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Taiwan and UK Commit to Expanding Bilateral Educational Exchanges

Minister Pan Wen-Chung presents a ceramic artwork to Representative Catherine Nettleton

Representative of the British Office Taipei, Catherine Nettleton, paid a courtesy call on Minister of Education Pan Wen-Chung on August 10. She was accompanied by the Director of British Council Taiwan Ralph Rogers and team members.

Both sides agreed on three fields of collaboration: 1) to expand bilateral student exchanges, 2) to promote 2030 Bilingual National Policy for comprehensive English enhancement, and 3) to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

For the purpose of implementing 2030 Bilingual National Policy, the Ministry will work with the National Development Council to conduct a large scale assessment of students’ English proficiency at the age of 15 and 17. The findings would serve as an important basis, and references for English teaching and learning. Minister Pan hopes that students will improve their English listening and speaking competence not only in schools, but also in daily life.

Representative Nettleton praised Taiwan’s achievements in containing COVID-19, especially in creating a safe learning environment for both local and foreign students. The bilateral student and teacher exchange programs on both English and Chinese language instruction will be the next step for further collaborations between the UK and Taiwan, she added.

Minister Pan also invited Representative Nettleton and her colleagues to visit Taiwan’s outstanding universities, especially those known for their big data and AI programs, and industry-academia cooperation, to explore further collaborations in innovation and entrepreneurship between universities in Taiwan and those in the UK.

Representative Nettleton even proposed signing a higher-level memorandum of understanding on education between the British Office Taipei and the Taiwan Ministry of Education, so as to expand the breadth and depth of educational exchanges between the two countries. She also invited Minister Pan to attend the “Taiwan-UK Higher Education Online Forum” in October this year and the world education minsters’ conference, the “Education World Forum” in UK in May 2021.