Taiwan: consumer culture across the globe have made the

Taiwan: Globalization within
education

       Within the last decade, Taiwan’s higher
education system has experienced transformation along the lines of
decentralization and marketization (Mok, 2000).

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Taiwan has been pressured to compete nationally and to achieve global
recognition which has become one of the biggest factors in evaluating
university performance. The government has realized that globalization has accelerated
competition among universities around the world (Lo & Weng, 2005; Lu, 2004; MOE, 2006). The
key relationship for the environmental strategies of firms is with national
governments, acting through their regulatory agencies (Gunningham, 1994; Gunningham et al., 1998; Rugman and Verberke, 2001).

 

       Large
projects have been launched so that Taiwan can catch up with the rest of the
world’s higher education systems amongst the powerful trend of globalization. In the last decade or so, the liberalization of national economies, the
domination of supranational institutions, the disempowerment of nation-states,
the prevalence of the system and culture of liberal democracy, as well as the
formation of a consumer culture across the globe have made the whole world in
many ways more alike (Fukuyama, 1992; Ohmae, 1990; Waters, 2001; Sklair, 1999).

Many scholars who believe in globalization think that the convergence of human
activities is inevitable. With the revision of the University Act in 1994, which prompted the
restructuring of state owned higher education institutions (HEIs) into
independent legal entities (Mok,
2006). These limits the
amount of control the MOE (Ministry of Education) over HEI and making
operations on campus more room to be flexible. A sudden growth of Taiwan’s HEIs
over the past decade was sparked and made it very competitive among other, but
also hastened the internationalization of Taiwan’s HIEs (Chang, Wu, Ching,
Tang, and Xiao, 2011). As of now, the number of
HEIs has increased dramatically from 7 in 1950 to 164 in 2008, among which are
100 universities, 49 colleges, and 15 junior colleges (MOE, 2008). 

 

This research
paper is  how globalization and internationalization
affects China and Taiwanese with major projects that help Taiwan’s MOE fund
itself. Also analyzing the results of this project and what role globalization
plays in all of this. The sections will be discussed with the roles of
globalization of Taiwan’s higher education, is china affecting or affected by
this, and will lead into what role China is proposing in all of this. Explaining
why Taiwan pushes to have a higher education that be recognized in a global
aspect.

 

Globalization and Internationalization

       Globalization – is considered as a
multi-dimensional term (Levin, 1999). It is defined as the closer integration
of the countries and peoples of the world, brought about by the enormous
reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and the breaking down
of artificial barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital knowledge, and
people across borders (Stiglitz, 2002). Generally, globalization would be
applied to having a higher education.  The acceleration of globalization is
important to explain the changes in the relationship between China and Taiwan
because globalization has facilitated the rise of China and has also increased
Taiwan’s significance to the world. On top of
that, Taiwan has developed its own brand of soft power based on education,
human rights, peace, and technological progress. Globalization,
rising costs of public services in general and the evolution of the
knowledge-based economy have caused dramatic changes to the character and
functions of higher education in many countries around the world (Burbules
and Torres, 2000; Mok and
Welch, 2003).

 

Globalization can also be referred to the process and consequences of instantaneous communication and
technological advancement, which brought about the tremendous growth in the
quantity of information and integration (Grunzweig & Rinehart, 2002). Some believe it has had both
positive and negative impacts on society (e.g. Denis, 2010; Yang, R. & Qiu,
F-F., 2010). Tsui and Tollefson (2007) suggest that technology and English are
two inseparable skills for students to acquire.  The world changing in the global marketplace
makes it a necessity for students to be fluent in English if they plan to work
internationally. Having these skills have become more normalized and Taiwan’s
MOE has made more changes in the educational system which makes students have
long hour in learning English. To assist students to become integrated global
citizens, the concepts of understanding different cultural values, beliefs /
norms, and how to communicate meaningfully and successfully should also be
incorporated into the curricula (Wu, 2004; Flammia & Sadri, 2011; Nguyen,
2011).

 

      Internationalization can be defined and
used in a numerous amount of ways which makes it very difficult and complex to
give it one basic definition. Many researchers who have studied on
internationalization have made claims that it can be fully understood, but many
misconceptions have been made due to recent studies. It brings the question how
can one interpret Internationalization.

