quality among high schools, regional equilibrium, and social responsibilities of universities, the Ministry of Education (MOE) drew up the University Numerous Stars Program to lessen elite high schools' impact and localize senior high schools, which will help bridge the gap between urban and rural areas. In the Republic of China, local governments enjoy insufficient autonomy in sourcing tax fund, and their natural and economic conditions depend largely on the subsidy and tax redistribution fund allocated from the central government. As a result, individual citizen is bestowed unequal or disparate public educational resources. In fact, rural residents receive inferior material, societal, or cultural investment compared to urban ones.

The Constitution of the Republic of China, endorsing the “Principle of People's Livelihood” and “for the people” in the Three Principles of the People, adopts Welfare State as its fundamental principle. Therefore, the principle of Welfare State is a legally effective and formalized Constitutional rule, which should govern all state powers. While one of the core components of Welfare State is social justice, meaning the state is obliged to harmonize conflicts and contradictions induced by power distribution, poverty, education attainment, gender, etc., and strive to realize social equality.

In light of this, the state has the duty and obligation to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas, a major contributing factor to children's academic performance. Hence MOE's University Numerous Stars Program, as a solution to reduce educational barriers for remote area students and facilitate localization of senior high schools, is acknowledged by the Constitution. However, the Program allocates admission quotas according to total school student numbers, leading to more admission quotas for metropolitan schools, thus is not only unhelpful for bridging the gap, but also counterproductive to the Program's mission.

The Program formulates that graduating students with continuous study in the same institution and a top 20% school ranking are eligible for recommendation. This means both elite and remote high schools employ student numbers as the bar. It turns out that while the Program's Coordination Center is executing admission procedures according to SAT standards required by university departments, high school recommendation priority and prioritized criteria, elite high schools still enjoy more competitive edge in grabbing admission quotas. The gap between urban and rural areas is thus carved deeper and the nation is moving farther away from achieving social justice.

The Program's admission guidelines set school academic ranking percentage as the first order criterion, and then come individual subject SAT percentile rank, total SAT percentile rank, or school ranking percentage of individual subject average scores. This means that SAT scores are a determining factor of admission. Since elite high schools are advantaged in student numbers and SAT scores, they can easily snatch admission quotas and paralyze the Program's mission for realizing social justice.

The logic, if explained plainly, is that only the top 20% ranking students are eligible for recommendation. Therefore the recommended elite high school students must be academically outstanding ones schoolwide or even nationwide. They can enter top-tier universities through the Selection route. Owing to lack of exclusion articles in the Program, remote area students are subsequently deprived of the chances. If the faults cannot be fixed, not only will the Stars Program fail to fulfill its missions, it will inevitably be reduced as a sacrifice for elite high schools and academic credentialism.

To conclude my thesis, I propose the Ministry of Education should differentiate its educational policies. Contrary to the elite Selection Admission policy, the Stars Program should be intended to extend the policy of Localization of Senior High Schools. They should be well defined and distinguished from each other; otherwise the so-called “numerous stars” are still rare spots under elite high schools' corona.

Picture, Design & Layout : Ivan Tarn
Translation : Helen Chang, The Banyan Editorial Office
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