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A Great-Leap-Forward style expansion in higher education without sufficient funding from public resources has been witnessed in China in the past one decade, which is believed to be the underlining reason for the growing number of college students in poverty. By official standard, this number has reached four million in 2008. To tackle, the government has introduced a student support system consists of five key components. There is also a rich body of literature focusing on the implementation and effectiveness of these policy measures. However, not much has been done on what student poverty means, especially in the context of China. The policy measures have been adopted to tackle an issue which has not been clearly defined. What is the nature of student poverty, why it concerns many and how it could be alleviated, are questions left unanswered. This paper attempts to bridge this gap by not only conceptualizing student poverty but also providing some suggestions on how it could be measured in the context of China.

This study aims to employ focus group method to develop the Poverty and Social Exclusion Survey questionnaire in Taiwan. It is a part of the "Poverty and Social Exclusion in Taiwan: Pilot Study" project[*] to adapt the methodology of the Poverty and Social Exclusion of Britain (PSE) to evaluate the extent of poverty of the Taiwanese population. In Taiwan scholarship that addresses issues of measuring poverty has been dominated by measures that focus on identifying the numbers and characteristics of officially registered 'Low-income Households', by attempts to evaluate the extent of income poverty, or by employing Food, Clothing, Shelter and Utilities (FCSU) method (i.e. budget standards method). There exist very few empirical studies on social exclusion and no utilisation of the consensual/social indicators approach, which PSE of Britain was originated from. Household income and budget standards approaches identify the 'poor' as those with a low income irrespective of the level of their actual living standards. However, it is not necessarily sufficient to determine whether he/she is poor with reference to his/her income when poverty is defined as relative deprivation. Using both income and deprivation indicators, the PSE survey offers the opportunity to measure poverty more accurately and to provide a more complete picture of the living standards of the poor. The PSE measured the percentage of respondents identifying different adult and children items as 'necessary, which all adults and/or children should be able to afford and which they should not have to do without'. This study attempts to develop an understanding of what indicators of poverty and social exclusion culturally and socially relevant to a Taiwanese context. The focus group methodology is used in this study to look at issues including: what participants consider essential or necessities that everyone in Taiwan should have, be able to do or have access to; and what participants think about exclusion for certain spheres of society, and who, if anyone, is excluded. 

[*] PSETPS is funded by British-Taiwanese Joint Projects between the British Academy and the National Science Council Taiwan (NSC97-2911-I-468-001).

Old-age insecurity has become one of the most important social issues in two emerging welfare states, namely South Korea and Taiwan, as they are transforming themselves into ageing societies at a remarkable pace. During the last decade, the two countries have developed different sets of social protection for the elderly. South Korea has expanded social insurance pensions with strictly means-tested assistance schemes whereas Taiwan has introduced flat-rate old-age allowance programmes, excluding the rich rather than targeting the poor. Much has been written about these developments lately, but the actual performance of these programmes has not been thoroughly examined in terms of the reduction of old-age poverty. This study aims to analyse the antipoverty effect of these programmes firstly by describing recent developments in the two countries and secondly by examining headcount poverty rate and poverty gap using micro household dataset. It will argue that while the role of these programmes in old-age security has increased over the years, different policy choices have clearly resulted in different welfare outcomes in the two countries. This article will discuss possible implications of their policy choices on family transfers and further policy reforms.