TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The number of Hong Kong students and professors applying to study and teach at Taiwanese universities as guests has spiked amid the prolonged protests in Hong Kong, which have led to universities to cut the semester short.
In Hong Kong, violent clashes have spread to college campuses, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets in tense standoffs, resulting in a spike in injuries among protesting students. Meanwhile, the universities most affected have shortened the semester for safety reasons.
Taiwan's Ministry of Education has revealed that over 60 percent of the 1,021 Taiwanese studying in Hong Kong have returned home. Many have yet to decide whether or not to continue their education in the self-governing territory.
Over the past week, at least six of Taiwan's top universities have announced that they welcome Taiwanese and other international students studying in Hong Kong to take their courses, saying that class credits will be recognized if they meet requirements, UDN reported.
These schools include National Taiwan University (NTU), National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), National Chengchi University (NCCU), National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), and National Dong Hwa University (NDHU).
NTU told the media that it has received over 100 applications in one week alone from Hongkongers wishing to enroll until the end of the first semester of the 2019-2020 academic year (Jan. 3, 2020). Another 200 applications have come from Taiwanese who have been studying in the restive city.
The school has said the applicants will be granted tuition exemption and will be charged only small fees for accommodation and wifi.
NTHU has also received more than 150 applications from those seeking to enroll as visiting students. However, the university has said that a review process is required before acceptance.
According to National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU), it has received 10 official applications from Hongkongers applying as visiting students. Meanwhile, five Hong Kong professors have reportedly applied as visiting scholars, and the school has stated that offices are already available for their use.