Taipei, May 28 (CNA) Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) is set to give a report during a legislative session May 30 on the ministry's plan to establish a mechanism to promote reciprocal exchanges between higher education institutions in Taiwan and their counterparts in Southeast Asia.
The plan was formulated in line with a new southbound policy advocated by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) during her inaugural speech on May 20, according to a written report submitted by the ministry to the Legislature prior to the session.
To promote the policy, a new southward policy office has been established under the Presidential Office and a national-level think tank dedicated to ASEAN and South Asia research has also been set up.
According to the report, the ministry's 2018 plan on innovating and developing Taiwan's higher education is aimed at promoting exchanges in learning and innovative teaching between teachers and students in Taiwan and their counterparts in Southeast Asia.
The report cites the latest Ministry of Education statistics, showing that the number of students from Southeast Asia, India, New Zealand and Australia studying in Taiwan account for 25 percent of all overseas students in Taiwan.
It states the ministry will continue to intensify its efforts to attract more students from these regions and other areas to study or participate in internship programs in Taiwan and encourage Taiwanese students to study in Southeast Asia and South Asia.
To inspire students to study overseas, the ministry will provide information to increase students' understanding about Southeast Asia and South Asia and incorporate the ministry's southbound education plan into the programs sponsored by the ministry's fund for overseas study.
The ministry will also set up scholarship funds for selected students to study or take part in internship programs in countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Northern Europe, according to the report.
It also plans to attract foreign students to study in Taiwan by offering scholarships and signing agreements with Southeast Asian countries to select teachers or officials to study or receive training in Taiwan, according to the report.