President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday defended the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Sun Yat-sen Scholarship program and stressed the advantages of studying abroad.
Ma, who doubles as KMT chairman, yesterday met with 10 recipients of the scholarship at the KMT headquarters, and encouraged them to dedicate their knowledge and talents to the nation after completing what he called a “formal learning process” as compared with working holidays or short-term language courses.
“Studying abroad is a major force for modernizing the nation. Although Taiwan has developed over the years, there is still a lot to learn from advanced countries. Most importantly, you should nurture yourself and become a talent that the nation needs,” he said.
Ma, a recipient of the scholarship in 1974, said his family was not able to finance his graduate studies at New York University, and expressed his gratitude for the scholarship giving him the opportunity to broaden his horizons and complete his studies.
“That’s why I decided to reinstate the scholarship in 2010. The scholarship does not aim to train KMT members. Our goal is to cultivate talents for the country, so that more young people will receive a good education and make contributions to Taiwan,” he said.
The KMT launched the scholarship program in 1960 to send outstanding young party members abroad for advanced studies. The KMT used the program to cultivate talent within its own ranks, encouraging its members to apply for the program, while assigning political missions to scholarship recipients.
Many of the recipients became KMT heavyweights and top politicians, including Ma, Taiwan’s Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) and former Straits Exchange Foundation chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤).