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Protesters oppose MOE decision to approve university tuition

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:44 pm    Post subject: Protesters oppose MOE decision to approve university tuition Reply with quote

A group of protesters yesterday staged a demonstration in front of the Ministry of Education (MOE, 教育部) in Taipei to voice their anger over the MOE's decision to approve a tuition fee hike at a number of local universities.

A student representative of the alliance, surnamed Lee, told local media that the MOE should not let local schools increase tuition fees year after year.

"Some of these schools that the MOE approved tuition fee hikes for have an annual surplus up to NT$100 million, while others have more than 40 percent of their students coming from underprivileged families," Lee said.

These schools are not supposed to hike tuition fees, Lee said.

The alliance said the MOE did not take screening the tuition fee hike proposals seriously and the whole process was not transparent.

Instead of asking students to pay more, the alliance urged the MOE to impose taxes on local enterprises and have them pay more to support higher education.

In response, MOE Department of Higher Education section chief Lee Hui-min (李惠敏) yesterday said the MOE did take the screening process seriously.

Twenty-three colleges applied for an increase in tuition fees this year.

The MOE formed a group of 15 scholars and specialists to audit those applications and decided to increase fees by between 1.89 percent and 2.5 percent for nine schools.

Ultimately, the ministry approved only nine out of 23 colleges, the MOE section chief said.

Unfortunately this tuition hike will fall disproportionately on the poor for it is the poor that see an education as a way out of poverty much like a poor man down on his luck sees a big win on the horses as a way out of penury. Poor families and their poor children are sold the education dream by shady university marketeers who promote the idea that a degree equals a secure and prosperous future. Nothing could be further from the truth. The facts are that most Taiwanese degrees are not worth the paper they're written on and will only bring financial ruin and untold misery for the poor student who has to work like a dog in a low-paid position in order to pay back money lent to them by the MOE. Back in 2012 the MOE changed the law and apparently made repayments easier for students, but the truth was that they just extended the time in which the student has to repay. In other words the MOE and the Taiwanese government were giving students the illusion that they were better off but the truth is that nothing changed at all: Taiwanese students are still being screwed. The only way for poor students to combat this is to give up the education dream, work for a while, and start their own business. At least they'd have a chance of making some money in this scenario.
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