Operation Mechanism in Industrial- Academic Cooperation for Junior Colleges and Institutions of Higher Education, and Ensure Students’ Off-Campus Internship Rights
The Ministry of Education amended, on February 9, 2012 the “Regulations for Industrial-Academic Cooperation (IAC) for Colleges and Universities” published and implemented in 2006, and renamed it “Regulations for IAC for Junior Colleges and Institutions of Higher Education”. The purpose was to guide junior colleges and institutions of higher education to perfect their Operation Mechanisms. Regarding practical operating experiences of students’ off-campus internship, these regulations further stipulate protections for related rights and interests to meet society’s expectations.
As IAC in junior colleges and institutions of higher education is promoted, its types are increasingly complicated. With regard to management and utilization of IAC results and related intellectual property rights, it is urgent that schools are guided to establish a comprehensive operation mechanism. As a result, this regulations’ amendment stipulates that, as far as IAC is concerned, schools shall make an overall plan regarding education and research characteristics and that they shall define in-campus related regulations to facilitate talent cultivation, technical research, use of intellectual property rights. Among them, use of intellectual property rights shall follow the intent of related articles in the “Fundamental Science and Technology Act”. Principally, it is necessary to urge schools to install a sound intellectual property management mechanism, draft benefit sharing and avoidance of interest of related personnel, and prevent participating teachers and students from violating law and regulation.
Besides, as students’ off-campus internship involves numerous rights and benefits in IAC, it is suggested that schools have a dedicated promotion agency for consolidating and coordinating related affairs. For example, National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism (NKUHT), Ming Chi University of Technology, Southern Taiwan University, etc., have always been affirmed of their off-campus internship effects due to their definite practice promotion mechanisms. This amendment to the regulations consulted these schools’ practical operating experience. It further stipulates that in addition to setting up student off-campus internship commissions, junior colleges and institutions of higher education shall deal with student rights and benefits protection affairs, including undertaking IAC practice contract audits, practice effects assessment, and related complaint processing, etc. Moreover, in order to make cooperative organizations include students in off-campus internship rights and benefits protection, these regulations also stipulate that regarding students’ off-campus internship, schools and cooperative organizations shall draw up plans for operating training, guidance, safety and protection, insurance, dispute handling, procedure for terminating practice before expiration, and so on. And these shall be included in IAC contracts.
Off-campus internship can help students to combine theory with practice, increase their expertise, and correct understanding of workplace ethics. It is an extension of school’s normal courses. In response to this amendment to the measures, junior colleges and institutions of higher education will be guided to establish a sound practice promotion mechanism. This has been listed as a top priority for 2012. The purpose is to aggressively urge students to take part in off-campus internship courses, connect their curriculum planning to practical employment experience, and further establish a common long-term talent cultivation mechanism for schools and industry alike to cultivate quality and suitable professional talent.