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President hopes ratio of foreign students up to 10 percent by 2020

President hopes ratio of foreign students up to 10 percent by 2020

Taipei, Jan. 27 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou is hopeful that the ratio of international students to overall university and college students will have increased to 2.6 percent by 2011 and to 10 percent by 2020, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said Wednesday.
The number of international degree and non-degree students enrolled in Taiwan's universities and colleges -- who include exchange students, students engaged in short-term studies and Chinese learning programs -- totaled 22,366 as of the end of last October, up 2,870 from the 19,496 in 2008.
The number of foreign students accounted for about 1.7 percent of the total number of university and college students, compared to 1.3 percent in 2008, according to the MOE statistics.
By enhancing scholarship programs and increasing the availability of courses offered in the English language, Ma told national policy advisors recently, the ratio of international students could increase by 100 percent to 2.6 percent from the 2008 level, and keep rising to 10 percent by 2020.
Enrolling more foreign students can foster a diversified campus culture, widen the global view of domestic students and also upgrade Taiwan's international competitiveness, according to the MOE.
The number of international degree students was 7,764 in 2009, up 1,506 from 2008. Among them, students from elsewhere in Asia accounted for 72 percent, while those from the Americas accounted for 17 percent.
By country, the largest number of foreign students came from Vietnam, followed by Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea and the United States, the MOE said.
Foreign students were studying at 112 Taiwanese universities and colleges, with National Taiwan University having the highest number at 591.
The number of students enrolled in Chinese language centers under the universities and colleges totaled 11,612 in 2009, up 961 from 2008, the MOE added.
(By Szu-yu Lin and Fanny Liu)