Record Numbers of UK Students Receive Scholarships to Study in Taiwan
As the UK entered a new academic year, unprecedented numbers of UK students awarded scholarships by the Taiwanese government started to arrive in Taiwan. Special entry has been granted to undergraduate and postgraduate degree students, including those awarded a Ministry of Education Taiwan Scholarship. In the previous year students’ entry to Taiwan was disrupted by border closures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, and so these numbers include students who were awarded Huayu Enrichment Scholarship in the 2020–21 and in the 2021–22 study periods.
Another scholarship programme, the Taiwan-Europe Connectivity Scholarship that was introduced this year, gives students of Chinese Studies courses at universities throughout the UK an opportunity to study in Taiwan, including language degree students who spend a year abroad in a country where the foreign language that they’re studying is spoken. Many countries currently offer only online classes to international language students, so interest in Taiwan on the part of UK students has never been higher.
The Education Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK has helped to link up eight UK universities with Chinese language centres in Taiwan, to establish year-abroad language programmes for their students. These eight universities are: the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, SOAS, the University of Cardiff, the University of Leeds, University College London, Heriot-Watt University, and the University of Edinburgh.
The worldwide pandemic has severely limited possibilities for year abroad placements for language students for nearly two years, and Taiwan providing this opportunity to live and study in a Mandarin-speaking environment will benefit many students of Mandarin. Furthermore, this influx of English-speakers will provide valuable opportunities for Taiwanese people to practice English with native speakers. This academic year, more than 200 UK students will travel to Taiwan and interact with local students learning English.