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Expatriates seeking vocational education in Taiwan increases

2018/05/20 17:20:48

Wu Hsin-hsing (吳新興)

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) More overseas Taiwanese students living in Southeast Asia are returning to Taiwan for vocational education as part of the government's New Southbound Policy to enhance cultural and talent exchanges with Southeast Asia, a government official said Sunday.

Since 2015 the number of Taiwanese from Southeast Asia enrolled in the 3+4 vocational education program for overseas compatriots, run by the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC), has increased from 754 to 1,531 this year, said the council's head, Wu Hsin-hsing (吳新興).

Boosting the growth in numbers are additional sources of students, Wu said, noting that overseas compatriot students mostly came from Vietnam and Malaysia in the past, but now also come from Indonesia and Myanmar.

"The government has had a good harvest in recruiting students from Southeast Asia," Wu said, crediting the government's New Southbound Policy focused on expanding Taiwan's ties with the region.

The minister also touted Taiwan's strong educational environment, a culture similar to that of Southeast Asian countries, and its pursuit of freedom and democracy as advantages for young compatriots seeking vocational education and training in Taiwan.

To attract more overseas compatriots to study here, the government will move to ease restrictions on overseas talents from working in Taiwan, Wu said, citing new legislation proposed by the Cabinet this past week that will open the doors for vocational students from overseas to stay in Taiwan after graduating to work.

Those enrolled in the 3+4 vocational education program study for three years at a vocational high school and a subsequent four-year educational program at a vocational college.

(By Elaine Hou and Elizabeth Hsu)