Premier Chen Chien-jen on Thursday received briefings from the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) regarding strategies to increase the retention of international students and overseas compatriot students. The premier instructed relevant ministries and agencies to continue their rolling review of the strategies' implementation. By ensuring that international and overseas compatriot students receive ample support, more students will choose to remain in Taiwan long-term, thus infusing new vitality into the transformation and upgrading of domestic industries.
Taiwan faces the many challenges of an aging population, declining birth rates and competition for international talent, the premier said. The government must therefore take measures to proactively recruit international talent to fill gaps in domestic manpower and strengthen industrial competitiveness. Improving the attraction and retention of international and overseas compatriot students is key among those measures.
The premier said MOE is integrating the strengths of academia and industry—establishing international alliances with major academic and research institutions and building overseas bases for Mandarin learning and student recruitment; introducing courses dedicated to overseas students and providing vocational scholarships and living/internship allowances; as well as strengthening mentorship for international students and connecting them to the domestic job market. The goal of these efforts is to further advance international cooperation between industry, academia and research institutions; deepen bilateral talent exchanges and reciprocity; and attract greater numbers of gifted international students to study and work in Taiwan.
Additionally, to benefit from the strengths of overseas compatriot students, such as their local knowledge, international outlook and diverse culture and languages, the OCAC has been proactively cultivating new sources of students, expanding student recruitment, facilitating academic counseling services and providing job-seeking guidance. The premier said recruitment numbers for overseas compatriot students have already risen significantly and he instructed the OCAC to continue expanding their publicity efforts and responding to the needs of industry by opening relevant technical courses, so that Taiwan is able to cultivate the talent it needs.