China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
October 8, 2015
Executive Summary: A few days ago, The Times "Higher Education" supplement published its global university rankings for 2016. Twenty-four universities on Taiwan made the list. But their overall performance was far from satisfactory, National Taiwan University fell 13 places to 167th. Tsinghua University, National Chiao Tung University , National Cheng Kung University fell even further, to 41st, 58th, and 73rd places respectively. Only the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, the leading technical and vocational institute on Taiwan, rose 25 places to 333rd, surpassing National Chiao Tung University and National Cheng Kung University. We must of course face the ugly truth. But in doing so, we must also be prudent. Education is a long term project. It must be carefully considered. We must not draw hasty conclusions or make ill-considered decisions.
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A few days ago, The Times "Higher Education" supplement published its global university rankings for 2016. Twenty-four universities on Taiwan made the list. But their overall performance was far from satisfactory, National Taiwan University fell 13 places to 167th. Tsinghua University, National Chiao Tung University , National Cheng Kung University fell even further, to 41st, 58th, and 73rd places respectively. Only the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, the leading technical and vocational institute on Taiwan, rose 25 places to 333rd, surpassing National Chiao Tung University and National Cheng Kung University. We must of course face the ugly truth. But in doing so, we must also be prudent. Education is a long term project. It must be carefully considered. We must not draw hasty conclusions or make ill-considered decisions.
According to The TImes official website, the survey adopted five criterion: teaching, research, dissertations, internationalization, and corporate sponsorship. The first three criteria accounted for 30% of the score. The latter two criteria accounted for 7.5% and 2.5% of the score respectively. Taiwan performed poorly according to all criteria. Only NTU received over 50 points for education, and 100 points for corporate contributions. National Chiao Tung University and Tai Keda received over 90 points. But 2.5% in weighted rankings failed to raise its final standing. Taiwan ranked lowest overal in internationalization. National Taiwan University and National Taiwan Normal University scored 38.1 points and 27.7 points. The University of Singapore ranked first in Asia for internationalization. It received 96.2 points. The University of Hong Kong received 99.5 points, a near perfect score. The shortfall between Taiwan and others is excessive. The same problem plagues Japan. The University of Tsukuba received 34.4 points. The University of Tokyo received 30.3 points. Japan's ranking also fell.
The internationalization index was only 7.5%. It was divided into three categories: internationalization of faculty, internationalization of students, and internationalization of cooperation. These indices put a non-English-speaking society and an island "nation" with limited resources at a disadvantage. But these bear on the previous categories. Teaching, research, and dissertations conducted in languages other than English suffer. For example, the colonial experience of Hong Kong and Singapore make English the most widely used language in society. Large numbers of English textbooks and books in other original languages are used. Internationalization is much easier to implement there than on Taiwan. English research is published in international journals. This enables much greater internationalization than on Taiwan. Rankings for many traditional schools in Japan, Korea and other countries have fallen over the years for this reason. If our government no longer values university internationalization, Taiwan's ranking will fall even more.
Last September, Japan's Ministry of Education declared that 13 schools would implement key reforms. Entrance exams would include TOEFL aptitude tests. The ratio of foreign teachers would be increased to 50%. The ratio of foreign language classes would be increased to 20%. Annual salaries for teachers would be increased as well. Outstanding teachers would receive special awards. These measures constitute responses to crises in internationalization. They warrant our consideration.
The provision and creation of internationalized education are closely related. The international battle for international scholars is especially critical. University professor salaries on Taiwan lag far behind international standards. Last year Saudi-Arabia offered 10 million NT annual salaries. This, plus dormitories and laboratories, lured several professors away from National Taiwan University. Mainland China spent lavishly to attract international talent. In fact, Peking University and Tsinghua University have recruited hundreds of talented teachers since 2001. They introduced Yang Chen-ning and other Nobel Prize winners to Tsinghua and Peking. They invited more than a dozen Nobel Prize winners to act as lecturers. These are critical to high scores in internationalization.
In recent years famous schools on the Mainland have received full government support. They have also been provided abundant external resources. The the ENN Group donated 300 million RMB to Peking University this year. It provided incentives to outstanding teachers for industry academia cooperation. No wonder Peking University has scored 100 points for two consecutive years for corporate contributions.
By contrast, Taiwan is stretched to the limit. As NTU Vice President Chen Liang-chi said, "International exchanges require us to actually go out, or others to actually come in. If we lack funds, then phone calls and emails will not lead to true internationalization. As an old addage advises, "Upon encountering a man of virtue, strive to become his equal." Taiwan must provide government resources. It must establish corporate foundations. Corporate resources will attract world-class teachers and raise the academic standing of our universities.
