National Taiwan University (NTU) yesterday called on the government to lift the entry ban on foreign visitors so students from overseas can study in Taiwan, citing the rising numbers of international students who have enrolled.
The Executive Yuan has said that borders cannot be reopened until the global COVID-19 situation has been brought sufficiently under control.
The EU is likely to loosen its border controls soon and outstanding students who have been admitted to Taiwanese universities might go elsewhere if they are unable to arrive in Taiwan prior to the beginning of the new academic year in September, NTU said.
The government implemented an entry ban on most foreign nationals on March 19 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
International students are important for the globalization and research capacity of Taiwanese universities, the university said, adding that years of achievements in international recruitment could be undone.
About 550 foreign students studying at the university, including from China, Hong Kong and Macau, have been unable to attend classes this semester, NTU said.
While online courses are provided, many students have expressed hope that they would be able to enter Taiwan soon, it said.
The university has recruited about 1,000 foreign students for the new semester, a 20 percent increase from last year, with many of them graduates from prestigious universities, such as the University of California, Berkeley, Princeton University, Duke University, Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania, NTU said, citing data from its Office of International Affairs.
Another 550 international exchange students are expected to begin studies at NTU in the new semester, it said.
The university has been making quarantine arrangements since early last month for new and returning international students, it said.
Hopefully, the government would announce a timeline soon to lift the entry ban so proper arrangements can be made, it said.
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