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Can I get a job at a university?
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TaoyuanSteve



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 1028
Location: Taoyuan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yamahuh wrote:
TaoyuanSteve wrote:
I think the salary figures obscure the reality for a lot of the instructors here. The salary is based on something like 14 contact hours per week and is paid for 13 months, while the instructor only works 10. Yes, the salary isn't earth-shattering .....


What kind of salary are we talking about?

13 months pay for 10 months work doesn't sound too bad to me - probably get paid for summer vacations - essentially getting your vacation away from Taiwan / travel around Asia / flight home paid for.

Doesn't exactly sound horrible....


I was referring to the discussion of college instructor salaries in this thread. It was suggested that they were very low and insufficient. My point was there are extra benefits involved (bonuses and paid holidays) and that the figures are based on what amounts to part-time hours. Definitely not bad when you consider everything.
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 313
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taoyuan Steve,

University licensed instructors are limited to the kind of work and how many hours they can work outside of their university. For example, they cannot teach at a buxiban or non-government agency. Typically, teachers can only teach at other government agencies or universities and are limited to the number of hours they teach - i.e., 4 hours max. So they can't just go and "moonlight" anywhere.

However, if you consider the university teacher's schedule, it's not all that bad if you enjoy time off. True, teachers need to focus on keeping their heart rate down when dealing with Taiwanese students; and if they can do this they're usually fine. 65 - 75 unmotivated, completely disengaged students in a single class is not unusual. They are 18 - 23 year old children, essentially. Children being the key word here. Some are adult-like and show genuine interest while the vast majority are tough to work with.

A 4 day work week, 10 hours a week, and on the job for only 6 1/2 - 7 moths a year. Most university jobs have schedules that result in about 5 months or 5 1/2 months paid vacation every year. There's also the bonus at CNY which amounts to another 1.5 months - 2 months of salary.

If one were to add up all of the hours taught in a single year, they are making a pretty high salary for the work they do in Taiwan. The salaries are of course higher in Korea and in Japan but those teachers work more hours and get less paid time off than university EFL teachers in Taiwan.

I know university English teachers in Taipei that are off for summer vacation from about the second week of June and do not return to class until the middle of September! It's like semi-retirement! So these guys get most of June, and all of July and August, and half of September off - fully paid. That's about 3 months of paid vacation! They get a long stretch of time off again for winter vacation when they get most of January and half of February off. Throw in the spring break holiday and other national and school holidays, and it is really only a 7 month a year job.

If all one really cares about is paid time off and having a high salary isn't all that important nor are the rewards of working with good students, then Taiwan ranks right up there as one of the best in terms of places to teach EFL at a university. If high salary and having motivated and enthusiastic students are important factors, then Taiwan is definitely not the place to look for an EFL university teaching job.
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7168Riyadh



Joined: 19 Jan 2009
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:20 pm    Post subject: getting a job at a Taiwan university Reply with quote

I tried to get into a university in Taiwan, but actually it's not that easy these days and a CELTA is definitely not enough. You'll need an MA, preferably in English, TESOL or Applied linguistics just to get your foot in the door. It can be a good job and does have its benefits, but its like going nowhere. And even if you did get a job, you'd be teaching "Oral English." Anyone know what that is? I don't, and there's no such thing as "Conversational English" either. Basically, you'll get tasked to do what many Taiwanese teachers can't do, or are too lazy to do--teach. While you're sweating away, they'll be working on an article for publication/promotion.
On the other hand, Taiwan is a great place and much more interesting than most places in the Middle East. Don't let me put you off going there. You can make quite good money in some of the private schools. It'll be a great experience, but very few succeed in making a good career out of teaching there (some do, I might add. Check out Micheal Turton's blog The View From Taiwan. He's a bit of a nut, but has done very well in the Taiwan university system and has a good page on how to go about getting a job at a university.) Good Lucky.
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yamahuh



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1026
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JZer wrote:
The salaries for working as a university EFL instructor have already been posted! And not only in this thread!


Well, in the time it took you to write this you could have just told me.
Have you tried to use the 'Search' function lately? All I get is a white screen with no info every time I try to search keywords - so pardon me for asking...

Rolling Eyes
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romanworld



Joined: 27 May 2008
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shimokitazawa wrote:
University licensed instructors are limited to the kind of work and how many hours they can work outside of their university. For example, they cannot teach at a buxiban or non-government agency. Typically, teachers can only teach at other government agencies or universities and are limited to the number of hours they teach - i.e., 4 hours max. So they can't just go and "moonlight" anywhere.


