TAIWAN-affiliated Chu Hai College is planning to apply for university status following the Government's move to admit non-British-recognised degree-holders to the civil service. The change in recruitment policy has also prompted Shue Yan College, which runs bachelor and post-graduate courses with mainland universities, to consider raising the issue. Under the Government's plan, mainland and Taiwanese university graduates will be considered for the post of administrative officer from September. Chu Hai College said Hong Kong should give it university status because all of its four-year programmes are recognised by Taipei. The 48-year-old college can only issue diplomas to its 400 graduates each year, but they are also awarded degree certificates by the Taiwanese Government. Acting president of Chu Hai, Professor Tien Chen-ya, said the time was right to grant it university status because of the new recruitment policy and closer mainland-Taiwan relations. Professor Tien said it might seek to come under the umbrella of the University Grants Council and become a publicly funded body. An institution has to pass an assessment by the statutory Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation and be approved by the Executive Council in order to gain a university title. But senior lecturer of the Baptist University, Dr Chen Yu-shi, said Chu Hai's pro-Taiwan background might be a cause of concern to the authorities. However, he said education matters should not be influenced by political considerations. A government spokesman said politics was not a factor in its plan for tertiary development. But she said it did not think the qualifications conferred by Chu Hai College matched the standards of locally recognised degrees. 'The Taiwan Government recognising a qualification does not mean the Hong Kong Government also has to recognise it,' the spokesman said. Asked if a Chu Hai graduate would be considered for a civil service post under the new policy, she said: 'Applicants holding a degree from a Taiwan University will be considered on a case-by-case basis.' Professor Tien said the graduates should be considered because their courses were all validated under the same procedures that a Taiwan university has to undergo in order to be recognised by Taipei. Shue Yan College's vice-president, Dr Chung Chi-yung, said it might raise the status issue with the Government, because its four-year diploma courses were recognised as degree equivalents in many universities. The college is also running undergraduate and post-graduate courses with some Beijing universities. The government spokesman said graduates of these courses might be considered under the new policy.