Government officials on Wednesday denied the report of a backdoor deal between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and I-Shou University — which belongs to one of the nation’s leading conglomerates, E United Group — for the establishment of a college of medicine for training medical personnel from the nation’s diplomatic allies.
The issue of the Chinese-language Next Magazine published on Wednesday reported that Ma promised E-United Group chairman Lin Yi-shou (林義守) the university would be allowed to set up a college of medicine in exchange for Lin’s support.
Lin had reportedly failed in many attempts over the past 13 years to obtain Ministry of Education approval on applications to set up a college of medicine.
After re-election early last year, Ma directed the National Security Council to develop a government project that offered the Taiwan Scholarship to a maximum of 40 young people per year from the 22 diplomatic allies that recognize studying medicine in Taiwan, according to the magazine.
The magazine said that Ma designated I-Shou University to undertake the project.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called a press conference on Wednesday evening to deny the report.
Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂), Vice Minister of Education Chen Te-hua (陳德華) and International Cooperation and Development Fund secretary general Tao Wen-lung (陶文隆) attended.
Chen denied that the project had been tailored-made for I-Shou University.
The ministry had consulted with the 11 universities with colleges of medicine, but they all rejected the project because they were unable to agree to the condition that all the courses were to be taught in English, Chen said.
A total of 34 students from 11 countries enrolled at the college this year, Chen said.