More than 90 percent of Taiwanese college presidents believe that Chinese students should be allowed to study here, a survey of 110 college and university presidents showed yesterday.
The survey, conducted by the Moodle Education Association, showed that more than 75 percent of respondents think the government should recognize college diplomas awarded in China.
However, most of the respondents said Taiwan should open up to Chinese students incrementally through student exchanges before removing restrictions completely.
“The problem in Taiwan is we have too many schools with not enough students, while China has a shortage of schools ... Allowing Chinese students to study in Taiwan would serve the interests of both sides,” said Yang Tun-he (楊敦和), president of St. John’s University.
Allowing Chinese students into Taiwan, he said, would be a wonderful opportunity for Chinese to get to know Taiwan better.
“The US attracts students from all over the world. Even if the students don’t all stay in the US to work, they are the best ambassadors because they tell people all about the US when they go back to their own countries,” he said.
“The whole world recognizes Chinese diplomas. It would be Taiwan’s loss by not following the trend,” he said.
But Yang said that the government should also develop tougher regulations that protect the rights of Taiwanese students before Chinese nationals enter the student body.
A Ministry of Education official said that allowing Chinese students to study here could alleviate low enrollment figures, but the ministry has little power in the matter.
Wang Chun-chuan (王俊權), the deputy director-general of the Department of Higher Education, said that the ministry proposed allowing Chinese students a few years ago but the idea was rejected by the Mainland Affairs Council on security and administrative concerns.
Andy Lin (林瑞國), a 19-year-old freshman at a technical college in Pingtung, said he did not welcome the idea of Chinese students coming to Taiwan because of ideological differences.
The Moodle Education Association was founded in 1996. Chen Han-chiang (陳漢強), a former legislator with the pro-unification New Party, is the foundation’s general-secretary.