Wed, Dec 21, 2011 - Page 3 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Ma promises to increase quota of Chinese students

LIMITLESS:Although not even half of the available spots for Chinese students were filled this year, the president of one university said the limit was too low

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou addresses a national conference of university presidents at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday promised to open the nation to more Chinese students, while stressing the government’s continued efforts to ensure the rights of local students.

Allowing Chinese students to study in Taiwan is part of Ma’s policy of promoting cross-strait exchanges. This year, the government began a program that opened more than 100 colleges and universities to 2,000 Chinese students each year.

This year, 928 Chinese students took advantage of the program to enroll in Taiwanese schools, the Ministry of Education said.

Speaking at an annual meeting of college and universities directors, Ma said the government would discuss the idea of allowing more Chinese students to enter institutions of higher learning.

“I proposed the idea of opening up the nation for Chinese students seven years ago, but we must take cautious steps when implementing this policy. The rights of local students to higher education should remain our priority,” he said.

Under the policy, 67 universities are allowed to admit a total of 1,123 Chinese students and 65 technology colleges can take 877, in line with an annual quota of 2,000 imposed by the government.

The quota should not affect the original recruitment plan of the participating schools and Chinese students who enroll in the schools are not eligible for scholarships.

They are also banned from taking exams to obtain certifications and cannot stay in Taiwan after they graduate.

Several university heads, including Shih Hsin University president Lai Ting-ming (賴鼎銘), said the limitations and low number of Chinese students in Taiwan was a problem and urged the government to relax the regulations and allow more Chinese students to enter.

Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) said the ministry would review the policy next year and discuss the possibilities of allowing more Chinese students without revising the current regulations.

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