The Flexible Education System, Diverse Ways of Recruitment, and Autonomous Courses
Regarding the education system of technical and vocational education development:
- In accordance with the operation of the 9-Year Compulsory Education system in 1967, the operations of Primary Vocational Schools and Five-Year Vocational High Schools ceased, and were transformed into vocational high schools, and these schools recruited students graduating from junior high schools. The study period at these vocational high schools was 3 years.
- In the 1990s’, 3-Year Junior Colleges ceased and their structures were altered into colleges or technical colleges.
- In the academic year 85, the Ministry of Education guided junior colleges with excellent performance to transform into technical colleges, with attached junior colleges; the titles of these technical colleges were renamed universities of technology.
Regarding the recruitment for technical and vocational education:
- Promotion of direct admissions for students with significant achievements and admissions for applications of students with significant achievements into colleges.
- Students with working experience and professional qualifications received supplementary points on their entrance exams for in-service education programs.
- In the academic year 89, the Joint-Board of Vocational High School Recruitment ceased.
- In the academic year 90, in accordance with the education reform, the policy to separate examinations and recruitment was promoted; the Multi-admission Program for Senior High and Vocational High Schools and the Multi-admission Program for Technical and Vocational Universities and Colleges were implemented.
Regarding the courses of technical and vocational education:
- The categories and subjects, as well as the professional subjects, in vocational education are multiple and complex. In the past, as social changes and economic growth progressed, Unit Trade Training System and Cluster Programs were changed in accordance with the development of the school curriculum.
- In February 2005, the Temporary Curriculum Guidelines of Cluster Programs in Vocational Schools were announced.
- In December 2008, the Curriculum Guidelines of Cluster Programs in Vocational Schools were announced after revision. These went into effect in August 2010.
- The modified system of the Curriculum Guidelines of Cluster Programs in Vocational Schools were in operation in November 2012, in accordance with 12-Year Basic Education.
- According to the Junior College Act, and the University Act, the Ministry of Education assisted vocational colleges, and technical and vocational universities in their school and department-oriented course development. Schools were authorized to decide their courses.
The Establishment and Announcement of the Technical and Vocational Education Act The Technical and Vocational Education Act was announced by the President on January 14, 2015. The focal points of this Act include:
I. Certain designated authorities at all levels should cooperate in affairs relating to Technical and Vocational Education.
II. Rooting the deep-seated cultivation of technical and vocational education is to change the viewpoint of our society away from an emphasis on academic subjects and the scholar-bureaucratic culture.
III. The transition of the technical and vocational education system.
IV. Strengthening teachers’ practical teaching abilities, for the purpose of reducing the gap between theoretical learning and practical purposes.
The Ministry of Education strengthens the cooperation between institutions and industries, in order to cultivate talented students in industrial fields.
In 2002, to assist vocational colleges to better understand the requirements of industry and enhance the matching of opportunities between each vocational college and relevant industry, the Ministry of Education founded 6 MOE industry-academia collaboration centers in various areas which created an important platform for connections between vocational colleges and industries. Since 2018, the MOE industry-academia collaboration centers in various areas were altered into the establishment of the MOE industry-academia collaboration and talent cultivation promotional platform, in order to:
1. Promote practical teaching and learning through industry-academia collaboration,
2. Increase deep exchanges and cooperation between schools and industries in order to match talented students with industry’s requirements
3. Cultivate together talented students with professional technical skills.
Through this platform of cultivation, which contains the course participation and practical curriculum requirements for talents in all industries, the MOE has assisted vocational colleges and industries in student cultivation projects of all types of professions, implemented off-campus internships for students, and assisted companies to devote themselves to talent cultivation.
To promote the foundation of student hands-on-practice, the Ministry of Education guides schools and industries to collaborate and develop a problem-based curriculum, designed for practical purposes. In turn, students’ abilities in interdisciplinary learning and their practical professional technical skills may be further developed. Institutions are encouraged to establish off-campus internships or courses to fortify student experiences in future workplaces and to give students more opportunities to learn a practical curriculum. It is hoped that professional talents may be cultivated with a positive working attitude and that students gain practical experience so as to be equipped with competencies required by industrial sectors.
In addition, the Ministry of Education has promoted the talent cultivation model of industry-academia, encouraged colleges and universities to establish the talent cultivation model in industry-academia collaboration, and supported both the industry-academia hand-in-hand collaboration project, and the industrial academic college project. Thus, industries and institutions are inspired to organize specific programs to cultivate and retain more talent.
The Ministry of Education develops practical technical and vocational education, in order to reinforce the combination of learning and application.
