This paper explores the potential consequences of the Higher Education Sprout Project (hesp) announced by the Ministry of Education (moe) in March 2018. In the fast-changing global arena of higher education, the Taiwanese government is striving for excellence in the performance of its higher education. Together with other East Asian countries like Japan, Korea, and Singapore, Taiwan officially entered the competition of global university ranking in 2006 when the government initiated the first round of the Aim for Top University Project (atup). After two five-year atup rounds, moe reviewed the results and started to revise the policy. Consequently, hesp was proposed and implemented. In this paper, we explicate the context of changing higher education landscape in Taiwan since 1994, the year the most recent education reform started. The discussion then moves to the issues emerging from the nationwide atup project. During the ten years of atup, most Taiwanese universities were influenced by the directions the project established. However, there has been criticism of atup and its outcome was severely in question. After reviewing the atup, the hesp came out in 2018. We analyse the policy as well as address its potential influences on universities in Taiwan.
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