The summer season of college entrance exams is upon us again. Many students are awaiting their academic fates after taking the Advanced Subjects Test (AST) in early July. Once those test results are publicly announced, all those students will choose which college, and which department, they want to study at.

If a student chooses to study in another city or county, they will also need to arrange suitable accommodation. Almost every student’s first choice is to stay in the school dormitory, but the number of beds available will not necessarily satisfy demand. Some students might be left seeking private housing – more expensive, and further from campus.

New Taipei mayoral candidate Hou You-yi (侯友宜) and the Taipei city government are locked into an ongoing spat over dormitory rentals at Chinese Culture University (PCCU) – a situation which is created by the shortage of dorms in the first place. If we look at the details for the upcoming academic year, there are 4,662 dorm beds (including off-campus dorms) available at PCCU for the 6,604 students applying for dorm accommodation. At least 30 percent of PCCU student applicants were not allocated a dorm bed.

What is the current situation with supply and demand of college dormitories throughout Taiwan? We calculated this using data released by the Ministry of Education’s Statistics Department along with dormitory figures from each university for the 2018 academic year.

General and normal (teacher training) universities

Judging from the 82 dorms at both general and normal universities, there were 31 dorms where the number of beds exceeded student demand. The remaining 51 dorms were not able to meet student applications.

Of those 51, the top 10 dorms with an insufficient supply of beds could only meet 70 percent of student demand. The top three were even lower, meeting less than 60 percent of demand. They were, (NCTU) National Chiao Tung University’s Tainan dormitory (44.8 percent), (SHU) Shih Hsin University’s Taipei dormitory (51.8 percent), and (FGU) Fo Guang University’s dormitory (52.8 percent).

  1. (NCTU) National Chiao Tung University: Tainan dorm
  2. (SHU) Shih Hsin University: Taipei dorm
  3. (FGU) Fo Guang University
  4. (TMU) Taipei Medical University
  5. (UT) University of Taipei
  6. (TKU) Tamkang University: New Taipei City dorm
  7. (NTNU) National Taiwan Normal University
  8. (YZU) Yuan Ze University
  9. (NCKU) National Cheng Kung University
  10. (NCNU) National Chi Nan University

In contrast, at the top 10 college dorms that did meet demand, the amount of available beds was more than doubled the number of students who applied. The top two had over 10 times more beds than they did student applications. Aletheia University’s Tainan dormitory had the highest ratio, with a total of 656 dorm beds – over 19 times more than the 34 students that applied. Next up was Toko University’s dormitory, offering 1,260 dorm beds to just 118 student applicants.

  1. (AU) Aletheia University: Tainan dorm
  2. (TOKO) Toko University
  3. (UKN) University of Kang Ning: Tainan dorm
  4. (DILA) Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts
  5. (TSU) Taiwan Shoufu University
  6. (CTBC) CTBC Business School
  7. (MDU) MingDao University
  8. (MCU) Ming Chuan University: Kinmen dorm
  9. (TCU) Tzu Chi University
  10. (NHU) Nanhua University

Vocational / technical schools

There are a total of 96 vocational and technical (voc-tech) school dormitories, 59 of which had more beds than they did student applications. The remaining 37 dorms had fewer beds than student applications.

The top nine dorms with an insufficient amount of beds had an average supply-demand ratio of less than 70 percent. The dormitory with the lowest supply-demand ratio belonged to (HK) Hungkuang University which, with 364 available beds, could only accommodate 16 percent of its 2,276 applying students.

  1. (HK) Hungkuang University
  2. (TUMT) Taipei University of Marine Technology: Taipei City dorm
  3. (TUT) Tainan University of Technology
  4. (NTUST) National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
  5. (NTUT) National Taipei University of Technology: Taipei dorm
  6. (WZU) Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages
  7. (KUAS) National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences
  8. (OIST) Oriental Institute of Technology
  9. (LHU) Lunghwa University of Science and Technology
  10. (NCUT) National Chin-Yi University of Technology

At the top 10 dorms with more beds than students, the number of beds more than doubled the number of applicants. (APIC) Asia-Pacific Institute of Creativity’s dormitory came out on top, as they had 1,482 beds, 12 times more than the 120 students applying.

  1. (APIC) Asia-Pacific Institute of Creativity
  2. (TTC) Tatung Institute of Technology: Chiayi dorm
  3. (DAHAN) Dahan Institute of Technology
  4. (FIT) Fortune Institute of Technology
  5. (LYIT) Lan Yang Institute of Technology
  6. (NJU) Nan Jeon University of Science and Technology
  7. (TCIT) The Culinary Institute of Taiwan
  8. (TUMT) Taipei University of Marine Technology: New Taipei City dorm
  9. (KMVS) Kaomei Junior College of Health Care and Management
  10. (WFU) WuFeng University

As it stands, Taiwan’s general and normal universities fail to accommodate many of their prospective students, but most dorms can meet at least 70 percent of student demand. At vocational and technical schools, however, the opposite is true: the number of dormitory beds far outweighs the number of student applications. This may be due to a decline in students applying to vocational and technical schools – a phenomenon that may be part of a growing trend.

Source: Statistics Department, Ministry of Education.

Calculation of the dormitory supply-demand ratio:

  1. Total number of beds = number of beds in student dormitory (excluding off-campus rentals) + number of beds in off-campus dormitories
  2. Dormitory supply-demand ratio = total number of beds / number of people applying for dormitory beds (including beds in off-campus dormitories)

Read Next: GUIDE: How to Go to College in Taiwan

This article originally appeared on the Chinese-language Taiwan edition of The News Lens. The original can be found here.

Translator: Zeke Li

Editor: Nick Aspinwall