Taiwan puts on hold plans to allow admission of foreign students

Country’s testing capacity, college dorm availability among factors determining lifting of restrictions

(Facebook, National Taiwan University photo)

(Facebook, National Taiwan University photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has halted plans to allow the admission of foreign students into universities as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage worldwide.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Thursday (June 4) that the country will wait until there are clearer signs of the COVID-19 pandemic abating globally before it lifts restrictions on international students. Any such move will also hinge on Taiwan's testing capacity and dormitory availability, wrote CNA.

Earlier this week, the MOE tentatively planned to remove relevant restrictions and allow in foreign students from countries less affected by the virus as soon as July. The plan was shelved given the severity of the pandemic which continues to spread in many parts of the world, a decision made at a cross-departmental Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (June 3), reported UDN.

According to the MOE, around 26,000 international students registered in Taiwan's colleges and universities have not been allowed to enter the country due to the coronavirus.

The country's coronavirus task force has said that the government will ease rules implemented to stem the virus on a large scale on Sunday (June 7) following weeks of zero local infections. As of Thursday (June 4), Taiwan has gone 53 days without local cases, with the total caseload standing at 443, including seven deaths. Plans to loosen border controls are also being contemplated.