Taiwan scholarships attract record number of global applications

2017 Taiwan Scholarship and Huayu Enrichment Scholarship Program kicked off Oct. 2 in Taipei City

(Image from studyintaiwan.org)

(Image from studyintaiwan.org)

The 2017 Taiwan Scholarship and Huayu Enrichment Scholarship Program kicked off Oct. 2 in Taipei City, with this academic year’s application numbers hitting a record high.

Jointly organized by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, the program encourages students from around the world, especially those from Republic of China (Taiwan) diplomatic allies, to study Mandarin or seek degrees at the nation’s tertiary institutions. This year’s orientation, which took place at Chang Yung-fa Foundation across the street from MOFA headquarters, was attended by over 600 scholarship recipients from more than 70 countries, as well as some 60 foreign representatives and officials.

Speaking at the event, MOFA Vice Minister Jose Maria Liu said the program helps establish deeper connections between students from ROC allies and other likeminded countries and their counterparts in Taiwan. The nation greatly cherishes its relations with its diplomatic allies, Liu said, adding that over the past several decades, Taiwan has collaborated on joint projects in areas spanning trade, agriculture, health care, epidemic prevention, education and infrastructure, in addition to consumer-related industries.

In line with the government’s New Southbound Talent Development Program, a people-centric initiative launched in 2016 that aims to foster bilateral exchanges and mutual resources sharing, scholarships were awarded to nearly 370 recipients from New Southbound Policy target countries, an increase of almost 150 students from last year.

At the orientation, several program alumni shared their personal experiences with the new students. Popular Taiwan snacks were made available, and martial arts as well as folk song performances helped provide scholarship recipients with a better understanding of the nation’s culture and lifestyle.

Established in 2004, the Taiwan Scholarship and Huayu Enrichment Scholarship Program has involved more than 10,000 participants from over 100 countries. This year’s scholarships attracted a record-high 1,500 applications by students from more than 80 nations, according to the MOE.