The Ministry of Education is seeking to increase the number of foreign students in Taiwan by 30,000 by 2019 under the government’s “new southbound policy,” Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said.
The ministry has allocated NT$1 billion (US$31.77 million) to work toward three “new southbound policy” goals, Pan said at an Education and Culture Committee policy meeting.
The ministry has set aside NT$770 million to further train people who specialize in trade management and have a comprehensive understanding of Southeast Asian and South Asian cultures and languages, he said.
Taipei would also be used to attract students in the region to Taiwan to pursue higher education or professional education, and to learn Mandarin, he said.
The ministry has allotted NT$61 million for bilateral exchanges on culture and sports, he said.
It has allocated NT$160 million for the “Taiwanese link” initiative and to help higher-education institutions enter into an alliance of academic exchanges.
The initiative aims to deepen the nation’s ties with ASEAN member states and India through the help of ASEAN or Indian organizations or residents who graduated from a Taiwanese institution.
The ministry would help local universities identify students’ needs in the target regions, so that they can design curricula aimed at fostering actual talent rather than working just to meet recruitment goals, Pan said.
The ministry aims to boost the number of foreign students from 28,000 to 58,000 in 2019, Pan said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) urged the ministry to devise job placement programs for foreign students, as other nations have done for Taiwanese studying and working overseas.
The ministry must not allow foreign students do the same work as “caretakers” or stay in dormitories, but it should help them gain useful work experience in Taiwan, he said.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) said that society is not treating “new residents” with due respect, which can be proved by many new residents opting to educate their children in Mandarin and refraining from teaching their children to learn their mother tongue.
Conversely, the children of Japanese or English-speaking parents tend to speak Japanese and English.
This shows that ethnic Taiwanese tacitly discriminate against new residents and highlights a lack of understanding of new residents, she said.
She said that almost all new residents know Mandarin, but very few ethnic Taiwanese know a Southeastern or South Asian language.
She said the ministry has earmarked a large budget to send Taiwanese students abroad to learn Southeast or South Asian languages, but the problem can be effectively ameliorated by helping new residents gain respect and by promoting their cultures, thus increasing people’s willingness to learn their languages.
Overseas Community Affairs Council Deputy Minister Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) said the nation has progressed on its efforts to promote Mandarin education in Myanmar.
Burmese authorities were very sensitive about Mandarin teaching materials printed in Taiwan, Tien said.
However, Burmese society has become more liberal and the first batch of Taiwan-made Mandarin textbooks is scheduled to be adopted by the Burmese government next year, she said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
The Taipei City Government yesterday said that construction on the long-suspended Taipei Dome can resume immediately, after it approved a request by the project’s main contractor, Farglory Group. In a statement, the Taipei Construction Management Office said that after it on July 16 issued a new building permit, Farglory submitted revised design plans and an application to resume construction, which the office approved on Friday. Construction had been suspended on the dome, near the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Xinyi District (信義), for more than five years due to disagreements between the city and the company over the safety of some of