1994, Taiwan's literacy rate had jumped to 94%, a 34% increase from 1952 when
less than 60% of people older than 15 could read and write. Compulsory
education is for children between the ages of 6 - 15 and was increased to nine
years, thus extending to education to when students finish junior high
The pass rate for junior high graduates on their high school
entrance exam is a low 20%, about 2/3 attending a vocational school. About
700,000 students attend over a hundred available universities and colleges in
is strongly emphasized in Taiwan, and a large share of national expenditures is
allocated for educational purposes. In FY2001, government spending for
education exceeded US $16.31 billion, or roughly 5.89 percent of the GNP (4.22
percent for public schools and 1.67 percent for private ones. Since 1968,
nine years of education has been compulsory in Taiwan. Furthermore, a wide
range of other educational options is available to citizens of all ages.
Nearly one-fourth of the total population (23.9 percent) is currently attending
an educational institution of some type. In school year (SY) 2001, the
number of students per class was 35.2 and the student-teacher ratio was
19.71:1. As of the end of 2001, the national illiteracy rate for adults
over 15 years of age was 4.21 percent.
preschool education in Taiwan is optional. In SY2001, 242,303 children
attended 3,234 registered preschools, of which 1,288 were public schools and
1,946 were private. The preschool enrollment rate was 26.96 percent - a
long way from Taiwan's ideal rate of 80 percent.
Ministry of Education (MOE) has recognized the need for preschools and is
working to increase their number by affiliating them with existing elementary
schools, often using the same facilities. So far, 1,250 such affiliated
preschools have been set up in Taiwan.
law not only entitles all children to at least six years of basic education, but
also stipulates that all children between six and 15 must receive ix years of
elementary education and three years of junior high education.
SY2001, the net enrollment rate of elementary school students eligible for
universal public education was 99.95 percent ,and almost all (99.64 percent)
children eligible to begin their first year of elementary school were enrolled
that year. That same year, 99.15 percent of elementary school graduates
continued on to junior high school, and 95.97 percent of junior high school
graduates continued their studies.
school in Taiwan is a comprehensive educational system that provides students
with various programs for stimulating intellectual development, allowing them to
explore different career interests. A multilateral educational system that
immediately follows the nine-year compulsory curriculum, secondary schools in
Taiwan assign students to one of three types of institutions after junior high
school based on a range of actors. Programs vary in length, although those
schools oriented toward college entrance are usually the longest and most
the 302, 767 junior high graduates in SY2000, 127,364 entered senior high
schools' 115,517 went into three-year senior vocational schools' about 20,000
studied at various supplementary schools; about 20,000 studied at various
supplementary schools; 27,901 went directly into five-year "junior
colleges," which also cover a student's high-school years; and 19.912
attended the Practical Technical Program. Only 4.03 percent of the
students who complete their nine years of compulsory education did not continue
SY2001, senior high schools focused primarily on training students to pass the
Joint University Entrance Examination (JUEE), which was a requirement for all
students entering college. In SY2001, there were at total of 370,980
senior high school students, and the ration of senior high school students to
senior vocational students was 49.5 to 50.5. In SY2001, 70.73 percent of
senior high school graduates chose to pursue higher education.
educational policies allow all levels of training to be integrated while
maintaining enough variety to meet the needs of students. The Voluntary
Promotion Scheme for Junior High School Graduates Entering Senior High Schools
is an integrated system that provides students with the option of attending a
comprehensive junior-senior high school.
education includes junior colleges, colleges, universities, and graduate
programs. College and university enrollment in SY2001 was 48.78 per 1,000
of the total population, and if the two open universities and continuing
education are included, this percentage was 54.10, ranking Taiwan relatively
high in the world.
from Taiwan's five-year junior colleges, which usually enroll students
immediately after junior high school, there are also two-year junior colleges,
technical and other colleges, and universities.
theory, students can test into any higher institution from either senior high or
senior vocational school. Students who complete any junior college program
may take the relevant examinations to enter college or university as
freshmen. If offered by the college or university, students may also take
a transfer test held by specific departments to enter as sophomores or
juniors. Private medical colleges enroll transfer students through a joint
and colleges in Taiwan offer a wide variety of master's and doctoral programs,
which are also entered through either individual competitive examination or
directly from college or university. In SY2001, there were 57
universities, 78 independent colleges, and 19 junior colleges. A total of
1,187,225 undergraduates were enrolled, and there were 103,213 graduate students
in 1,668 graduate programs.
education includes programs and facilities for gifted children, as well as those
with special needs due to handicaps or learning disabilities. Taiwan has
special schools for blind, deaf, physically handicapped, and mentally
handicapped students. For the most part, these schools are run by the
government and parallel the mainstream educational system, extending from
preschool through senior vocational school. In SY2002, there were5,654 students
enrolled in 23 such schools.
total of 151 schools offered classes for "gifted" students, and
another 467 schools provided classes for "talented" students in
SY2001. Most gifted and talented students are still educated in regular
schools, but also have special programs available to meet their specific
needs. Gifted students are defined as those who have superior abilities in
either mathematics or the sciences, and talented students are those who excel in
such areas as music, fine arts, dance, or sports.
