Project for Expanding Recruitment of Overseas Chinese, Hong Kong, Macau, and Foreign Students into Key Industry Sectors
Expanding Recruitment of Overseas Chinese and Foreign Students to Encourage Employment in Taiwan
The decreasing birth rate has made it harder not only for schools to recruit students, but also for industry to attract talents. To solve this problem along with the National Development Council’s Immigration Policy, in April 2022, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has promulgated the “Project for Expanding Recruitment of Overseas Chinese, Hong Kong, Macau, and Foreign Students into Key Industry Sectors” (the Expanded Recruitment of Overseas Chinese and Foreign Students Project, for short).
The project will adopt two measures called “recruitment for university departments in key industries” and “establishing International-Only Programs.” The “key industries” are the “5+N” industries of Intelligent Mechanics, Biopharmaceuticals, and Green Technology. “University departments” includes undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. The “International-Only Programs” will especially focus on undergraduate recruitment.
According to the MOE, all tertiary institutions can apply for the Expanding Recruitment of Overseas Chinese and Foreign Students Project if they meet these requirements: excellence in overall management, fulfilled recruitment quotas for the past three years, and are not on probation or undergoing special guidance counseling schools. Institutions which gain approval will, in the following three to five years, have unlimited quotas for recruiting students from overseas. In addition, their student-to-instructor ratio will be temporarily exempt from consideration when determining funding and enrollment quotas.
More Flexible International Recruitment for More Comprehensive Learning and Guidance
With these two measures, it is estimated that 2022 will see a recruitment increase of 1,500 overseas Chinese and international students (including 1,000 for the first year of the International-Only Program), and that the overall number of overseas Chinese and international students will increase from 14,000 in 2021 to 42,000 in 2030, tripling the increase.
For institutions applying for the International-Only Programs, the MOE will subsidize one million $ per institution to establish the International-Only Program and $50,000 per person for Mandarin language courses, in order to assist institutions in establishing comprehensive guidance and Mandarin language instruction measures for overseas Chinese and foreign students. Regarding recruitment for university departments in key industries, institutions can adopt English-only instruction or instruction taught in Mandarin, as long as the students have enough language abilities to comprehend all specialized materials. At the same time, institutions should strengthen the overseas Chinese and foreign student guidance mechanisms for learning, living, finances, and employment in Taiwan after graduating. Moreover, the institutions should track students’ language abilities and employment situation after graduation.
The Expanding Recruitment of overseas Chinese and Foreign Students Project increases the inflow of overseas Chinese and foreign students in an orderly, stable, and transparent manner, creating flexibility for the institutions’ international recruitment. However, these institutions are required to ensure that the students have sufficient language abilities and receive comprehensive instruction and along with necessary life skill counseling, in order to facilitate the employment of outstanding talents in Taiwan.
Strict Monitoring and Expulsion of Disqualified Institutions
In addition, the project will integrate a monitoring mechanism to prevent the irregularities seen in the past regarding overseas Chinese and foreign student recruitment practices of some institutions, in order to ensure the quality of international recruitment and student learning, and the rights of overseas Chinese and foreign students are protected. The MOE will strictly monitor the students’ language abilities and the actual relevant instruction and guidance practices of the institution. If an institution’s language instruction is substandard, offers insufficient guidance for overseas Chinese and foreign students, or violates the relevant laws or regulations, the MOE will terminate the institution’s participation in the project, and will reduce the institution’s enrollment quotas, or facilitate student to transfer to other institutions.
The MOE has also organized relevant supplementary measures, including “instruction quality monitoring for students from abroad” and “the standardized contract template for students from abroad.” For these two measures the MOE will set out a template of items which should and should not be listed for tertiary institution student recruitment and supervise the reporting to the MOE of the contents of the contracts for students from overseas.
At the same time, the MOE will begin monitoring the tertiary institution instruction quality for students from abroad. The items include the four categories of student recruitment, courses, instructors, and student rights. Monitoring visits will be unannounced, and institutions evincing subpar or irregular execution will be given a deadline for ameliorations, with serious cases reprimanded with an administrative deficiency, and listed for monitoring under the Vocational and Tertiary Institution Student Rights Protection Compliance Notice. Moreover, if student recruitment is found to have been carried out by a middleman agency, the case will be forwarded to the district prosecutor, in order to maintain the regulated recruitment process of overseas Chinese and foreign students.
Furthermore, the MOE is discussing with other Ministries about suitable conditions for overseas Chinese and foreign students to remain in Taiwan, in hopes that, following a transparent and comprehensive student recruitment process, outstanding talents can be greatly encouraged to seek employment in Taiwan after graduation.