 

     In 1992, Arum and Van de Water defined
Internationalization as a set of activities focused on a program of student and
staff with a short-term orientation. represents university policy, initiatives,
and practices that are adopted in response to the effects of globalization (Scott, 1998). Internationalization is the ongoing process of
integrating an international perspective into HEIs. It should encompass a
multi-dimensional, inter-disciplinary, and future-oriented leadership vision,
which involves the many stakeholders of the institution, in order to respond
and adapt appropriately to the ever increasingly diverse and global environment
(Ellingobe, 2008). In
addition, it should also include the policies and programs adopted by
governments, and by academic systems as well as departments to cope with or to
exploit globalization, thus allowing institutions significant autonomy,
initiative, and creativity in dealing with the new milieu (Altbach 2005).

 

 

     When doing research on Globalization and Internationalization it is key
to notice the distinct differences when using them in this research. Scholars
agree that processes of globalization are unalterable while those representing
internationalization remain fluid and changeable Elkin, Devjee
and Farnsworth (2008). Both issues tend to drive the traditional
closed system of higher education towards a more open and complex system and to
pose a challenge for higher education to change its context and structure
(Knight 1997; van der Wende 2001; Teichler 2004). Dian-Fu
Chang, Cheng-Ta Wu, Gregory Ching, Chia-wei Tang and Lin Xiao (2011) noticed
that internationalization is not something that is either achieved or not
achieved; rather it is an engagement with a range of dimensions (indicators). It
shows how Taiwan plans to use these methods in its policy for changing the way
it education is perceived. In effect,
the rapidly changing world thus requires students to possess broad
international knowledge and strong intercultural skills, in addition to the
more traditional disciplinary knowledge gained from university education (Paige, 2005).

 

 

How is Taiwan affected by
Globalization

    According to the Ministries of Education
2014 “White Paper on Human Resource Development”, Taiwan’s has a set of
education goals it would like to accomplish between 2014 and 2023 which are to
orient once again to remodel the system to make it more affective by
reconstructing partnerships and solidifying learning scholarships. Taiwan’s
future education policy targets (1) preparing more outstanding and dedicated
professional teaching personnel, (2) narrowing discrepancies between schooling
and the job market, (3) strengthening students’ international competiveness,
and (4) empowering students’ future productivity (Chou, 2014).

Taiwan feels the need to experience a new process of governing and redefine the
relationship between the state actors and non-state actors. It wants to work
less with China and reach out to other states. While this process is going on, a process of redefinition,
different governance models are evolving, namely, the minimal state, corporate
governance, the new public management, “good governance”, socio-cybernetic
system and self-organizing networks (Rhodes, 1997, pp. 46–47)

 

      Education has become interconnected with trends of globalization and
internationalization, development of information communications technology, and
a set of political, sociological, economic, and management changes (Chang, Wu,
Ching, Tang, and Xiao, 2011). These changes are what make up the Taiwanese education altogether. Taiwan’s
policies make notice to putting Globalization and Localization to act as one. Andrew McGrew, who wrote “A
global society “defined it as a multiplicity of linkages and interconnections
that transcend the nation states (and by implication the societies) which make
up the modern world system. It defines a process through which events,
decisions and activities in one part of the world can come to have a
significant consequence for individuals and communities in quite distant parts
of the globe (McGrew, 1990). Which Taiwan follows the same sort of concept when
making a global impact in their educational system.

 

      Taiwan has made
efforts for globalization within the educational system. It has made sure that
their goal is teach students English throughout primary and secondary schools. Tsui and Tollefson (2007)
suggest that technology and English are two inseparable skills for students to
acquire. In earlier history of
education in Taiwan, English was only instructed in secondary schools as one of
the compulsory classes (Chang, Wu, Ching, Tang, and Xiao, 2011). It
wants it to be a main second language on the island and almost all that falls in
the new generation should be fluent by the time they
are in college. While this has already been going on, the MOE is pushing to
have the younger students study English in a new program that is more intense
and more hours in school. Taipei
County’s Ministry of Education even launched a program that adds three extra
courses to the current elementary school curriculum that focuses on English
learning, which was met with harsh criticism from teachers, claiming that the
current Taiwanese curriculum for elementary school students already takes up
too much of children’s free time (Lu, 2010). The changing of the global
marketplace places a premium on scientific and technical knowledge and these
are normally associated with the use of English language skills (Tien and
Tally, 2012). This push is for students to become integrated on more of a
global aspect and not be so consumed on only understanding different values,
belief/ norms from China.

