TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Education (MOE) on Wednesday (Nov. 17) announced that it plans to allow 5,000 foreign non-scholarship, non-degree students to enter Taiwan in March next year to study Mandarin.
During a press conference at the MOE on Wednesday, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said that 13,000 foreign students with scholarships to study Mandarin have arrived in Taiwan for the 2021 academic year. Pan said that an additional 5,000 foreign students who had not received scholarships have applied to study Mandarin in Taiwan, but have not yet received approval.
When asked by the media about the status of foreign Mandarin students, Pan said that 14,000 foreign students with scholarships to study Mandarin have applied since August, and of these, all but 1,000 have received approval for entry into Taiwan. Pan said the MOE will submit a plan to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that would allow non-scholarship, non-degree students to enter the country.
Pan said the plan will enable Mandarin students who are in programs of six months or longer to enter Taiwan next year. He added the preliminary target is to allow about 5,000 of these students to enter Taiwan to take Mandarin courses beginning in March 2022.
He pointed out that since Taiwan reopened its borders to students, some have been diagnosed with COVID. However, none of the confirmed cases had entered campuses and there were "no breaches or loopholes with epidemic prevention measures," reported UDN.
According to MOE statistics, from April 20 to Nov. 16 of this year, a total of 866 foreign students have been diagnosed with COVID. Of these students, 722 were classified as local cases, while 144 were categorized as imported.
In terms of infections at educational stages, 350 cases were at colleges and universities, 123 were in high schools, 114 in middle schools, 190 in elementary schools, and 89 in kindergartens.