Taiwan faces the many challenges of an aging population, declining birth rates and competition for international talent. To fill gaps in domestic manpower, the government has enacted many policies to increase population and immigration. These policies have included implementing the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals; promoting a program for long-term retention of migrant workers; and easing employment regulations and scoring criteria requirements for foreign and overseas compatriot students graduating from Taiwanese schools.
The Ministry of Education is now proposing a 2024-2028 program to boost enrollment and retention of international students. This program, together with existing population and immigration policies, are estimated to raise enrollment to a cumulative total of over 320,000 students and retain a cumulative total of over 210,000 graduates to work in Taiwan by 2030.
Three key strategies
■ Promote international talent exchanges and reciprocity: International alliances will be formed with universities and research institutes to strengthen fields of key national interest, as well as to bolster industry-academia cooperation. Overseas bases will be established in Europe, the U.S. and New Southbound Policy nations to advance international cooperation and exchanges, and to expand recruitment for new degree programs in Taiwan dedicated to overseas students, with on-base Mandarin learning classes provided for recruited students.
■ Offer incentives to study and stay in Taiwan: Universities and vocational colleges will set up new programs dedicated to overseas students, including dual bachelor's, two-year bachelor's, two-year post-baccalaureate, two-year master's and two-year PhD degree programs. Enrolled students can obtain up to two years of scholarship funding from the National Development Fund, as well as living/internship allowances from companies. Graduates of these programs are required to remain and work in Taiwan for at least two years.
■ Increase international students' rate of post-graduation employment in Taiwan: Universities will improve career counseling and job-seeking services for international students, and employ staff specifically responsible for assisting academic departments with international students.