Last updated: 03.03.12

Taiwan minister announces investment in online learning

Taiwan is to invest in e-learning technologies, a leading politician has revealed.

TaiwanToday reports that education minister Chiang Wei-ling announced this policy during a press conference.

He noted online learning programmes that use the internet and other information tools have become a "trend" in recent years.

South Korea has spent $60 billion (£37.67 billion) on the development of e-learning courses and mainland China is to invest $16 million into the promotion of relevant projects, the minister said.

Considering the strength of international competition, it is important that Taiwan does not lag behind, he stated.

Taiwan's global competitiveness would be boosted through this initiative, Mr Wei-ling argued.

Several universities in the nation are currently offering e-learning to their students and experiments into distance learning courses are underway, he continued.

"Taiwan is in an advantageous position regarding the development of digital technologies, but applying it in education is a task we still have to work on," the politician was quoted by the publication as saying.

Further policy objectives outlined by the minister include making Taiwan a centre for higher education throughout East Asia.

However, this would involve recruiting and retaining talented professionals from across the world, he added.

Mr Wei-ling noted this could involve amending legislation and relevant laws in order to ensure the nation is attractive to skilled men and women.

The length of time compulsory education lasts for should be extended from nine to 12 years, underprivileged people ought to be given more assistance and daycare centres should be integrated with playschools, he stated.

Mr Wei-ling said "teamwork, innovation, communication and accomplishment" will be behind every policy the Ministry of Education rolls out.

He asserted he had consulted with a range of experts in the field of learning and will pick the best people when appointing staff in roles.

This marks the first time Mr Wei-Ling had revealed his educational policies since initially taking office.