Tue, Aug 21, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Conference aims to boost ties with overseas schools

Staff writer, with CNA

Premier William Lai, right, yesterday looks at items on display at the New Southbound National Chinese-language Schools Conference in Taipei.

Photo: CNA

A conference for top administrators from Chinese-language schools in seven ASEAN nations and South Korea yesterday opened in Taipei to enhance cooperation between the government and the schools.

The New Southbound National Chinese-language Schools Conference, organized by the Overseas Community Affairs Council, is aimed at increasing understanding of the government’s New Southbound Policy and Taiwan’s decades-long support of Chinese-language schools abroad, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said in his opening address.

With better understanding of the government’s policy to support overseas Chinese-language schools and ethnic Chinese students, the schools can serve as a bridge connecting Taiwan and their own countries, he said.

The New Southbound Policy has proven successful in improving links between Taiwan and ASEAN members, he said.

The number of people visiting Taiwan from ASEAN nations rose 27 percent last year compared with 2016, Lai said, adding that the number of people from ASEAN members studying in Taiwan increased 10 percent over the past year.

Taiwanese investment in ASEAN economies increased 54.5 percent last year compared with the previous year, while inbound investment rose 15.8 percent, he said.

The government is offering scholarships and more visa incentives to encourage ethnic Chinese students to come to Taiwan to study in high schools or vocational schools or for undergraduate and postgraduate education, the premier said.

Fourteen vocational high schools that offer programs for ethnic Chinese students also sent representatives to the two-day meeting so that ASEAN participants could gain a deeper knowledge of vocational education in Taiwan and encourage more of their students to study here, the council said.

A total of 108 principals or senior managers from schools in Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia and South Korea are attending the conference, which ends today.

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