A second round of high-level talks on educational cooperation were held on Tuesday between Taiwan and the US, with officials vowing to expand language exchange commitments made over the past year.
Established in December 2020, the US-Taiwan Education Initiative intends to expand opportunities for Americans to learn Mandarin and US teachers to help Taiwan reach its goal of becoming a bilingual nation by 2030.
Tuesday’s dialogue was held to assess achievements of the initiative thus far, as well as develop a plan for further cooperation over the next three to five years, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said.
National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) and US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink led the two-hour dialogue, held via teleconference.
The AIT vowed to “help ensure that US campuses remain bastions of innovation and intellectual freedom, values we share with Taiwan.”
Scholarship funding from both sides was increased under the initiative, including US Department of State language exchanges and Fulbright teaching programs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release yesterday.
Taiwan’s Huayu Best Program saw strides in facilitating Mandarin teaching exchanges between universities, while 15 Taiwan Centers for Mandarin Learning have been opened, setting the program on its way to establishing 100 centers in the US and Europe in the coming years, it added.
The Ministry of Education in May and June is to lead a delegation to the NAFSA Conference in Denver, Colorado, with a stopover in Washington to hold meetings and sign a memorandum of understanding on the Huayu Best Program and sister schools, it said.
Next year is to also see the first cohort of five to seven Taiwanese K-12 instructors teaching Mandarin in US schools through the Teachers of Critical Language Program, it added.
On the US side, dialogue attendees included US Department of Education Chief of Staff Sheila Nix, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Camille Dawson, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs Ethan Rosenzweig, AIT Managing Director for the Washington office Ingrid Larson and AIT Deputy Director Jeremy Cornforth.
Taiwan sent representatives from the education and foreign ministries and the Overseas Community Affairs Council, as well as Deputy Representative to the US Cheng Jung-chun (鄭榮俊).
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