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Taiwan, UK sign MOU on education cooperation

Taiwan, UK sign memorandum of understanding on English learning and education

Catherine Nettleton (left) and Pan Wen-chung (right).

Catherine Nettleton (left) and Pan Wen-chung (right). (CNA photo)

Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA) Taiwan and the United Kingdom on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding to advance cooperation in English learning and education.

The agreement was signed remotely and witnessed by Greg Hands, U.K. Minister of State for Trade Policy, who said he was pleased that the U.K. will be able to offer assistance in English learning to Taiwan as it pursues its goal of becoming a bilingual country by 2030.

"Two of my great passions are Taiwan and bilingualism," Hands wrote on his Twitter feed afterwards. "Combining the two is even better! So it was a great pleasure to be virtual guest speaker at the signing ceremony today in Taipei for the U.K. to be delivery partner for Taiwan becoming bilingual Chinese-English by 2030!"

Also speaking at the virtual ceremony, Taiwan's Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said the education links between Taipei and London have been growing rapidly in recent years, and they have signed 209 academic exchange agreements to date.

Currently, there are some 3,850 Taiwanese students studying in the U.K., and about 400 U.K. students in Taiwan, Pan said. According to the British Office Taipei, the office currently participates in English learning in 15 universities and 221 high schools in Taiwan.

Earlier Wednesday, Hands took a "virtual trip" to Taiwan and chaired the opening of the U.K.-Taiwan International Showcase for Compound Semiconductor Technology conference.

During the conference held by Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Hands exchanged views with representatives from nine U.K. enterprises and nine Taiwanese businesses, as well as 200 potential investors.

The British minister also announced the start of bilateral cooperation on compound semiconductor technology development.

Meanwhile, the ITRI and the U.K.'s Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult signed an MOU on technology cooperation.

On Thursday, Taiwan and the U.K. will hold their 23rd annual dialogue, with Hands and Taiwan's Vice Economics Minister Chen Chern-chyi (陳政棋) jointly presiding over the virtual session.

Taiwan and the U.K. have been hosting the trade dialogue on a rotating basis, and it was Taipei's turn this year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be held virtually.

According to the British Office Taipei, the dialogue is expected to strengthen bilateral economic ties by focusing on market access for medical care, energy and offshore wind power, financial services, agriculture, and whisky industries.