Study in Taiwan

The Taiwan government announced last year that it will provide NT$5.2 billion, around P9.27 billion, in the coming five years to fund international students’ study in Taiwan.

Under the Ministry of Education program, it will set up 10 overseas bases by 2025, with a focus on New Southbound Policy countries, such as Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, with the aim of attracting 320,000 students by 2030 and retaining at least 210,000 after they graduate.

In the Philippines, one overseas talent base was unveiled in Makati City on 5 February.

President Lee Tien-shang of Kun Shan University, the base’s main partner-university from Taiwan, says they have two more overseas talent offices in the University Belt in Manila and Cebu City.

The overseas talent bases are tasked with arranging Mandarin courses, exchange programs and enrollment of students in specialized degree programs in collaboration with businesses and universities in different countries.

Under the program, students will enroll in two-year degree programs, during which they will receive scholarships from the Taiwan government and US$300 living stipends per month from the corporation sponsoring their program.

They will then be required to stay in Taiwan and work at the corporation for at least two years after graduating.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as semiconductors and finance, will be the primary areas of study for interested applicants.

The plan was proposed in accordance with the government’s population and immigration policy and in response to calls from industries to attract outstanding international students and allow them to stay after graduation.

Lee Tien-shang hopes the offices will serve to enhance overseas recruitment and industry-academia cooperation for a win-win outcome for the talents, universities and corporations involved.

Deputy Minister of Education Mon-Chi Lio, on the other hand, hopes to promote bilateral university cooperation through the new base and to encourage more Filipino students to study in Taiwan.

Yang Ker-Cheng, executive chairman of a healthcare manufacturing group in Taiwan (which also has branches in Singapore, Cambodia and the Philippines), said one of the challenges Taiwan faces today is businesses’ need to go global, as well as insufficient human resources.

Due to the low fertility rate in Taiwan, universities and corporations have been feeling the pain that the number of students and talents are getting scarce over time.

Yang said his company has been expanding to long-term care services and, thus, he sees a severe shortage of workforce in Taiwan not only in STEM and semiconductors fields, but also caregivers and healthcare workers because Taiwan is heading into its super-aged era.

Eugenia Yangco, president of the Rizal Technological University (which is among the partner-universities in the Philippines), said the program will help its students acquire diverse skills while studying in Taiwan and get better job opportunities, which will, in turn, help their families.