The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday announced a Taiwan-Europe Connectivity Scholarship program to attract more European students to study Mandarin in the nation and advance bilateral relations.
The program aims to fortify Taiwan-Europe ties and encourage local universities to build up English-teaching environments, Department of European Affairs Deputy Director-General Kendra Chen (陳詠韶) told a news briefing in Taipei.
The program echoes the EU’s Europe-Asia Connectivity Strategy and the UK’s Global Britain vision, she said, expressing the hope that academic partnership would foster collaboration in other areas.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
The umbrella program includes three projects targeting the Czech Republic, Hungary and the UK, Chen said.
In the project targeting the Czech Republic, seven local universities would provide 50 scholarships per year to students from 14 Czech universities, she said, adding that 11 Czech students have enrolled in National Chengchi University and National Sun Yat-sen University.
The project, resulting from Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil’s visit to Taiwan in August last year, was first announced by the ministry in September last year.
In the project targeting Hungary, 11 local universities would provide 30 scholarships per year to students from nine Hungarian universities, Chen said.
In the project targeting the UK, 18 local universities would provide 100 scholarships per year to students from 42 British universities, she said, adding that six British students have enrolled in National Taiwan University.
The 18 local universities are also required to make plans regarding how the British students might assist English teaching or increase interactions with Taiwanese students on campuses, as part of the government’s efforts to make Taiwan fully bilingual by 2030, Chen said.
The Ministry of Education and the British Office Taipei in October last year signed a letter of intent to further bilateral cooperation in English-language education.
The foreign ministry offers subsidies to local universities based on their scholarship quotas, while they should provide a monthly stipend of at least NT$15,000 to each recipient, Chen said.
The recipients are required to take at least one Mandarin-learning course, she added.
The foreign students were isolated for 14 days upon entering Taiwan, followed by seven days of self-health management, in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’ regulations, she said.
The ministry plans to extend the program to other European countries, especially those that have established representative offices in Taiwan, Chen said.
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