Fears in Taiwan over downside of education boom

When Hsu Chung-hsin went to university three decades ago he became part of a small elite in Taiwan. Now virtually everyone can enter higher education, the AFP reports. That, he thinks, is deplorable.

“It’s become so easy. As long as you’re willing to pay the tuition, you can go to university. That’s no good,” said Hsu, a legislator with a PhD in law from Cambridge.

“It doesn’t influence the top universities. It’s the low-end universities that are affected. Their quality is low. The teaching is not so serious and the students are not so hard-working.”

Declining birth rates and an explosion in the number of universities — there are more than 160 for a population of 23 million — mean the vast majority of high school students gain entry to higher education. Taiwan had a total of 1.35 million university students at the end of June 2012, according to Ministry of Education figures…

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