This info is correct.

Just wanna throw in this idea: If universities in Taiwan paid a quality salary, teachers wouldn't have to moonlight. For example, how many teachers working in an ELC would have the money to buy an apartment in Taipei? Even buying a nice car would be a struggle on a university instructors salary. I really only started making money when I left Taiwan. If I'd have stayed, I'd still be living from one salary to the next. THis btw isn't living . . . it's merely surviving.
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creztor



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 476

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all fairness, I doubt anyone working a "normal" job in Taipei could afford to buy a house now. Have you seen the prices? Anyway, lots of feedback here and I am sure many people are grateful for romanworld's and everyone else's input.

I do have a question of my own about the "licensed instructors" not being able to work at other places, private at least. Is this part of their contract or something else? I assume it must be part of the contract because if you had an APRC or JFRV then that is the only way I could see it being possible to enforce something like this, stipulated in the contract. Is this the case?
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 313
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

romanworld wrote:
Shimokitazawa wrote:
University licensed instructors are limited to the kind of work and how many hours they can work outside of their university. For example, they cannot teach at a buxiban or non-government agency. Typically, teachers can only teach at other government agencies or universities and are limited to the number of hours they teach - i.e., 4 hours max. So they can't just go and "moonlight" anywhere.


This info is correct.

Just wanna throw in this idea: If universities in Taiwan paid a quality salary, teachers wouldn't have to moonlight. For example, how many teachers working in an ELC would have the money to buy an apartment in Taipei? Even buying a nice car would be a struggle on a university instructors salary. I really only started making money when I left Taiwan. If I'd have stayed, I'd still be living from one salary to the next. THis btw isn't living . . . it's merely surviving.


Romanworld, I agree with you.

To put this into perspective, I know a few teachers teaching at National and Private universities in Japan. And they are teaching generally the same kinds of EFL Lab type classes as people I know teaching at Taiwanese universities. However, they earn more in 4 months teaching in Japan than friends I know teaching at Taiwanese universities earn in an entire year! That's a huge salary disparity, even with the higher cost of living in Japan!

Two comments that resonate in this thread: (1) Teaching at a Taiwanese university is indeed a dead end job, and (2) One would never earn enough to purchase an apartment, or car, etc. if s/he were intending to stay long-term in Taiwan. On the other hand, I know several people teaching in universities in the M.E., Korea or Japan who have high enough salaries that they have been able to afford to do these things.

Bottom line, if one has all the relevant degrees, publications and some experience, I would not recommend them wasting their time trying to make a go of it in Taiwan at a university. There are much more lucrative and easier places to work and live.
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 313
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

creztor wrote:
In all fairness, I doubt anyone working a "normal" job in Taipei could afford to buy a house now. Have you seen the prices? Anyway, lots of feedback here and I am sure many people are grateful for romanworld's and everyone else's input.

I do have a question of my own about the "licensed instructors" not being able to work at other places, private at least. Is this part of their contract or something else? I assume it must be part of the contract because if you had an APRC or JFRV then that is the only way I could see it being possible to enforce something like this, stipulated in the contract. Is this the case?


Creztor,

Yes, you are correct. I know friends teaching in Taiwan who have APRC and who are not subject to the outside work restrictions that ARC holding instructors must observe.

All university instructors must apply for and obtain a "Certificate of Lectureship" from the MoE in order to teach legally at a university in Taiwan. It is essentially a teaching license. The university that hires a new instructor helps the teacher fill out all of the required forms and then submits the documents to the MoE so that a new teacher can obtain his/her license.

So, for example, if you were hired as an "Assistant Professor", then the university that hired you would submit documents on your behalf so that you could obtain your Certificate of Assistant Professorship from the Ministry of Education. Once you receive this license, it is yours to keep. However, if you were to ever quit your job at that university and apply for a new job at another university, you would have to submit this license to the new university as proof that you are legally entitled to teach at the Assistant Professor level in a Taiwanese university. So all instructors teaching in Taiwanese universities must hold such a license issued by the MoE.

Taiwan is unique in this regard. Other countries in the region such as Korea, Japan and China do not require such a license. I was told that this is a remnant of the old KMT bureaucracy.

At any rate, university instructors in Taiwan are not regarded in the same way as buxiban teachers - at least not in terms of immigration / visa status.

