The government’s policy of opening colleges to Chinese students has been in effect for nearly one year and “it’s time to make adjustments to it,” Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said.
Chang said the council would work with the Ministry of Education to review issues related to the opening based on the principles that any changes will be made “in stages, incrementally, and with complementary measures.”
The “three restrictions and six noes” targeting Chinese students would also be included in the review, he said. The three restrictions limits enrollment to Chinese students who come from “schools of high academic standing,” places a cap on how many Chinese are allowed to study in Taiwan and does not recognize medical diplomas from China.
The six noes refer to no preferential grading on entrance exams, no scholarships, no effect on Taiwanese student enrollment openings, no part-time jobs in Taiwan, no participation in licensing examinations and no staying in Taiwan after graduation.
According to Chang, globalization is forcing Taiwan to enhance its international competitiveness through exchanges with elites around the world, including those from China. He said that in promoting cross-strait exchanges, consideration would be given to protecting the education rights of Taiwanese students, arranging exchanges on an equal and reciprocal basis, and upgrading the nation’s competitive edge.
He said that to make it easier for Chinese students to live in Taiwan, the government has already allowed them to apply for mobile phone numbers, open accounts at banks and post offices, apply for debit cards and buy motorized vehicles after a minimum six-month stay in the country. However, Chinese students cannot join Taiwan’s health insurance program, mainly because of related laws, but they still have other options, Chang added.
Meanwhile, Xiamen University associate professor Zhang Baorong (張寶蓉) said results of a survey indicated that about half of senior-high school students in three Chinese provinces — Fujian, Guangdong and Zhejiang — would like to study in Taiwan. The students were attracted to Taiwan because of its proximity to their homes, a less competitive environment than in China, good social order and limited requirements for foreign language proficiency, she said.
Zhang conducted the survey among students from more than 30 major senior-high schools in the three provinces through interviews and questionnaires. About 51 percent of the respondents said they were “very willing” or “relatively willing” to study in Taiwan, with female students more willing to study in Taiwan than their male counterparts.