In 2005, Taiwan initiated the Program for Promoting Teaching Excellence of Universities to ensure that higher education remains a reliable source of high-caliber talent. As of the end of 2008, a cumulative US$500 million had been set aside for the program. Given its great success and the extensive support it elicits in society, the government is ready to funnel another US$430 million between 2009 and 2012. By helping universities further boost their infrastructure and bolster their curriculum, it aims to upgrade the quality of teaching by instructors and learning by students alike.
Highlights of the program include the establishment of mechanisms for extending assistance to teachers and training of teaching assistants. It also has bolstered the mechanisms for evaluating the performance of teachers and led to an overall upgrade in the teaching quality of those who are still novices in the profession. Likewise, universities have mapped out their respective mechanisms for extending guidance to students with regard to their learning and career planning. Furthermore, school authorities have gone to great lengths to ensure learning effectiveness on campus by introducing comprehensive appraisal measures and various competence indicators as requirements for graduation.
When it comes to the working of curriculum committees at the universities, graduates and industry representatives are ushered in to make sure that they can come up with the best-rounded curriculum truly useful to students in the job market. Special attention was also paid to strengthening the course selection system and making E-learning readily available to every student. To date the program has proven quite effective in helping students learn more efficiently in a well-appointed academic environment.