Taiwan weighs lifting restrictions on Chinese students

MAC blames Chinese government obstruction for degree-seeking students' difficulties entering Taiwan

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Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung

Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After three Taiwanese university associations pushed for new and returning students from China to be allowed into Taiwan, Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said Wednesday (Aug. 12) that he is continuing discussions with the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) in hopes of hammering out a deal that would allow all foreign students to enter the country to pursue their studies.

Pan told media Wednesday morning that he has been in talks with MAC Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通), briefing him on the readiness of universities across Taiwan to accommodate incoming foreign students and explaining to him that summer would be the ideal time for them to arrive, CNA reported.

Pan said that many universities have empty dormitories during summer vacation, and with permission from local health authorities, these dormitories can serve as quarantine centers for incoming foreign students. The minister added that the Ministry of Education (MOE) hopes to use the window of opportunity before classes begin to gradually let in foreign students.

Taiwan is currently open to final-year Chinese students looking to finish their studies, but not other degree-seeking Chinese students.

The MAC explained on Aug. 5 that Taiwan is not accepting Chinese students other than graduating ones because China has set up political hurdles, such as making it more difficult to apply for permits to come to Taiwan for study and requiring that the word “national” be removed from Taiwanese school IDs or certificates that are given to students, per CNA.