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Time to review policy toward Chinese students: official

2012/04/14 22:48:46

Taipei, April 14 (CNA) Taiwan's policy of opening its colleges to Chinese students has been in effect for nearly a year, and "it's time to make adjustments to it," an official with the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Saturday.

MAC Vice Minister Chang Hsien-yao said the council will work with the Ministry of Education to review issues related to the opening based on the principles that any changes will be made "in stages, incrementally, and with complementary measures."

Chang said the "three restrictions and six noes" targeting Chinese students will also be included in the review.

He was referring to restrictions on the schools from which Chinese students could come, on the departments in Taiwanese universities in which they can enroll, and on the number of Chinese students who can study in the country.

The six noes consist of no preferential grading on entrance exams, no scholarships, no effect on Taiwanese student enrollment openings, no part-time jobs, no taking part in licensing examinations, and no staying in Taiwan after graduation.

Speaking at a seminar on higher education exchanges sponsored by Tamkang University, Chang said globalization is forcing Taiwan to enhance its international competitiveness through exchanges with elites from the world, including those from the mainland.

He said that in promoting cross-strait exchanges, consideration will be given to protecting the education rights of Taiwanese students, arranging exchanges on an equal and reciprocal basis and upgrading the nation's competitive edge.

He noted that to make it easier for Chinese students to live in Taiwan as students, the government has already allowed them to apply for mobile phone numbers, open accounts in banks and post offices, apply for debit cards, and buy cars and motorcycles in Taiwan after having been in the country for over six months.

He said, however, that Chinese students could not join Taiwan's health insurance program, mainly because of related laws, but said they had other options.

Meanwhile, an associate professor at Xiamen University presented the results of a survey at the seminar showing that about half of senior high students in three Chinese coastal provinces -- Fujian, Guangdong and Zhejiang -- would like to study in Taiwan.

Zhang Baorong said students were attracted to Taiwan because of its proximity to their homes, an environment not as competitive as China's, good social order and limited requirements for foreign language proficiency.

Zhang conducted the survey among senior high school students from the three coastal provinces at more than 30 major senior high schools through interviews and questionnaires.

Some 51.3 percent of the respondents said they were "very willing" or "relatively willing" to study in Taiwan, with female students more willing to study in Taiwan than their male counterparts.

(By Chen Hung-chin and Lilian Wu)