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University banned from enrolling new foreign students

  • By Liu Tzu-hsuan / Editor, with CNA

The Ministry of Education has banned Kao Yuan University from enrolling foreign students for the next academic year, after students complained they were forced to work excessive hours in unrelated jobs. their studies.

Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Fan Yun (范雲) and Taiwan Labor Front General Secretary Son Yu-liam (孫友聯) held a press conference at the Taipei Legislative Assembly yesterday to present the complaints filed by two Filipino students.

Students from the university’s international industry-university cooperation bachelor’s program called the Ministry of Education’s hotline for international students last month, saying the internship program was inappropriate and that the school had told them to lie about only working 20 hours a week. the legal limit.

Photo courtesy of Kao Yuan University

“When I came to Taiwan, I expected my life as a student to be studying, doing study-related internships, and doing part-time jobs on the side, but that didn’t happen. didn’t go like this,” said one student. . “My whole life in Taiwan has been in chaos and misery.”

“Because of the hard work the school asked us to do, I cannot concentrate on my studies because my body is tortured,” she said, adding that they had to work more than 40 hours a day. week to pay their tuition.

The students said the university was aware that many students worked more than 12 hour days, but asked them to lie if ever asked about it.

The ministry said it met with the students and interviewed other foreign students at the school.

The ministry asked the university to help students transfer to other programs to complete their studies, he added.

The students gave the ministry an audio recording which they said proved they had been instructed in a class to pretend they only worked 20 hours a week, the deputy head of the Department of Technology and Education said. professional Eric Ker (柯今尉) at the Central News Agency.

The ministry said it would place the university in trusteeship and consider the issue when awarding grants to private schools.

The university said at a press conference in Kaohsiung that one of the students could not adapt to the internship program and work environment, and asked to change internships 13 times.

The student also allegedly asked to fulfill the internship requirement by working part-time in the service sector, which the university refused, as it is against regulations, he said.

The school opened an individual internship course for the student, who did not earn the credits due to frequent unexcused absences, he said.

The internship opportunities offered to the student were mostly the same as those for Taiwanese students, he added.

The company the student interned at denied the student’s allegations of an unsafe work environment, payroll deductions, and daily overtime requirements.

Fan urged the ministry to take a close look at the foreign student enrollment plan to ensure schools have qualified teachers and are able to provide suitable internships for students.

She added that the ministry should work with labor departments to inspect schools and factories when it receives complaints.

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