China is to ban its students from applying to study in Taiwan’s schools in the semester beginning in September, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and cross-strait relations, the Chinese Ministry of Education said in a statement yesterday.
Chinese students currently enrolled in Taiwanese universities can apply to remain there, it said.
The policy regarding the admission of Taiwanese students to universities in China remains unchanged, it added.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
“The pressing matters at hand include how to address the current obstacles that Chinese students [enrolled in universities in Taiwan] face in returning to the schools to study. It is important to safeguard their legitimate rights,” it said, referring to the Ministry of Education’s Feb. 3 decision to stop Chinese students from returning to Taiwanese universities after the winter break to contain the viral outbreak.
To ensure the education rights of Chinese students, the ministry offered other learning resources, such as online courses, as alternatives.
During a regular news briefing yesterday, Mainland Affairs Council spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said it regrets that China has unilaterally halted Chinese students from studying in Taiwan.
Since Taiwan’s government allowed Chinese students to study in Taiwan from 2011, it has not altered its policy of welcoming Chinese students, he said.
Nearly 8,000 Chinese students have enrolled in Taiwan’s schools, although only 800 are currently in Taiwan, he said.
Universities in Taiwan this month would normally begin accepting applications from Chinese students, and publish the results no later than July, so that they would have ample time to prepare to come to Taiwan before September, University Entrance Committee for Mainland Chinese Students secretary-general Chang Hong-de (張鴻德) said.
The committee and its Chinese counterpart were not aware of the new policy until yesterday, Chang said, adding that the announcement came abruptly.
The committee requested that its counterpart confirm details with the Chinese government, such as how the restrictions apply, so it can better respond to the situation, he said.
Last year, 3,800 Chinese students were admitted to Taiwanese universities, including 800 high-school graduates, 1,500 university graduates and 1,500 graduates from junior college programs, Chang said.
About 40 percent of the Chinese students that apply to graduate schools in Taiwan are already in Taiwan studying for a bachelor’s degree, he said.
It is still difficult to estimate how the new restrictions would affect Taiwan, he added.
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