To minimize the gap between learning and application of learning, and in accordance with the focus points of national development, in 2010 to 2012, the Ministry of Education promoted the first session of the program for rebuilding technical and vocational education. The objectives of this program were to strengthen practical applications, to develop the particular or specific features, and to carry out talent development in technical skills. 10 strategies were set up and were operated from five dimensions: the system, teachers, curriculum and teaching, resources, and quality control. Up till now, three goals have been achieved from 2010 to 2012: improving the teaching environment for students and teachers, strengthening the concrete connection between schools and industries, and cultivating professional quality talents.
In addition, to undertake the Economic Power-up Plan, to balance the human resources requirements and supply in our nation, and to respond to the expectation of technical and vocational education from all sectors of our society, the second session of the program for rebuilding technical and vocational education was continuously promoted from 2013 to 2017. This program was founded on the basis of the first session of the program for rebuilding technical and vocational education. Methods of other developed nations were also referenced. Coherent technical and vocational education development strategies were thus settled through the resources from government, industries, schools and research centers to cultivate professional quality talents that met the requirements of industrial development. This program included three dimensions and nine strategies:
Dimension1: System adjustment (strategies 1-3: policy coordination, department adjustment, practical selection of talented students).
Dimension 2: Course activation (strategies 4-6: flexible courses, updated facilities, advancement of competencies through practical experience).
Dimension 3: Employment expansion (strategies 7-9: seamless integration to employment, innovative entrepreneurship, combination of competencies and qualifications).
The following purposes were expected to be achieved: a close connection between institutions and industrial requirements, cultivation of employability for students in vocational high schools, colleges, and technical and vocational colleges and universities, a sufficient supply of capable human resources to meet the needs of industrial development, changes in viewpoint from sectors of our society about technical and vocational education, implementation and integration of technical and vocational education policy, and a competitiveness boost in technical and vocational education.
The Announcement of the Technical and Vocational Education Policy Guidelines
On March 2, 2017, the Executive Yuan announced the Technical and Vocational Education Policy Guidelines, which provided three major goals and six main promotional directions, as the standards for planning technical and vocational education policies for central and local authorities. These guidelines were expected to accomplish the vision of cultivating professional technical talent with practical skills, innovative competencies, and employability through technical and vocational education.
The promotion of a refined environment for technical practices in technical and vocational colleges
In accordance with the policy for Innovative Industry Development from our government and the requirements of talented people for all Foresight Projects, and to respond to the development of new industries and technical skills both from our nation and other foreign countries, the rebuilding program for technical and vocational education was the foundation to promote the project of the refined environment for technical practices in technical and vocational colleges. This project contains three strategies: to establish an interdisciplinary practical environment for technical practices, to establish a training foundation for cultivating elite students in future industries, and finally to cultivate talent for quasi-industrial environments. By investing in educational facilities, environments in which to practice technical skills industrial practical orientated courses, and in resources for shared systems; it is hoped that interdisciplinary talents with professional technical skills may be trained and educated to finally meet the development needs of international industries.
The promotion of the Youth Education and Employment Savings Account Program
To encourage students, who graduate from senior high schools at the age of 18, to explore opportunities for themselves, to obtain more experience from the workplace, further studies, and the international world, and also to have a better understanding of their future goals, the Ministry of Education proposed the Youth Education and Employment Savings Account Program in 2017. This program comprises two projects: the Youth Employment Pilot Project and the Youth Experience Learning Project. The former is attached with a Youth Savings Account (for assisting young people to obtain experience from the workplace). The latter is for the purpose of assisting youth to gain learning experience and other experience in relation to the international world. In the Youth Employment Pilot Project, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labor provide in total NT$ 10,000 every month, for a maximum period of 3 years, for use toward youths’ employment, learning, or entrepreneurship. The Youth Experience Learning Project allows youth to explore the world, gain experience from experts in all fields, and/or participate in entrepreneur internships via volunteer services in our nation or other foreign countries. Youth may train their abilities of management and explore and assure their directions in life.
The Complete School and Off-campus Internship System and the Strengthening of the Rights of Interns
On September 22, 2017, the Ministry of Education revised the implementation regulations for the industry-academia collaboration in junior colleges or higher-level institutions, which included addressing the issue of institutions carrying out off-campus internships and guaranteeing students’ rights. In accordance with the Technical and Vocational Education Act, the related regulations of schools implementing off-campus internships have been included. Schools should accept regular internship courses evaluated by the Ministry of Education, and apply for group insurance for college students participating in off-campus internships to ensure that students will receive assistance in case of any accidental encounters. Hence, the Ministry of Education will guarantee student rights into the status of law by establishing a specific law, to both continuously refine the procedures of off-campus internships in institutions and to ensure students’ rights during internships.