Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
Struggles between Cultural and Political Power and College Admissions Reform in Postwar Taiwan
Ting-Hong Wong

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


Shortly after World War Two, the National Taiwan University (NTU)—the major higher education institution in Taiwan—was conducting its own student entrance examination. Under this system, the University had almost complete control over matters such as exam questions, criteria for admittance, and admission of applicants. These practices set the NTU on a collision course with the Kuomintang regime, which, after losing the Chinese Civil War and retreating to Taiwan, was keen on using higher education policies in its nation-building agenda. The University was dominated by a number of influential and liberal-minded intellectuals exiled from China. Reckoning the Kuomintang a conservative and authoritarian regime promoting an outdated and narrowly Chinese chauvinistic worldview, these scholars ignored the middle school syllabi promulgated by the state when conducting the NTU’s entrance exam. This action of the University weakened the position of the official curriculum and undermined the Kuomintang’s plan to promote a Chinese nationalistic identity through its curriculum policy. Moreover, the Kuomintang, wishing to solicit support from the Chinese communities abroad, was keen to provide overseas Chinese students with higher education opportunities in Taiwan. The NTU, nevertheless, was reluctant to cooperate because the majority of overseas Chinese students were selected by the Ministry of Education under requirements much lower than those maintained by the University. After several years’ conflict with the NTU, the Kuomintang regime installed the College Joint Entrance Exam (CJEE) in 1954. This new exam was run by a committee of representatives from the Ministry of Education and the participating colleges—of which the NTU was only one. Subsequently, exam papers for college admission were set more in accordance with the state-decreed school syllabi; San Min-Chu I—the Three People’s Principles, the official doctrine of the Kuomintang regime—was made an important CJEE paper; and the NTU’s power to admit students (overseas Chinese students included) was usurped by the Ministry of Education. The background, causes, and consequences of the launching of the CJEE in Taiwan are discussed in this paper. The data come mainly from newspapers and the NTU and various government archives.