Japanese Students’ Interest in Studying in Taiwan Reaches New Heights
Taiwan’s success in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus has attracted world-wide attention, including that of Japanese high school students and their parents. NHK-WORLD Japan broadcast a program on studying abroad in Taiwan in October 2020, and then in December, Mainichi Shimbun (每日新聞), a major newspaper, featured a special report on Taiwan. The report mentioned that Japanese students can find courses taught in Chinese or in English, or in a mixture of both at universities in Taiwan, and the tuition fees are low. There are also exchange agreements between high schools and universities in Taiwan, and scholarships available. These factors, coupled with Taiwan’s outstanding success in prevention and control of the pandemic, have increased Taiwan’s appeal.
According to statistics provided by JASSO, the Japan Student Services Organization, the number of Japanese students studying abroad has been decreasing in recent years, with the largest fall being in the numbers studying abroad in Europe and in the United States. But the number of Japanese students studying in Taiwan has increased fivefold in the past ten years, and there were more than 10,000 students in 2019.
There’s been a surge in interest in Taiwan among high school students in Japan and several high schools in Gunma Prefecture (群馬縣), for example, now provide Chinese classes specifically for students who wish to study in Taiwan. The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative office in Japan (TECRO) has received many inquiries from Japanese high school students and parents about studying in Taiwan and about applying for scholarships in the past six months.
In response to the increased number of inquiries, the Education Division invited 24 universities in Taiwan to participate in a series of online seminars about studying in Taiwan at the end of 2020, and more than 1,400 people took part. The Education Division will also provide information and various services for Japanese students who decide to study in Taiwan.