Assistants from a number of schools and universities today denounced the Ministry of Education for depriving “student assistants” of employment health insurance through a policy change passed last year, which divided assistants into the categories of “student assistants” and “employed assistants”. While students vehemently criticized the changes, representatives from various academic administrations clarified that “student assistants” are students, not employees. By merely adding the word “student” to the top of an evaluation for a teaching assistant, a school can easily change the status of a paid assistant from a formal employee to a student, who does not receive even the most basic benefit of workplace health insurance.Wang Wei-renNYMU Labor Rights Council memberEven if you apply the classification of experiential learning, we still have the same duties as employees, including hosting guests, grading papers, and cleaning classrooms.Students strenuously criticized the changes, arguing for the mandatory retention of employment health insurance for any students who performed tasks like those of formal employees. They also pointed to a 75 decline in the number of employees receiving employment labor insurance from last year. Wang Shu-JuanDepartment of Higher EducationIn determining the relationship between employers, employees, and students, we don’t use the type of work performed to make a distinction. In fact, before the bypass last year, we even lacked a distinction between the types of relationships implied by “employed” assistants and “student” assistants, so that it was difficult to differentiate between these two types of roles. The Department of Higher Education indicated that the status of “student assistants” was defined through mutual agreement, and if those assistants were unhappy with their treatment, they could seek reparation through systems within the school.