While pension reform has hit public-sector workers, including Taiwan’s university professors, the Ministry of Education today launched its “Jade Mountain Plan” (玉山計畫), through which it will invest NT$5.6 billion (US$185 million) per year in the higher education budget, UDN reported.
The plan will reportedly benefit some 19,000 university-level teachers. It will increase the monthly salary by NT$5,445 (US$180), but it will not alter any of the curriculum or lecture system.
Following pension reform, retired professors will see their pensions reduced by NT$40,000 to NT$50,000 per month.
The higher salaries only apply to full professors, while assistant and associate professors will not see any change in pay.
The highest monthly salary that the Jade Mountain Plan supports is NT$5 million for a period of three years in an effort to assist universities in retaining their best professors. The Ministry of Education will regularly review any professors who qualify as “Jade Mountain Scholars.” The three-year period for the salary still does not match that of the ten-year contracts offered in Hong Kong and Singapore.
The UDN article views the increased salary as a “drop in the bucket” to temporarily placate professors who will see a much larger decrease in their pensions. The article claims that it may help retain talent in the short term, but because it does not include assistant or associate professors, it will widen the wage gap.