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Taiwan to offer Mandarin scholarships to 100 UK students

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MOFA to offer Mandarin scholarships for UK students. (Taiwan Presidential Office photo)

MOFA to offer Mandarin scholarships for UK students. (Taiwan Presidential Office photo)

Local universities are set to offer 100 U.K. students scholarships to learn Mandarin in Taiwan as part of a deal brokered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Oct. 22, spotlighting the country’s attractive educational environment for budding linguists.

The announcement was made by MOFA Deputy Minister Harry Ho-jen Tseng during a virtual conference with British Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands as part of the two sides’ 23rd annual trade dialogue.

According to Tseng, the scholarships will help expand people-to-people exchanges between like-minded partners while contributing to future economic cooperation.

It followed the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding a day earlier between Taiwan and the U.K. on cooperation in English learning and education. The pact was signed by Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung and British Office Taipei Representative Catherine Nettleton.

Under the agreement, BOT will help assess the English skills of Taiwan’s high school and college students while assisting 15 tertiary institutions to enhance their faculty members’ English teaching. The move will supplement the office’s existing programs at over 200 high schools and universities across Taiwan.

The MOFA welcomes the deal as part of President Tsai Ing-wen’s vision to turn Taiwan into a bilingual country by 2030, Tseng said.

In response, Hands said both initiatives are win-win. As the birthplace of the English language, the U.K. is happy to work with Taiwan and looks forward to fostering closer ties through language exchanges.

MOE statistics reveal there are currently around 400 U.K. students studying in Taiwan. The majority of these are enrolled in Mandarin-learning programs.