 

        With a lot
media exposing Taiwan for its new policies in education. Recently, there has
been a sudden influx in number of students from abroad coming to Taiwan for
higher education. As of now Taiwanese institutions are working with other
universities all around the world. Now many universities have made it more
common to start more international programs and gain more relationships in with
sister schools so student can study abroad internationally. Taiwanese government is planning to establish Taiwanese Institutes in
other parts of the world, starting with the United States of America’s Los
Angeles and Houston (Tsai, 2010). According to statistics since the year 2016 there are 2,630
primary and junior high schools, 506 secondary schools, 158 schools of higher
education, and 26, 973 students in Taiwan are international or Chinese (MOE) (National
Statistics, Republic of China (Taiwan)).

 

        Globalization
has effected the Taiwanese education not just within the state, but also on a
global aspect. As Taiwan joins WTO (World Trade Organization) and signs the ECFA (Economic
Cooperation Framework Agreement) with China, the opening of trade between China
and Taiwan has created a number of Taiwanese schools in China that caters to
the children of Taiwanese businessmen working in Chinese companies, such as
Taiwan Businessmen’s Dongguan School, Shanghai Taiwanese Children School, and
HuaDong Taiwan Businessmen’s School (Chang, Wu,
Ching, Tang, and Xiao, 2011). According to Chiung
Pudence Chou and Gregory Ching (2012), The authors found in the Taiwan Today (2011)
that Taiwan has launched a four-year NT $5.68 billion (US$ 196 million) plan in
May 2011, in hope of increasing education-sector competitiveness, improving the
learning environment for international students, and promoting Taiwan’s
higher-education credential.

 

   The reason why Taiwan created this policy is
is to enhance university internationalization. Also, according to Ralph
Jennings of the VOA news, Taiwan has the world’s lowest fertility rate of 0.9,
which is causing the government to worry about its future supply of manpower
and brain power. They MOE anticipates that the enrollment of students in
universities will have a noticeable drop soon. The MOE anticipates that international students will
comprise 10 percent of the total higher education population (from 130,000 to
140,000 students) by 2020 (Taiwan Today 2011a). Taiwan’s major goals are
promoting cultural learning and international understanding and other demanding
skills/abilities that are need for the future.

 

Globalization
in China’s education

 

What is China’s
role?

   Within
the last decade an official treaty of Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement
as recently signed for Taiwan to reach out to the international community in
the light of China (Sharma 2010). This treaty is used as starting point to the
ongoing cross-relations striving for better diplomatic relations, economic
expansion, technology enhances, and the education between mainland and Taiwan
(Ching).

 

   Taiwan was faced with many issues of identity
during being colonized by Japan in 1895– 1945 and history repeating itself after World War II with mainland
china claiming Taiwan as a part of it’s state. Beijing
and Taipei sharply disagree on the island’s status. The PRC asserts that there
is only “one China” and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of it (Albert, 2016). The constant struggle of
Taiwan for national identity goes beyond the conflicts encountered between
globalization and localization due to troublesome cross-strait relations
(Ching). Although these two countries face this conflict, China and Taiwan have
developed a unique relationship of ongoing cultural and educational exchanges.

 

     With the fertility rate of 1.12 children
per couple, Taiwan has made noticed that this is affecting the number of
students who attend its universities. A report from the Taiwan MOE over a year
ago found that 151 tertiary institutions had offered classes and noticed that
no one enrolled.  It’s said that about 64
of the departments and graduate programs that have been affected were at well
know public universities, and the remaining 87 at private universities. The
ministry report also found that 269 programs altogether were less than 30
percent full. Even the prestigious university, National Taiwan University, had programs
that no one enrolled for.

 

    The institutions
have been not made been able to increase their student population, or charge higher
tuition. This has resulted in financial resources being limited which has made
it very challenging for many universities.  Taiwan has made efforts to form mergers with multiple
programs in different universities. The government is estimating about 11 of
the 51 public universities and 20 of 40 private universities will be merged or
shut down in 2023.

