More than 80 percent of foreign students said they hoped to stay and find a job in Taiwan after graduation, a survey released on Wednesday by the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan showed.
The “2020 Study in Taiwan Highlight Report,” conducted by the foundation in March and April, collected 3,724 valid responses from foreign students enrolled in Taiwanese universities.
Respondents included students studying for a diploma, exchange students, overseas Taiwanese students, and students from Hong Kong, Macau and China, the report said, adding that 85.6 percent of respondents came from Asian nations, and 68 percent were aged between 18 and 24.
Asked whether they wanted to stay in Taiwan after graduation, 83.6 percent of respondents expressed the wish to do so — higher than that of a similar study in 2018 — provided they found good internship or job opportunities, the survey showed.
African students were the demographic group that expressed the strongest desire to continue their stay, and 89.3 percent of respondents believed that having studied in Taiwan would benefit them greatly in future, it showed.
Asked why they chose to study abroad, most respondents said “to experience living in a foreign country,” followed by “to receive a better education,” “to boost their academic research capabilities,” and “to enhance their competitiveness in the workplace,” it showed.
Asked why they chose Taiwan, 41.2 percent cited its “safety, freedom, and openness,” followed by scholarship offers, 34.5 percent; cost of living, 33.6 percent; and easier cultural adaptation, 28 percent, the survey showed.
Safety and freedom, quality of education and healthcare were among the best things about Taiwan for respondents; while cost of living, loneliness and homesickness, and job or internship opportunities were seen as big challenges, it showed.
Most respondents said they learned of the opportunity to study in Taiwan via “the Internet or social media,” followed by “word of mouth among family and friends,” while some said they found the information at university expos, or through advertising by Taiwanese universities or Taiwan’s education centers overseas, it showed.
National Taiwan Normal University Office of International Affairs director Liu Hsiang-lin (劉祥麟) said that more efforts should be made to assist foreign students who hope to stay and work in Taiwan, as it would enhance the nation’s competitiveness.
The government should loosen regulations to allow more foreign talent to stay and contribute with their expertise, Liu added.
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