Mon, Jul 26, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Government offers scholarships to foreign students

EASY MONEY Cabinet looks set to approve a cool NT$265 million for students from abroad in its latest attempt to build international bridges

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Foreign students interested in studying at Taiwan's colleges or language centers should soon be eligible to apply for a chunk of the NT$265 million that the government will provide to foreign students through the Taiwan Scholarship, which the Cabinet is set to approve on Wednesday.

The program, which will offer a monthly allowance of between NT$25,000 and NT$30,000 starting this fall semester, is projected to benefit over 850 foreign students.

According to Chang Chin-sheng (張欽盛), director of the Bureau of International Cultural and Educational Relations, the program is designed to attract foreign students to study Taiwan's culture, language and customs and to increase their understanding of the nation's development.

"We'd also like to enhance the academic and cultural exchanges with other countries and strengthen the relationships with our diplomatic allies as well as broaden our foreign relations with non-diplomatic countries," Chang said.

While there are currently about 7,800 foreign students studying in Taiwan, the government hopes to see the number increase to 10,000 by 2014 with the implementation of the 10-year project.

Among the 7,800, about 6,200 are in short-term or long-term language study programs while the remaining 1,500 are taking credit courses at colleges or universities.

The government hopes to see the number of students pursuing their graduate or undergraduate degrees more than triple to about 5,000 by 2014.

The fund, which has already been approved by the legislature, is to be funded by the Ministry of Education (NT$150 million), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NT$50 million), the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association (NT$50 million), the National Science Council and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (NT$15 million).

There are six categories in the scholarship. The Chinese scholarship offers a foreign student a monthly allowance of NT$25,000 over the course of one year to study Chinese at university language centers.

The undergraduate scholarship provides a foreign student pursuing a bachelor's degree with a NT$25,000 monthly allowance for up to four years.

Recipients of the graduate scholarship will receive monthly allowances of NT$30,000 for the pursuit of a master's or doctoral degree. While the grant for a graduate student is up to two years, that for a doctorate candidate is up to three years.

The annual quota for the three scholarships is 300.

Students who are residents of diplomatic allies or of developing countries and who are granted the diplomatic scholarship will receive a monthly allowance of NT$30,000 per person on top of an economy class round-trip plane ticket to study either Chinese at universities' language centers or at undergraduate schools or graduate schools.

The annual quota for this category is about 200.

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