Wed, Jan 27, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Education minister confident schools can attract Chinese

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) yesterday expressed confidence in the ability of Taiwan’s higher education system to attract students from China.

“I’m not worried that we wouldn’t be able to recruit students from China because Taiwan still plays a leading role in a number of academic fields,” Wu said in Taipei.

The minister said Taiwan’s democracy could also “inspire” Chinese students studying here.

“Maybe in the future China will be led by graduates from schools in Taiwan and they may ask China to remove its missiles targeting Taiwan,” Wu said.

Wu said the ministry would enforce a quota on the number of Chinese students allowed to enroll in schools in Taiwan.

“We will impose stricter controls in the beginning. Once public concern abates we can review the policy,” he said.

Wu made the remarks after a survey conducted by Reader’s Digest magazine found that about 21 percent of interviewees in Taiwan wanted to study in China, while about 5 percent of respondents in China would consider studying in Taiwan.

The poll surveyed 11,430 people in Asian countries on studying abroad, including 1,802 people in Taiwan.

Opening Taiwanese schools to Chinese students is a major objective of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration, but necessary amendments to the law have not cleared the legislative floor.

The minister said he hoped the bills would clear the floor in the next legislative session because “every country is fighting for distinguished foreign students.”

Meanwhile, the survey found that the US, Britain and Japan still topped the list of favorite places for Taiwanese to pursue advanced studies abroad, while the US, continental Europe and Britain were among the top choices of Chinese respondents.

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