TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A recent survey of international students in Taiwan found that the majority of them had chosen the social sciences, business, and law as their majors instead of engineering, which the country is globally known for.
According to the online survey conducted by the non-profit organization Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET) in March, 24 percent of respondents indicated that they had chosen to study the social sciences, business, and law. Meanwhile, 15.3 percent of the students chose engineering (mechanical and construction engineering), 11.9 percent answered the humanities and arts, and 11.3 percent preferred medicine and health.
FICHET said the social sciences, business, and law were most popular among foreign exchange students while engineering remained the favorite of students seeking a degree. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed also believe in the importance of the Chinese language, with many suggesting Taiwan as their top choice among countries providing a sinophone environment.
The survey also found that 89.3 percent of the students consider studying in Taiwan to be a good investment, and 83.6 percent said they want to stay and work in the island nation after graduation. The most common reason the respondents gave for choosing overseas study was to experience different cultures, followed by the pursuit of a better education and cultivation of their academic research skills.
Close to 53 percent of the students attributed their decision to attend Taiwanese universities to the country's "safety, freedom, and openness," while 34.5 percent said their choices were driven by scholarship opportunities.
The results show that international students are most satisfied with Taiwan's safe and free environment, quality of education, and medical care.
National Tsing Hua University professor Yen Ta-jen (嚴大任) stated out that reasonable tuition and living expenses, along with a stable social structure and a high-quality educational environment, are Taiwan's main advantages in attracting foreign students. Rick Chuang (莊賀喬), dean of the Taipei University Office of International Affairs, also suggested that Taiwan universities offer all-English courses and English-oriented campuses to better enhance global education.
The survey was conducted in March through online questionnaires among international students between the ages of 18 to 24 and gathered 3,724 valid responses, and it had a response rate of 99.4 percent. More than 85 percent of the students surveyed were from countries in Asia