Trying to attract foreign students and academics, the Taiwan Parliament last week approved spending 5.68 billion Taiwan dollars, or about $197 million, over four years for a program to make its higher education system more competitive globally. “The scheme focuses on creating a friendlier environment for the international students while marketing Taiwan’s higher education credentials,” said Tony Lin of the Education Ministry, according to a government report.
Taiwan’s government is hoping to more than double the number of visiting university students, to 95,000, by 2014, according to the statement, issued Thursday. The ultimate goal, it said, is for foreigners to make up about 7.5 percent of total students studying in Taiwan, a rate comparable with Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.
“It’s a good and important plan to attract outstanding foreign students to study in Taiwan,” said Hsu Rui-Hong, director of the International Education Department at the Taiwan Education Ministry. Funds will go to creating more English-language degree programs as well as a system that allows foreign students to work in Taiwan under long-term internship programs.