Six out of 26 Taiwanese applicants have received an Erasmus Mundus scholarship for doctoral degrees this year provided by the EU, an acceptance rate of 23.1 percent, exceeding every country in Asia and the eighth-highest in the world, according to the European Economic and Trade Office. That acceptance rate is well above the global average of 6 percent.
Among the recipients was Chang Chuan-fen (張娟芬), a renowned author and an active advocate of the abolition of the death penalty, who studied Erasmus Mundus master degree courses from 2006 until 2008.
Speaking yesterday at a ceremony held to confer scholarship certificates to recipients, Chang said she was thankful for the chance to hear many different points of views and to make friends around the world while studying in Europe.
Because of its historical background, Taiwan has been a society where people are deeply influenced by the US and Japan, but are less familiar with Europe, which made her choose Europe as her study destination, Chang said.
Chang recently published two books on the case of Cheng Hsing-tse (鄭性澤), who was sentenced to death after being convicted of the murder of a police officer, though there was no hard evidence supporting the conviction and Cheng insists that the confession he made during police interrogation was the product of torture.
A total of 11 Taiwanese applicants were awarded the fully-funded scholarships this year, including five granted a place on the program’s master course.
The other seven wait-listed candidates for the scholarship received an equivalent grant from the Ministry of Education to study in Europe.