Nov 9, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

Taiwan’s “new southbound policy” has been heralded for its potential to “build a new model of economic development for Taiwan, reposition the country as an important player in Asia’s growth, and create new value going forward.”  It also represents exciting new educational opportunities for students from Southeast Asian nations. Here’s a closer look at what to expect, as reported by The Nation.

An Increase in Scholarship Funding

“In line with the policy, our government will offer more scholarships for academic staff and students from Southeast Asian nations to boost the development of the region’s human resource,” said Taiwanese Education Minister Pan Wen-chung.

Last year, the country granted 193 undergraduate scholarships for students from ASEAN countries, as well as an additional 984 and 100 scholarships for language learning and lecturers, respectively.

Moving forward, according to Pan, Taiwan will increase its foreign student quota -- especially regarding ASEAN students.

Investing in Training

Taiwan will also increase its investment in human resources training within the region across a broad spectrum of academic, industry, and vocational areas. Said Pan, “What Taiwan wants is to pass on its experience and knowledge to ASEAN countries.”

Home to large numbers of immigrants and their partners and children, Taiwan will also introduce seven ASEAN languages as “elective subjects” in all of its primary schools beginning in 2019. Universities, meanwhile, are seeing an uptick in international interest in one-year vocational training courses as well as in programs in engineering and technology.

Local companies, too, are on board with the plan. Mauson Industrial Co general manager Hus Michael told The Nation, ““Many Taiwanese have invested in Southeast Asia. We have capital and technology but we don’t have the raw materials. So we are ready and willing to train new people if the government can promote this as an educational scheme under the new southbound policy,”

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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