Where to Study: Taiwanese Universities

They are the ones teaching the class. What, you expect a famous teacher to waste his valuable time wiping noses of young minds?

A certain famous university has a play of words with its name just because of this… :whistle:

In the classes I took at NTU, there were TAs. They mostly made copies and organized materials for the prof. In my 2 years as a grad student at NTU I only ever received back one assignment/homework/paper with any feedback.

Based on my personal experience, I would dissuade any westerner from coming to Taiwan to study unless they absolutely know what they are getting themselves into.

In the classes I taught in media in Yaun Ze for three years I had a TA. one of them had worked there for three years previously for my wife when she taught the course. He was a PhD student, and organised exams, marked papers, booked computers or projectors, looked after AV, did copying, received students assignments, etc. Class size was about 40-50, pretty normal for that program. And of course it was taught in English, like maybe 30% of Yuan Ze courses are… not that all the English that comes out of professors’ mouths there is good.

And no, 50-60 is not large. I taught up to 1,000 per lecture in Sydney, and normally 300-400 in first year courses, and 50-100 in third year classes.

Alright, so for many programs 50-60 isn’t large. But I’m coming at this from a literature background, where none of my undergrad courses had more than 40 students or so - and in 3rd and 4th year, twenty was more the norm. That was just my university; others in Canada had 100 or so for first year lectures, but from second year on the classes were smaller.

And sixty IS a big class if you’re supposed to be teaching an interactive communicative 4-skills English course. Lecturing? 60 students, 90 - fine, except for the marking.

1,000, however, would be an issue for me. I know it’s not that unusual, depending on the program, but I’d be terrified.

Anyway, back to the original questions: I think a student from North America who came to university here would find the workload low, and the typical lack of feedback annoying. Could you coast through and get a degree? Definitely. You’d need a lot of motivation to push yourself, because odds are any incentives won’t come from the school.

There are of course exceptions to the “coasting through” - for example, anyone who’s actually taking a Chinese literature program. (I’m looking at you, 500CBFan.) If you’re doing that, you will have to work, although your Taiwanese classmates may be having little difficulty.

Then again, many of my classmates in university were also coasting through. Sure their marks may not have been that high, but they got the piece of paper four years later, and that was all they cared about.

Try the Academia Sinica. Great reserach opportunities and several PhDs in English for years.[/quote]

Not in information management unfortunately.

Thanks, I’ll try them. I have a long list of unis which I’m going through. So far I’ve experienced:

  • Broken weblinks all over their sites
  • Email links which don’t work
  • Email links which do work but staff which don’t reply
  • Websites which say that they have a PhD in English but when you visit the actual department physically and speak with the staff, they say they don’t

Good times.

If you are so serious about coming here, learn the language and complete your degree(s) in Chinese. I thought about looking for English degrees in Germany and I realized that the few English programs there are very expensive. I guess their government doesn’t want to spend money on students who just gets a degree but refuses to learn the language. The opportunities are much broader if you just learn the language.

I have lived here for six years. I just completed a Masters degree in Information Management and Systems (in English, with Monash University), which didn’t leave me much play time. I realise that it’s natural to expect the majority of degrees here will be offered in Chinese, but what frustates me is the number of universities which say they offer degrees in English and actually don’t, or only offer under-graduate degrees in English. Given the sheer number of universities in this country, and given its focus on being international, it’s reasonable to expect that some of them actually offer what they claim to offer.

I understand that the opportunities are much broader if I learn the language. In my limited spare time I am learning the language. However, learning the language to the extent required for a PhD program would take a lot more time than I have currently, unless I stop working full time. I cannot afford to stop working full time, and the reading/writing of Chinese is an absolute grind requiring hundreds of hours of mindless rote learning which is a delightful luxury not available to me.

Fortigurn is right: you should get what these people advertise as. I paid my tuition myself, no scholarship, and I would not have done so if I had not gotten what was promised: 100% English. Given our program’s population, it cannot be any other way. 100% or no way Jose.*

Check out Tsing Hua in person. I did that for my choice, and I do not regret it. Only when you sit in the classroom and see the goings on you can tell what’s the real deal.

TaiwanLuthiers: we have several agreements with joint universities in Germany, Swisszerland, even Korea and Japan, that offer the full deal in English for international students.

I would have also loved to do my thing in Chinese, but my language ability at that time was -and still is- inadequate. I went to a Spanish/English bilingual school/highschool, and took SATs and later on GRE. It takes a lifetime to master a language for higher education, me thinks, and some may not really have the time/ability for that at that moment. We miss on a lot, I know, but we can learn along the way. Ask the people who do their degrees after one -hah!- two or three years of Mandarin studies: they miss even more than us.

*plus these universities are already getting a generous stipend from the G’ment to “teach” in English, so, anything less than what they offer is not kosher.

It doesn’t help that some of these unversities haven’t updated the relevant pages on their website since 2006. With only that to go on, it’s difficult to know exactly what they offer currently. Then others have a huge amount of very useful information about their course in English, so you assume that they actually teach it in English until you get there and find out they only teach it in Chinese.

I have emailed fifteen universities, and have a shortlist of universities I’m visting in person. Today’s university was National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. Tomorrow will be whatever I can reach in the ShiDa area. Tsing Hua is on my list for Friday.

Here’s an example. On the NTUST site for the Department of Information Management, we read this:

[quote] Language

* The official language for foreign students is English.
* Free Mandarin-Chinese language courses are available.[/quote]

When I visit them in person, they say ‘No, sorry we don’t have any PhD programs in English’. :eh:

I visited NTU today. They have PhD in information management, but not in English. Like NTUST they offered me an MBA, which seems to be a kind of compensation prize for people who can’t study what they want. It looks like a vanilla degree of some vague description, and I’m not precisely sure what it’s supposed to qualify you for. If even NTU can’t offer a PhD in English in this subject, I hold out little hope for anywhere else. Next stop, Tsing Hua.

Hope it goes all right. Pity about Academia Sinica, folks I know there are very happy about it.

Thanks Icon. I had hopes for AS, given its high reputation, but alas it looks like they cater more for those interested in a PhD of Gastrointestinal Flora. Look at their Phd Programs.

[quote]* Chemical Biology and Molecular Biophysics » [PDF]

  • Molecular Science and Technology » [PDF]
  • Molecular and Biological Agricultural Sciences » [PDF]
  • Bioinformatics » [PDF]
  • Molecular and Cell Biology » [PDF]
  • Nano Science and Technology » [PDF]
  • Molecular Medicine » [PDF]
  • Computational Linguistics and Chinese Language Processing » [PDF]
  • Earth System Science » [PDF][/quote]

Yep, one of my fellow countrymen tried to explain what he did there. It sounded like looking for the God particle though programming supercomputers to apply it with nanotechnology in the search for a cure for cancer.

Clear as chocolate.