In recent years, Taiwan has demonstrated strong policy change to counteract the potential threats brought upon by globalisation such as the opening of the higher education market to a foreign trade partner and increasing competition from neighbouring countries. In light of these challenges, the Taiwanese government launched a series of unprecedented mega-sized initiatives in the hope of enhancing the quality of the country's higher education in the global sphere. These programmes outlined two major themes: internationalisation and the quest for world-class universities. This paper depicts four major government initiatives and their impact on Taiwan's higher education, as well as the controversy that surrounds them. Some policy trends are observed in these programs: strong emphasis on research, strong emphasis on science and technology, further stratification of the higher education system, attempts to advance academic excellence through internationalisation, multiple functions of the government grants, and the Ministry of Education's continuing endeavour to direct university development and be outwardly “fair” to colleges and universities.
Asia Pacific Journal of Education 27(3), pp.323-340