 

     One of the main goals that remaining
universities are doing to trying to bring in more Chinese students to come and
study in Taiwan. Currently, relations with China have been very tense since the
new President Tsai Ing-wen had declined to acknowledge the Beijing policy that
views Taiwan to be part of “one China.” This has led Beijing to never dropping
their threat of military force and irritated the communist leadership which
stopped earlier dialogue between both sides.

 

      With an influx of a younger generation who
speak mandarin in China could benefit to the universities financially that
Taiwan desperately needs. But is there a reason why Chinese students would want
to study in Taiwan. In the article by Chris Parr, he asked a professor who
explains reason why many students from the mainland come to Taiwan to study.  He states, “Taiwan’s status as the last outpost
of the old Republic of China is very attractive and to students who are curious
to make comparisons with how their lives is back home.” Also, he adds that “When
I talk to mainland Chinese students in Taiwan, the reason the most of them came
was because they have been taught that is the last haven for traditional
Chinese culture. That’s how they view Taiwan.” 
The system in mainland China has taught students to be more biased and
assume that Taiwan is a part of the “one china” policy. Their perception that
Taiwan is what traditional Chinese culture can be represented by shows how
Taiwan struggles for a sort of identify that represents itself.

 

But the question is will the number of Chinese students coming
to study in Taiwan be enough? If a. significant amount of students come to Taiwan
it help the universities not struggle as much financially, but not as many are
coming like Taiwan desperately needs. The reason is many Chinese students feel
uncomfortable with decision that the president has made about the “one china”
policy. They feared that there views on the situation would cause a lot of
friction and they would face many hostilities like discrimination. Many of them
would like to hear universities in Taiwan making a pro-China statement.

 

     China insisting that the Taiwanese
universities take the pledges for pro-China have sparked a lot of controversy
in the Tsai government. It is stuck between standing against Beijing’s views
Taiwan’s identity or making an effort to the domestic economy. Also, this
results in what some believe to have a damaging impact on Taiwanese academic
freedom (Parr, 2017). According to the MOE about 80 universities have signed
agreements with universities back in mainland China that will not teach topics on
China that may be seemed as controversial. These universities have received a
lot of back lash from students and professors which evolved in the creation of
a campaign suppressing topics that are controversial so that China and Taiwan
would be in good terms. In the article, he interviewed a professor who stated
that she felt “ashamed and heartbroken” when hearing the news and also “If
humanities education obliged to negate Taiwanese independence in discussions
about Taiwan’s future, we have no such thing as academic freedom in universities.”
The MOE and the minister Pan Wen-Chung stated that the letters of were a “violation
of Article 33 in the Act Governing Relations Between the People of Taiwan and
Mainland China; which states 1. That any cooperation between Taiwanese and Chinese
universities must be approved by the MOE and the nature of cooperation must not
be politically motivated. 2. The formed coalition or the content of cooperation
of the written agreement referred to in the preceding paragraph shall not
violate any provision of any law or regulation or involve any content of
political nature.

 

Many universities have stopped signing these agreements or
denied allegations that this kind of arrangement has ever happened. Many
professors and students expressed the situation as an issues towards academic
integrity, and fear that there could be a possibility in the future that
censorship from China will be brought back up again. With more students
arriving studying from China will this affect Taiwan being able to have a freedom
of expression within universities that the Tsai government enunciates so much. Will
China play a major role as Taiwan seeks for more solutions to create more
profit and avoid universities from having to merge and close down with at the
same time becoming less dependent of China in other
areas.

 

Conclusion

With trends of China and Taiwan cooperation more than the
two would usually in the past decade, in 2010 with a treaty that was proposed
as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement was recently signed fir Taiwan
to sign so it can be more involved with the international community with being considerate
of China. The treaty is a way for Taiwan to reach out to the world official
through China, and in hopes that China will also learn from Taiwan about the
soft power of freedom and democracy. Hao (2010) explained in his booked
entitled Whither Taiwan and Mainland
China: National Identify, the State, and Intellectuals, people in mainland China
and Taiwan have throughout time been able to control the image of their national
identities, and this phenomenon still exist to this day. But questions still
remain to be uncertain that remain between the two countries are: