Fri, Oct 03, 2008 - Page 4 News List

OCAC plans to ease rules for ‘compatriot’ students

UNEQUAL TREATMENT Unlike other foreign students, overseas Chinese students have to leave for two years after graduation before coming back for employment

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Overseas Chinese students in Taiwan might be allowed to stay and work in the country without having to leave for two years upon completion of their studies, the Overseas Compatriots Affairs Commission (OCAC) said yesterday.

The “Regulations for Studying in Taiwan and Assistance for Overseas Chinese Students” (僑生回國就學及輔導辦法) state that all students of Chinese descent who reside in countries other than Taiwan or China and wish to come back to Taiwan for their tertiary education must leave the country for two years upon graduation before they can re-enter Taiwan for advanced education or employment.

Non-Chinese foreign students are not required to leave for two years before accepting employment or further studies.

OCAC Chairman Wu Ying-yi (吳英毅) said in a report at the legislature that the regulation should be amended to encourage more talented overseas Chinese graduates to work in Taiwan.

Wu said that this year, 2,009 overseas Chinese came back to enroll in Taiwanese colleges and universities. The figure is 24 percent higher than the previous year.

“The regulation favors foreign students over compatriot students in ways such as [offering] more scholarships to foreign students,” he said, adding that the preferential treatment was a big blow to the commission’s efforts to recruit more overseas Chinese students.

He said he aimed to amend the regulation to level the playing field for overseas Chinese and foreign students in Taiwan.

In addition to amending the regulation, Wu urged the Ministry of Education to assist in streamlining applications for overseas Chinese students to make it easier for them to further their studies in Taiwan.

In related news, Wu said the commission might seek additional funds to offset the cost of hosting overseas Chinese returning to Taiwan for the Double Ten Day celebrations next Friday.

More than 10,000 overseas Chinese are expected to attend the celebration, Wu said, adding that so far more than 8,000 people had registered for the trip — far above the commission’s estimate.

Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) and Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) said that the additional NT$15 million (US$467,000) the OCAC was asking for would only be used to accommodate pan-blue supporters.

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