The development of the Community University Movement in Taiwan: a critical review
The Community University (CU) movement in Taiwan arose from calls for education reform and social change in the country since the last decade. In 1998 the first CU, Wenshan CU, operated by local activists and grass-roots groups, was established in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, as an outgrowth of a popular rally for education reform in 1994. Within five years, the movement blossomed into more than 66 independent CUs spreading all over Taiwan, with locally hinted diversities (as of 2003). Since then, social activists from areas including community building, environmental action, labour, aboriginal and feminist movements, culture and the arts etc., have found their niches in CUs. As a critical review, this paper first highlights contexts, rationales and methodologies of CUs. To further discussion, contributions and issues embedded in methodologies and difficulties from practice are also analysed. Finally, conclusions and suggestions are provided to help find a way out of the current constraints for CUs.