Taipei, March 26th:
Protest against Tuition Fees
Anti-Commercialisation Platform Initiated
Not only in Canada students are currently struggling against increasing tuition fees but also in Taiwan, where the government announced plans to hike fees by 10% last week. A final decision on this issue is expected by the end of April, but students are angry and didn’t want to wait.
Close to 100 students, teachers and labour union activists got organised and gathered in front of the Ministry of Education in Taipei to hold a “Press Conference”. Various speeches were held, a rather huge media presence covered the event and the activists did not let the huge police force at the spot intimidate them.
Tsai Chung-yi (蔡忠益), section chief of the MOE’s Department of Higher Education, faced the students, but only spread hot air saying that a final decision has not been taken yet and that he will forward the message to the minister. Since the minister or chief secretary didn’t come out to receive their demands and to express their dissatisfaction with the reaction to their protest activists decided to tear up a huge poster with their goals.
It listed the following three points:
- NO tuition hike – tuition fee should be cut annually instead, until education is freely accessible to all;
- NO decentralisation of the decision making regarding the costs for tuition fees – this would promote the corporatisation of universities even further;
- higher taxes for the high-tec industry as well as other wealthy parts of society.
The protest was also used by the activists to express their unity with the ongoing student strike in Quebec and with education activists worldwide. After all this is a common struggle and we are all in this together.