Several local private universities, including Chinese Culture University, Feng Chia University, Providence University, and Shih Chien University were bluntly named and predicted that they would be forced to close down within next ten years due to the low enrollment incurred by low birthrate. The person who foretold this prophecy was Dr. Kao An Bang, president of Kainan University, whose school was also on his shutdown list. Coincident with Kao’s uncomfortable but true speech, the Ministry of Education announced its plan to allow national universities to merge in order to cope with low enrollment problem.
Though the named schools all made an immediate sharp retort against Kao’s words and told him to just mind his own school, the school administrators had all sensed that Kao was telling the truth and running the school would be more difficult in the future.
It is too late now to fault the MOE for making the sloppy decision and blindly allowing the establishment of private universities and colleges a decade ago. Private universities and colleges would have to deal with their own survival problem by their own.
The declining number of high school students was the part that has been affecting college enrollment; however, there are still other channels to be explored to enlarge the basis for recruitment. For instance, international students, especially high school students from China, should be targeted. Almost all local universities are trying everything they can to recruit students from the Mainland. Furthermore, the largest potential student population is actually lying locally. Continuing education is a very big cake enough for all schools to share. If suitable programs are launched for people in need of furthering their training on job, the business prospective would be very optimistic.