The number of students from Hong Kong and Macau who have applied to study at Taiwanese universities for the 2007-2008 school year is a record high, a Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official said yesterday.
A total of 675 high-school graduates from Hong Kong and 1,993 from Macau have applied to local schools, said Lo Mu-kun (羅木坤), director of the council's Hong Kong and Macau affairs department.
Last year there were 413 Hong Kong students and 1,478 from Macau who applied, Lo said.
Lo said the council organized two short tours this summer for students from the two territories as part of its efforts to enhance their understanding of Taiwan. A total of 220 students joined the tours, which took them to several universities, a science park in Taipei and Hsinchu's high speed rail station, Lo said.
Lo said that about 90 percent of students who join the tours end up enrolling in local universities.
These students decide to study in Taiwan because Hong Kong and Macau are close by, because they speak Mandarin and because of the diverse programs provided by Taiwanese universities, he said.