Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Taiwan universities to admit mainland students

Pending legislative approval this month, Taiwan could open its graduate schools to mainland Chinese students as early as next spring, with undergraduates likely to follow in the fall of 2010.

President Ma Ying-jeou spoke of the proposal to allow Chinese students to study in Taiwan while speaking (via video conference) to a gathering at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC on April 22nd.

Ma said there are indeed different opinions as to how to open up Taiwan’s universities to mainland students, including discussions of which departments would be opened and the number of admission allowed. Therefore, according to Ma, there would be more restrictive measures to begin with, but gradually he hopes to achieve the following three goals:

1) To engender understanding of each other by the students on both sides of the Taiwan Strait at an earlier age.
2) To aid the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and attract talented young mainlanders to Taiwan, furthering the competitive edge of Taiwanese students.
3) To increase opportunities for mainland students and Taiwanese universities. There are about 130 colleges and universities in Taiwan with an admission rate approaching 90 percent. However in the mainland, many students cannot pursue advance studies due to the limited availability of college places. It is hoped, that these qualified students can take advantage of the abundant teaching resources at private colleges in Taiwan.

The Taipei Times reported that Taiwan’s Ministry of Education is currently working on the policies governing Chinese students attending Taiwanese colleges. So far, the Education Minister Chen Jei-cheng has promised to cap the number of Chinese student to less than one percent of total university vacancies and to offer no scholarships.

According to the Taipei-based China Post, Democratic Progress Party legislators are determined to oppose the amendments authorizing Chinese students to study in Taiwan. They fear many Chinese students would try to enroll using fake grades or diplomas. Currently, Taiwan does not accredit qualifications from mainland high schools, colleges and universities.

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About Me

The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco represents the Government Information Office (GIO), Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). GIO maintains nine Press Divisions in the United States, including the San Francisco office. The Press Divisions are in charge of promoting Taiwan's public relations and cultural exchanges. This blog is updated by the Press Division, TECO in San Francisco.