Low birth rate challenges higher education – Ministry

The higher education system in Taiwan could face challenges due to the shrinking birth rate, the Ministry of Education said last week, predicting that student populations of universities and colleges will drop by 40% between 2013 and 2028, write Hsu Chi-wei and Lee Hsin-Yin for Focus Taiwan.

By 2028, there will only be 723,000 such students, said Deputy Education Minister Yao Leeh-ter while answering questions from lawmakers at the Legislative Yuan about the impact of the low birth rate on higher education. The decreasing student population will affect those universities' finances and be a waste of higher education resources, such as idle facilities and faculties, Yao said.

To minimise the impact, the ministry has been encouraging more exchanges between universities to prepare for possible mergers, he said, adding that collaboration between industry and universities is also one of the ministry's goals. It is also drafting regulations to better supervise and correct poorly performing universities, Yao said.
Full report on the Focus Taiwan site