Design students protest over high exhibition fees

Taipei, May 12 (CNA) Design students at several universities have initiated an petition on a Facebook page to protest over the high cost of exhibiting their works at an annual design exhibition.

The New Generation Design Exhibition, an annual event for college students studying design in Taiwan, has been held every year for more than 30 years.

This year's exhibition, organized by the Industrial Development Bureau under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Taiwan Design Center, is scheduled to be held at the Taipei World Trade Center May 16-19, bringing together works by 131 departments from 61 schools.

Students from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST), National Cheng Kung University, Shih Chien University and Fu Jen Catholic University have launched a petition to boycott the exhibition due to the high fees charged to showcase their works.

Liu Yen-chen, a student at NTUST, said that students who want to exhibit their graduation works at the fair have to pay NT$20,000 (US$662)-NT$30,000 per person. Public schools may help subsidize students for the payment, but students from private schools have to find the money by themselves. The cost of production fees increases the total cost to between NT$60,000 and NT$70,000.

Noting that such spending can be a huge financial burden for economically disadvantaged students, Liu called on the private schools to provide subsidies and expressed hope that schools will not require students to exhibit their works under their own steam at the exhibition.

In response, Huang Wen-ling, chief of the Ministry of Education's Department of Higher Education, said that the MOEA is studying the feasibility of offering more preferential prices for students. However, she said the ministry will not interfere in school requirements for graduation work shows. 


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