MOE supports a number of social education programs under the Social Education
Law. These programs include support for supplementary education, adult
education, and other services such as museums, libraries, exhibition centers,
social education centers, and cultural centers.
schools may be public or private. Most students receive certificates upon
graduation, and some may receive diplomas equivalent in level to those in the
mainstream system by passing examinations. The top schools in the
supplementary system are open universities. National Open University has
been in operation since 1987, and the new Open University of Kaohsiung in
southern Taiwan began enrolling undergraduates in 1997.
education includes compulsory, advanced, and short-term education.
Supplementary schools are attached to regular schools at their corresponding
levels in the mainstream either as correspondence schools or night schools, and
most also offer weekend classes.
SY2001, 231,322 students were enrolled in 876 supplementary schools, with
approximately 35,329 students in 642 elementary and junior high schools; 5,400
senior high and 104,943 senior vocational students in 234 schools; 76,091
students in 45 junior colleges; 9.569 students in 31 supplementary colleges; and
33,681 students in Taiwan's two open universities.
Education Outside of Taiwan
August 2001, the MOE announced that universities in Taiwan would be allowed to
open extension programs outside of Taiwan. This change in policy was in
response to local universities' demands to offer extension programs for Taiwan
businessmen in Southeast Asia and in China, as these two areas have the highest
concentration of Taiwanese expatriates.
this new plan, credits earned in an extension program are applicable towards
wither a bachelor's or master's degree. In addition, current regulations
are being further revised so as to accommodate overseas education programs as
education classes are offered in such areas as writing skills, practical
mathematics, and civics. Technical classes in basic job skills are also
available at training centers. In addition, Taiwan's two open universities
offer classes through radio and correspondence that can lead to a bachelor's
degree, and these programs are available to all senior high school graduates or
equivalent secondary education students. National Education Radio, the
Chinese Television System's e-college, and school-on-the-air also offer such
educational system is a mixed success. Although literacy is high and
educational opportunities are varied and wide accessible, a number of reform
measures have still be undertaken by the government over the past few years in
order to improve the system even further. For example, in the past, a
single joint examination was the sole route to enter senior high schools,
whereas today, students can enter via assignment, application, or selection by
recommendation. Beginning in SY2001, junior high graduates have to pass
the Basic Achievement Test for Junior High Students (BAT).
BAT, which is held twice per year, covers the following subjects : Chinese,
English, mathematics, national sciences, and social sciences. The BAT is
the primary index for admission into secondary institutions. After
obtaining a BAT score, students can then file applications, be selected by
recommendation, or get assigned based on their BAT achievement to a secondary
institution. Beginning in SY2002, all junior high school graduates
planning on entering senior high schools, vocational high schools, or five-year
junior colleges are required to submit a BAT result.
school graduates recommended and selected are required to pass the general
Scholastic Attainment Test for College-Bound Seniors (SAT) and the College
Testing of Proficiency for Selected Subjects of College-Bound Seniors (CTPSS).
Taiwan's increasing number of colleges and universities has reduced the
competitive pressure of examinations.
in 2002, the JUEE was replaced by a new system that consisted of either
application, selection by recommendation, or the new JUEE. For
application, student will first have to pass the general SAT and then apply
individually to the universities they wish to attend. For selection by
recommendation, a senior high school will have to write a recommendation on the
student's behalf, and a quota will be set to limit the number of students each
school can recommend. Recommended students must then take the SAT and the
CTPSS. The new JUEE is divided into three different examination
models. Models A and B will both require the SAT test, but each will test
different subjects for the CTPSS, depending on the college. Model C is the
same as the current JUEE.
SY2002, the application and selection by recommendation methods only covered a
quarter of the total students admitted into colleges, with the current JUEE
(model C) accounting for 40 percent to minimize the concerns of students.
That year, 69.76 percent of all students who took the new JUEE passed the
examination, an increase of more than five percent of SY2001.
MOE is also continuing to its policy, begun in 1993, of gradually reducing class
sizes for all junior high and elementary schools. By SY2001, the student
to teacher ratio had been reduced to 19.71 to 1. In addition, social
science and history textbooks are being rewritten wit ha stronger emphasis on
Taiwanese history and culture, as well as world topics.
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