Restrictions on foreign students studying in Taiwan and who are the descendants of Taiwanese are to be loosened in order to encourage the active recruitment of overseas students, Ministry of Education (MOE) officials said yesterday.
Amendments to the Act Governing International Students’ Study in Taiwan (外國學生來台就學辦法) would allow overseas students who hold ROC (Republic of China) nationality but not citizenship, who are either studying Mandarin Chinese, undergoing technical training, are on a student exchange program that lasts less than two years or are on internships to enjoy their period of study in addition to the time limits that usually restrict the number of days they can legally stay in Taiwan.
The amendment would take effect in August, the ministry said.
Currently, the Act states that all foreign students, including students of Taiwanese descent who have stayed overseas for more than six years and have obtained permanent residency in a foreign nation, cannot stay in Taiwan for more than 120 days in one year.
The amendments would also allow those individuals with dual-citizenship who permanently reside in Hong Kong or Macau to be able to study in Taiwan as foreign students if they fit the criteria.
According to the ministy’s Bureau of International Cultural and Educational Relations, students and schools have complained that many second or third-generation Taiwanese descendents who have overseas nationality and who wished to stay in Taiwan to apply for university or graduate school after attending a student exchange program, or language program, were unable to do so because of the 120-day rule.
Students from Hong Kong and Macau with permanent residencies from those semi-autonomous regions of China had been able to travel to Taiwan for study according to the Act Governing Residents from Hong Kong and Macau Studying in Taiwan (香港澳門居民來台就學辦法), but the Act Governing International Students’ Study in Taiwan was inapplicable to people from those territories who held dual-citizenship, the bureau added.
As part of a drive to recruit more foreign students and in a bid to further internationalize higher education, the ministry outlined the amendment to loosen the restrictions, the bureau said.
After the amendment takes effect, students descended from Taiwanese parents, including those who hold ROC nationality, but not citizenship, may stay in Taiwan and apply directly for university or graduate school without overstaying the three month-window, the bureau said.