Kao Feng College of Digital Contents located in Ping-tung County announced its closedown in March. The Ministry of Education said that they would make sure that the remaining six hundred or so students transfer to other schools but did not say a word about relocating the twenty-nine teachers left. Lacking of fresh capital input, Kao Feng has been suffering from low enrollment and heavy burden of long overdue of teachers’ paycheck, leading to its closure, said its president. However, many believed that this school was doomed due to a policy wrongly implemented by education authorities some fifteen years ago.
Beginning in the early nineties of the last century, disregarding the warnings issued by educators and demographic statisticians, the Ministry of Education opened the gate to let many junior colleges upgrade to become technical universities and allow private conglomerates to establish new colleges. Though educational officials justified this policy as a way to boost up the educational level of our young generation, it did not take long to expose problems foreseen by experts. Taiwan was too small an island to have over one hundred and sixty universities and colleges and Taiwan’s low annual birthrate of no more than 300,000 since early 1980s was not substantially enough to support all those higher educational facilities to function normally. Thus, the limited educational resources were seriously diluted, subsequently causing the decline of the education quality; the ongoing low birthrate made many schools lower their standard to recruit any students who desire a diploma. When people suddenly realize how low the academic level of our college students is, any remedial measures were seen too weak and too late.
It is predicted that in the near future more colleges and universities might follow Kao Feng’s steps. From Darwinian point of view, this may be a fine time to let the unfit go so that the fittest can survive.
I feel sympathy for the fellow teachers who lost their jobs and count my blessings that our school is located in suburban Taipei instead of remote countries in southern Taiwan.