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Online PhD Degree Programs-Accreditation of Universities in Taiwan

Because of globalization and advances in information technology, higher education institutions in Taiwan are being actively encouraged by the government to seek accreditation from international certification bodies. This is to assure foreign students studying in the country, including those who earn degrees through distance education such as online PhD degree programs, that their degree will be recognized overseas.

However, the Ministry of Education has also contracted three independent agencies to conduct mandatory evaluations of the various types of higher education institutions in the country. The National Yunlin University of Science and Technology evaluates technical colleges and the Taiwan Assessment and Evaluation Association looks at universities of science and technology, on a program and institutional basis. The Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT) carries out program-based evaluations of HEIs offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, including online PhD degree programs.

The HEEACT follows the American model of accreditation that uses both peer review and on-site visits in the process. Three outcomes are possible – the HEI is accredited, conditionally accredited or denied. In the case of the last two results, another evaluation will be conducted after a year to see if the major problems cited in the accreditation report have been addressed; if an HEIs fails to pass two years in a row, government would request that it cease operations.

The MOE has also implemented four policies to further improve Taiwan HEIs global competitiveness: An international exchange program, incentives for foreign students to study in Taiwan, which includes scholarships and more English-language undergraduate and post-graduate academic programs, including online PhD degree programs and encouraging Taiwan students to study abroad. It has also expanded the Taiwan Culture Research Program to attract the attention of the international academic community.

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