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Taiwan hits record 57,000 int’l diploma students

Taiwan saw a 27% increase in the number of international students at its universities and colleges in 2018/19, hitting a record figure just shy of 57,000.

Language and engineering courses in Taiwan have seen sharp rises in international enrolments. Photo: pexels

Meanwhile domestic student numbers have declined

Almost 56,800 international students were studying degree programs in Taiwan, with around 44,600 coming from Asian countries in 2018/19, while figures show that a total of 44,700 international students from around the world were studying diplomas in the nation in 2017/18.

“Our government is focusing on recruitment from the Asian countries”

The south east Asian countries of Indonesia and Vietnam have almost doubled the number of students in Taiwan. In 2017/18, Indonesian students represented 4,621 students, rising to 8,924 this year. Vietnamese numbers rose from 6,425 in 2017/18 to 11,130 in 2018/19.

Japanese student numbers have risen by around 12%, from 6,183 in 2017/18 to 6,972 for the latest academic year’s figures – a rise similar to the 9% the Japan Student Services Organization recorded recently for Japan’s outbound figures.

“Our government is focusing on the Asian countries because of the relationship between Asian countries and Taiwan has a long history dating back to many years ago,” Tsai Pei-Shan, dean of Taipei Medical University’s office of global engagement told The PIE in 2017.

International students reading language courses saw a significant year on year rise, with statistics showing that the number of overseas students at language centres at the country’s universities increased to 28,400 in 2018/19, from 23,500 the previous year.

International students enrolling on engineering and engineering trades courses have also significantly increased from 3,395 to 5,748 in the space of a year.

The overall number of students including domestic students in the country has continued to decline, however – in 2014, figures show there were almost 1,340,000 students studying at universities, colleges and junior colleges, in 2017 this tally fell to around 1,274,000.

In 2018, the Taiwanese government proposed lowering restrictions for international students to remain after graduation and access work rights, months after announcing changes in the work permit application process to make it easier for international students to apply.

The country has been struggling with skills shortages and population decline, which the two announcements were hoping to combat.

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