Premier Lai Ching-te on Thursday expressed approval for the Ministry of Education's (MOE) training and education program focused on the New Southbound Policy, saying the project is increasing bilateral exchanges of high-quality education experts and organizations, expanding the two-way flow of young scholars and students, and creating a platform for mutual cooperation in education.
Since its inception in 2017, the initiative has achieved the goal of raising enrollment by 20 percent each year, with more than 40,000 people from countries covered by the New Southbound Policy coming to study and train in Taiwan's educational institutions.
Human resources form the core of a nation's competitiveness and the keystone supporting industrial development, said the premier, and personnel training and educational exchanges under the New Southbound Policy are critical to advancing cooperative development with countries targeted by the policy.
Premier Lai directed the MOE and other ministries and agencies to continue carrying out the systematic program of student recruitment in the future, as well as actively incorporate the combined resources of overseas Taiwan Education Centers, Taiwan Connection offices, resource centers for economic and industry-academy cooperation, and similar organizations. Agencies were also instructed to develop mutually beneficial strategies to strengthen training and education work with New Southbound Policy countries based on the educational and industrial needs of Taiwan and each individual nation.
According to the MOE, the program covers industry training for both general and high-level personnel through industry-academia collaboration courses that provide expert training tailored to the educational and industrial requirements of various New Southbound Policy nations. Additionally, Taiwan will offer dedicated classes and promote postgraduate dual-degree programs for high-level research and development professionals in order to enhance technical and research cooperation with targeted countries.
In expanding the pool of foreign students, efforts under the program drew 41,000 students from targeted nations in the 2017-2018 academic year, accounting for 35 percent of foreign student enrollment. Of these, 3,326 chose to remain in Taiwan for employment, marking a 21.83 percent increase over the 2,730 who did so in 2016.