Foreign students likely to arrive in Taiwan as early as July

MOE says admission of incoming international students will have to be done in steps

(Wikimedia Commons photo)

(Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In the wake of the slowdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has tentatively planned to lift restrictions on foreign students coming to the island country in July during the summer vacation.

The MOE said that admission of incoming international students will have to be done in steps and that first priority will be given to degree students from countries with a low rate of COVID-19 infections, Liberty Times reported on Monday (June 1).

As there are a great number of international students in Taiwan — nearly 26,000 degree students and more than 60,000 non-degree students — they will not all be allowed to enter Taiwan at the same time. July, during the summer vacation, is a good time for schools to start admitting international students, as they will have more space for quarantine and the impact on domestic students will be lower.

Universities in Taiwan have reportedly been making an inventory of their available dormitories while calling for the government to gradually reopen the country to international students. Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) has recently said that it was up to the MOE to decide on the timetable for lifting restrictions on international students.

According to the MOE plan, those who come to Taiwan to study will have to be quarantined for 14 days upon entry, and if universities decide to collectively quarantine them, schools will have to provide transportation and arrange for single-room quarantine spaces or quarantine hotels.

The ministry's plan will be further discussed in a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.