TAIPEI — Premier Wu Den-yih reaffirmed Friday that Taiwan’s government will not retroactively recognize Chinese diplomas that were obtained before Sept. 3, when Taiwan began implementing a policy to recognize diplomas from China.
The issue of recognizing Chinese diplomas is a contentious one, with critics, including those from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, expressing concerns that it would hurt Taiwanese graduates and job seekers. Wu said Friday that for people who earned diplomas from Taiwan-recognized Chinese universities before that date but after 1992, the government is considering certifying their academic qualifications through an examination or verification process. The process would be different from “automatic recognition” of their diplomas, Wu said during a question and answer session in the Legislative Yuan. Wu was responding to concerns by opposition lawmakers that such a plan, which is being drafted by the Ministry of Education (MOE) , could violate the principle of non-retroactivity for Chinese diploma recognition. The legislature passed an amendment to the Statute Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area in August to pave the way for the recognition of Chinese diplomas. The amended law was implemented on Sept. 3. A total of 41 top Chinese universities are currently recognized by Taiwan. Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji explained that the plan to certify the academic qualifications of graduates of these 41 Chinese universities is aimed at protecting the rights of Taiwan’s residents who received education in China after the statute was enacted in 1992. According to the MOE’s plan, the diploma holders will need to meet certain requirements before their academic qualifications can be certified by the government. For bachelor’s degree holders, they have to prove that they studied eight semesters and stayed 32 months in China. The requirements for master’s degree holders is two semesters and eights months, and those for doctorate degree holders are four semesters and 16 months, Wu said. Those who earned their degrees through correspondence programs will not get certification, he added. Also Friday, Deputy Minister of Education Lin Tsong-ming said the certification requirements will apply not only to diploma holders who are Taiwanese but also to Chinese and other foreign nationals.