Taiwan submits proposal for int’l student returns
An estimated 13,000 international students who do not already hold residence permits for Taiwan will be permitted to enter the country to begin their studies if a ministry of education proposal submitted to the Central Epidemic Command Center is approved.
The news was announced on August 11 by the minister of education Pan Wen-chung, who added the government will prioritise those on degree courses as well as recipients of the Huayu scholarship, a government-funded program for Mandarin learners.
Huayu recipients had previously written an open letter to the government in which they asked to be allowed into the country.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, students from all over the world, who were given the chance to study in Taiwan, had to postpone their studies. Even if this is a precautionary measure to keep the Taiwanese safe, other countries (i.e. South Korea and Singapore) have also closed their borders but still allow international students in,” they argued in July.
“The continuous uncertainty is still an issue and difficult to learn how to live with”
“Mandarin students have already been waiting for so long, and the continuous uncertainty is still an issue and difficult to learn how to live with. All we want is to begin our studies once and for all, and the fall term would be the ideal time for us to enter the country. Some language centres have even expressed that it will be possible to study online while in quarantine, which could be a solution to the time we have to spend self-isolating.
“Not a lot of students will opt for learning a language online because unlike other subjects, there also needs to be immersion, you need to live and breath the language to fully be able to grasp it. There is also the concern of technical issues that will interfere with learning.”
In late July, Taiwan lifted some control measures that had been put in place following an outbreak in the country, which until that point had been highly successful in managing the pandemic.
Students will likely enter the country in batches, and will have to complete a two-week mandatory quarantine ahead of commencing their studies.
Additionally, scholars and teachers from abroad will also be allowed to enter Taiwan if they are part of the Yushan Scholar Program, Einstein Program, and Columbus Program or hired as part of the 2030 Bilingual Country initiative.
University teaching staff can also apply for permission to enter from the ministry of education.