Mon, Jun 07, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Government tries to lure foreign students with cash

COMBINED POLICY As part of Premier Yu Shyi-kun's plans to integrate social, cultural, political and economic policies, foreigners will be offered scholarships to study here

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

To attract more international students to Taiwan, Premier Yu Shyi-kun last week promised to initiate the Taiwan Scholarship Program for the coming school year.

He hopes the move will encourage international students to play a role in diversifying and internationalizing Taiwan's higher education sector and promote Taiwan's development and achievements.

After listening to a briefing from officials of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, Yu, who who has said he wants to integrate social, cultural, political and economic aspects in policy-making, said the government would help implement the Taiwan Scholarship Program, which has been discussed for several years.

Established by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Taiwan Scholarship Program will accept applications for the coming school year from international students who have outstanding academic records and have been accepted by local universities or graduate schools. Overseas Chinese and Taiwanese nationals are not eligible.

The programs will provide at total of NT$80 million to at least 200 foreign students each year to study subjects including languages, electronic engineering, sciences and business management. The program will run for 10 years and will gradually grow to include 400 students receiving more than NT$140 million a year.

There are six types of the scholarships: Chinese; undergraduate; postgraduate; diplomatic; individual scholarships from universities; and scholarships from the International Cooperation and Development Fund.

Students granted the Chinese scholarships or undergraduate scholarships will receive NT$25,000 per month for one year. Postgraduate scholarships offer NT$30,000 per month for two or three years. Diplomatic scholarships are mainly for students from the countries that have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan or developing countries.

According to Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝), the program can be viewed as a breakthrough in diplomacy and an opportunity to increase educational and academic exchanges and the internationalization of the domestic higher education sector.

"The number of international students a country has indicates its educational competitiveness in the world and is also an index of its influence and power," Tu said at a legislative committee hearing on Monday.

"As Taiwan has a lot of difficulty in carving out its diplomatic relations, the Taiwan Scholarships can be viewed as a good strategy for demonstrating the `Taiwanese experience' and increasing the understanding of Taiwan in other international communities," Tu said.

"More advanced countries have more international students," Tu said. "Because of the open market for educational institutions and the trend toward globalization, Taiwan needs more international students to create a diversified learning environment and increase their understanding of Taiwan."

He said that his ministry's Department of International Cultural and Educational Relations will hold a Taiwanese education fair annually and set up a Center of Taiwan Education.

He said the ministry would discuss revising the regulations so that international students are qualified to stay and work in Taiwan after their graduation.

For further information about Taiwan Scholarships, see http://www.edu.tw/

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