Tainan offers millions in scholarships to Southeast Asian students

The scholarships are part of President Tsai Ing-wen’s push to attract more visitors from the region

Tainan Mayor William Lai at the signing of the MoU on March 10 (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Tainan City Government announced its first batch of scholarships for students from around Southeast Asia as part of the Taiwan government’s “New Southbound Policy” and the city’s “Tainan University Alliance.”

Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) held a press conference on Monday with 12 college and university deans to announce that the city would award millions in scholarships each year to students from across Southeast Asia, UDN reported. Many of the deans had visited Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta in an effort to form partnerships with universities.

In his effort to attract more students from Malaysia and Indonesia in particular, Mayor Lai said that he will promote Halal certifications for restaurants, which is also part of Taiwan’s plan to increase tourism. He added that students will have opportunities to enroll in internships with local companies.  

The city initially plans to award 30 scholarships per year, each of which will total NT$300,000 per student.

The scholarship application period ended on March 10.

Mayor Lai previously held a press conference on Friday at which the colleges signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry as part of the “Tainan University Alliance,” CNA reported.

The mayor pointed to the importance of Indonesia’s economic growth in the region and the fact that it has attracted investments from more than 800 Taiwanese business people. He also noted the Indonesian ties to Tainan and gave thanks for the support it offered in the city’s recovery from the earthquake on Feb. 6, 2016.