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9/5/2007 Taiwan-- AGRICULTURE
Strawberries take the cake. The strawberry ranked first in an ongoing online poll as the nation's favorite fruit after residents from Miaoli County strongly endorsed the fruit, which they produce locally. The poll is being conducted by the Agriculture and Food Agency. The mango led the poll in July and part of last month. The vote began on July 1 and will continue until Oct. 31. More than 800,000 people have voted. The strawberry had received 58,839 votes as of yesterday, ahead of 57,352 votes for the mango. Lychees ranked third with 56,777 votes, followed by grapes with 55,555 votes and wax apples, or bell fruit, with 54,901 votes. To encourage more people to participate in the poll, the agency will give away a 42-inch liquid-crystal-display television set, 60 tourist farm coupons and 500 copies of next year's fruit calendar through a drawing in November.
School enrollment criticized
Former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) suggested yesterday that changes be made in the university enrollment system and said some senior high schools operate like a "training camp for skills to pass college entrance examinations." Lee, a joint winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in chemistry, brought up the suggestion at a higher education forum held by a an alliance of 12 research-oriented universities. The alliance was formed last year to carry out a government plan to develop world-ranking universities. Lee said the enrollment system has affected senior high school education in Taiwan. The university enrollment system has turned junior and senior high schools into "test skills training camps," which attach little importance to creativity training, Lee said.