Taipei, June 6 (CNA) The U.S.-based test developer that administers the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) will set up a resource center in Taiwan to help test takers improve their academic English proficiency and provide assistance to people wishing to study at U.S. universities, the organization said Wednesday.
Education Testing Service (ETS) will set up the Taipei center, the 12th of its kind worldwide, this year, to help people improve their ability to use and understand English in an academic setting and enhance scholarly exchanges, said Mohammad Kousha, executive director of ETS's global division, at a press conference in Taipei.
Lin Wen-tong, director of the Bureau of International Cutural and Educational Relations under the Ministry of Education, said at the conference that the ministry hopes more students pursue advanced studies overseas.
The director also expressed the concern that the recent decline in the number of Taiwanese students studying in the U.S. may result in a decline in the number of foreign-trained talents in Taiwan.
According to Lin, the number of such students dropped last year to about 24,000, down from 26,000 in 2010 and 28,000 in 2009.
The decreases might be attributed to students opting to go to Australia and European countries like the U.K., or those choosing to stay in Taiwan for their postgraduate studies, Lin added.
Lin's comments echoed an earlier concern expressed by President Ma Ying-jeou in late May, when he called on more individuals to donate funds to help students pursue studies in the U.S., especially in the field of technology and some disciplines of humanities .
(By Lin Shen-hsu and Scully Hsiao)