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MOE announces goals for bilingual higher education: 6 bilingual benchmark universities by 2030 (by United Daily News)

(by United Daily News)
2021-05-06

To turn Taiwan into a bilingual country, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said that besides encouraging the establishment of English-taught courses at universities, it gives priority to internationally competitive higher-education institutions to transform them into bilingual benchmark universities or colleges. The MOE set a goal for 3 benchmark universities by 2024, and 6 by 2030. Several top universities declared that they will compete to be selected as benchmark institutions. The MOE will also evaluate and select benchmark bilingual colleges: 18 by 2024, and 30 by 2030.

The MOE said that in 2024, at least 25 percent of second-year undergraduates of benchmark universities and colleges will have English language abilities at the B2 language proficiency level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale and at least 20 percent of second-year undergraduates and first-year master program students of benchmark schools will complete more than 20 percent of their course credits in English that year.

The Department of Higher Education, MOE, said that by 2030, at least 50 percent of second-year undergraduates of benchmark universities shall achieve B2 level or above in English language listening, speaking, reading, and writing and that at least 50 percent of second-year undergraduates and master program students of benchmark schools will complete more than 50 percent of course credits in English that year.

NSYSU President Ying-Yao Cheng said that NSYSU has already fulfilled the requirements for application (5% of undergraduate and 10% of postgraduate courses taught in English) and that the University has been progressing towards the goal of English-language education since 2018: this year, 10% of the faculty members are international and the percentage is set to increase to 20% by 2030. The University offers 156 undergraduate courses in English, which equals to 8% of the total number of undergraduate courses. For graduate courses, the ratio stands at 18%, with 391 courses taught in English. Every semester, the University offers 15 to 20 general education courses and works towards increasing the proportion of obligatory courses in English for each department.

NSYSU Vice President for Academic Affairs Po-Chiao Lin said that starting from the next academic year, the Department of Electrical Engineering, the Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering, and the Department of Chemistry will start recruiting students for English-language programs as the first departments of the University. By 2030, there will be English-taught undergraduate courses at every department of the University.

Senior Vice President of National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) Professor Nyan-Hwa Tai said that NTHU fulfilled the requirements for application and that the professors have sufficient teaching capacity. Currently, 40% of the University’s faculty members have ever offered courses in English, compared to the nationwide average of about 18%. He said that NTHU will surely become a benchmark university, and this will help it gradually improve students’ ability to express themselves in English and attract international students.

President of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages (WZU) Margaret Mei-Hua Chen said that WZU has been promoting education in English for 50 years and will certainly become one of the benchmark universities. She said that WZU admits non-top students in Taiwan and thus implementing education in English is more difficult, however, WZU must uphold its principle of "not giving up on any student".

(Article by United Daily News)
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