Thu, Jul 29, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Scholarships for foreign students given the green light by the Cabinet

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

In an attempt to attract more foreign students to Taiwan, the Cabinet yesterday approved a 10-year plan called the Taiwan Scholarship to provide students with annual scholarship payments of between NT$280,000 and NT$540,000.

Statistics made available by the education ministry show that there are about 7,800 foreign students studying in the nation. While about 6,200 are in short-term or long-term language-study programs, the remaining 1,500 are taking credit courses at colleges or universities.

The Cabinet hopes to see the number of students pursuing graduate or undergraduate degrees increase to about 10,000 by 2013 with the implementation of the 10-year project.

The Taiwan Scholarship is one of nine major initiatives included in the measure approved by the Cabinet yesterday.

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

According to Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝), who delivered a special report on the recruitment project during yesterday's weekly closed-door Cabinet meeting, the nation faces several challenges in recruiting students.

"In addition to English-speaking countries and non-English speaking countries with international influence, China poses the biggest threat because it boasts cheaper tuition and cost of living," Tu said.

While China attracted only 44,700 foreign students in 1999, the number jumped to over 77,700 last year.

In addition to the establishment of the Taiwan Scholarship, the ministry plans to bring in high-caliber foreign teachers from abroad, encourage schools to offer courses suiting the needs of foreign students and use English as the instruction medium.

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

Recipients of the graduate scholarship will receive monthly subsidies 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.

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