I don't teach at a Taiwanese university. However, I have / had close friends who explained this to me. Maybe Romanworld or JZer, or anyone else with university teaching experience in Taiwan can clarify this with more specific information for people here.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

romanworld wrote:
JZer wrote:
I think romanworld's point is that if someone has an M.A. in Linguistics or TESOL they can earn a better living in other countries. 50,000NT-60,000NT to work at a university in Taiwan is nothing.


JZer hits the nail right on the head. Salaries are pitifully low in the universities in Taiwan. Newbies think that Taiwan is Third World and the cost of living is very low, but this is a mistake. The issue is that many westerners that live in Taiwan want a Western lifestyle while resident there. This means that rents can be expensive, especially if you're living in foreign ghettoes like Tienmu, and trips to Western-style supermarkers can also be pricey.

Another reason to look before you leap is that the management structure is biased towards Taiwanese profs. Westerners are often overlooked when it comes to promotion for example. A friend of mine used to work at Ming Chuan University, and ranted and raved all the time about how he'd published numerous articles and attended numerous conferences, but his efforts at moving up the academic ladder were constantly stymied.

A final reason to be cautious is that these days there are too many academics chasing few too jobs. I read somewhere that there are over 600 Taiwanese Ph.ds teaching in High Schools across Taiwan because there are no jobs in the universities.(The reason for this dire situation is the explosion of new colleges and universities in the 90s, followed by a falling birth rate that has become a critical problem for Taiwan. In fact, the President of Taiwan has just held an emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss ways of tackling this issue.) No wonder then that English Language Centres attached to the universities are asking candidates to hold a qualification in the area that they want to teach. So with a Masters in Social Work, I don't rate your chances. Also, you need to realise that there is much cronyism in Taiwan and most jobs go to people that are known and trusted and are already in the 'system'.

My advice is look elsewhere. The HE sector in Taiwan is in crisis and all indicators suggest that it will get a lot worse . . .


Sorry, yamahuh the salary was posted on the first page of this thread. Is it so difficult to go to the first page and read it?
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

National Yunlin University of Science and Technology , Taiwan was advertising a job in which they want the instructor to be on campus 40 hours a week. The salary was not mentioned.
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markcmc



Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 232
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JZer wrote:
National Yunlin University of Science and Technology , Taiwan was advertising a job in which they want the instructor to be on campus 40 hours a week. The salary was not mentioned.


I think this is becoming more common. I work part-time in a couple of universities, and one of them has all full-time staff work 5 days a week for 7 hours a day - even when they are only teaching for a total of 12 hours a week.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you give us an idea what those universities are paying full time English instructors? Just want to confirm whether 50,000-60,000 is an accurate number!
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markcmc



Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 232
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I know 48,0000NT-60,000NT is is a typical range. A number of teachers I've spoken to are earning something closer to the lower figure. However, I haven't asked all the teachers this question.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had seen advertisements offering 48,000 for Hualian and Ilan last year. I cannot seem to find any advertisements that post salaries. There is a job opening at Central University but they don't give the salary.
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 313
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JZer wrote:
National Yunlin University of Science and Technology , Taiwan was advertising a job in which they want the instructor to be on campus 40 hours a week. The salary was not mentioned.


Right, I also saw this same school advertising these positions last year. Other universities in Taiwan also hire foreign EFL teachers under similar conditions.

This can be confusing for people. All I can say is that the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology job mentioned above is not a academic position. These teachers are not regarded as bona fide faculty and do not work under MoE stipulated conditions and *probably* do not need to hold a Certificate of Lectureship.

In short, these teachers are regarded in much the same way as the secretary and other office and administrative staff in the university. They are not deemed as academic faculty. They are essentially "staff" - not professors / academic faculty.

I know a guy who is an Associate Professor at a National University in Taipei. He and his foreign colleagues all have their own private offices, research / book allowances, and teach about 12 hours per week. When he started, he was given 2 new computers - a desktop and notebook and also a printer for his office.

However, this same university also hires foreign EFL teachers under contracts like the one advertised by National Yunlin University of Science and Technology. These teachers all sit in one big room that they share as an office and are on campus about 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. They all share a couple of computer terminals and a printer. They do not receive research allowances or any of the other support or *perks* that the academic faculty receive. They also do not enjoy the long summer and winter vacations.

The difference between Staff and Faculty positions is ridiculous. The two are not even close to being the same thing. Maybe this is a growing trend now for Taiwanese universities to hire native speaking EFL teachers under these Staff contracts.
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