The government once established world-class universities. It invested 50 billion dollars over five years. It enabled key domestic universities to enage in leading edge research and teaching. But in recent years, Ministry of Education funding has been slashed. Generous financial support once enabled the world to participate in University Union conferences. Now only a handful are able to participate. Our international prestige and academic exposure have naturally declined.
Society is responsible for our inadequate internationalization. We must ask ourselves why people have neglected the need for internationalization. Singapore's high degree of internationalization is attributable to its use of English as an official language. It is also the result of television coverage of international news in English, and Singaporean society concern for political, economic, and social developments the world over.
Taiwan television cares only about "native" tempests in teapots. The public lacks exposure to international news. Society lacks appreciation for the vital importance of internationalization.
日前《泰晤士報》高等教育特刊（Times Higher Education）公布2016年最新全球大學排名，
台灣雖然高達24所大學進入排名，但整體表現並不理想，台大倒退 13名，成為第167名，清華、交大、 成大排名下滑速度更是驚人，分別退步41、58、73名。 表現較為優異的只有技職龍頭台科大，逆勢上揚25名，排名333 ，超越交大及成大。面對殘酷事實當然必須檢討，但檢討時要審慎， 教育為國家百年基業，必須慎思明辨，避免即興式藥方與決策。
國際化程度、企業捐贈共5項指標來進行分析。前3項各占30%， 後兩項分別占7.5%及2.5%。台灣在各項評比中， 表現都不好。教學只有台大超過50分，企業捐贈雖然成大拿100 分，交大與台科大都超過90分，但評比權重僅有2.5%， 並無法大幅拉升排名。整體來看，台灣最差的是國際化程度， 最好是台師大的38.1分，台大只有27.7分。 相對亞洲排名第一的新加坡大學國際化程度為96.2分， 香港大學逼近滿分水準（99.5分），差距實在很大。 同樣問題也出現在日本，國際化表現最好的是筑波大學34.4分， 東京大學則僅有30.3分，日本的排名也上不去。
國際合作等三部分。 這些項目對非英語系社會且資源有限的島國的確不利。 但這些部分其實都會影響到前面3項的評比。因為教學、研究、 論文引用，若不是使用英語，都會吃大虧。例如在教學方面， 由於香港及新加坡本身的殖民歷史與經驗， 英語是社會廣泛使用的語言。大量的英語授課及原文書使用， 也讓其國際化程度明顯優於台灣。研究成果在英文的國際期刊刊登， 成果展示及學界互相引用自然多有幫助。日、 韓等國的許多傳統名校，這幾年排名下滑，都是此原因。 我國若不再加以重視提升大學國際化， 未來可能會讓台灣的排名持續落後。
如要將入學考增加TOEFL等能力測驗， 外國教師比率提高到半數，外語授課比率五分之一， 提高年薪制教師比率，對表現優異教師特別獎勵， 都是反映對國際化危機的對策，值得我們學習。
這其中最關鍵的更是國際間互相搶國際學者的問題。 台灣的大學教授薪水遠低於國際水準， 去年沙烏地阿拉伯就開出年薪千萬、外加宿舍及實驗室建置條件， 挖走數名台大教授。 對比對岸的中國大陸挖掘國際人才是花錢不手軟。事實上北京大學、 清華大學聘任大師，自2001年清華大學啟動百名人才引進計畫， 聘請楊振寧等諾貝爾大師級人物進駐清華園， 而北京大學也邀請十多位諾貝爾獎得主擔任講座， 這都是讓國際化得分的重要關鍵。
外界也提供相當豐沛的資源。例如大陸新奧集團今年就一口氣捐贈3 億人民幣給北京大學，提供獎勵給北京大學優秀教師用於產學合作。 難怪北京大學已連續兩年在企業捐贈上得分100分。
國際交流需要實際走出去，或邀請對方走進來，沒錢的話， 光靠打電話、寫E-mail，不可能達到真正國際化。」 見賢思齊，未來台灣除了政府資源挹注外， 也應該積極透過企業設立基金會，透過企業的資源與力量， 吸引國際級大師，提升國內大學學術地位與聲望。
讓國內重點大學有較多的資源做拔尖的研究與教學。 但近年教育部大砍頂尖大學經費，過去在頂大經費支持下， 幾乎世界所有大學聯盟會議都能參加，如今只能選擇性參加， 國際聲望和學術曝光自然下滑。
我們必須檢討國人長期忽略國際化的原因。 新加坡之所以國際化程度高，除了英語為官方語言外， 電視媒體也經常報導國際新聞，關注各國在政治、經濟、 社會的重大議題，凸顯出新加坡重視國際化的程度。