MOE mulls coronavirus subsidies for Taiwan college students

Taiwan government plans to provide financial support to students affected by Wuhan coronavirus

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Ministry of Education considers subsidy plan for students affected by pandemic. 

Ministry of Education considers subsidy plan for students affected by pandemic.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Education (MOE) said Saturday (May 23) it is developing a subsidy plan for students who face financial difficulties because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Due to the coronavirus, many schools have moved classes online and more than 1,000 domestic companies have introduced furloughing programs for their employees. According to data revealed by the Ministry of Labor (MOL) on Monday (May 18), 21,067 Taiwanese are currently taking unpaid leave due to the economic turmoil caused by the disease — the highest number reported since 2009.

MOE told CNA that many university students and their families have been either laid off or furloughed and are having a hard time paying for school tuition and everyday purchases. The ministry said it is planning to help young Taiwanese and their families survive the challenging period by providing subsidies.

MOE said underprivileged students can apply for up to three monthly subsidies of NT$3,000 (US$100), giving proof of their reduced income and working hours. Members of the student's household may also be able to receive three monthly subsidies of NT$6,000, if they experience involuntary leave or job loss, reported Liberty Times.

MOE said it has reached out to all post-secondary educational institutions across the nation for their input and will publicly announce the program once details are ironed out. Although MOE has introduced coronavirus relief programs for schools to fill the financial void caused by the decrease in international students, the new subsidy plan will be the first designed to help local students complete their education.