Ministry of Education Enhances its Inquiry Services for Overseas Students
Providing high quality services is critically important to ensuring that overseas students can focus fully on their study and research, as well as enjoying their time in Taiwan. For this reason the Ministry of Education set up NISA, the Network for International Student Advisors, in 2011, to assist the professional personnel on campuses continually improve the ways they can meet the needs of overseas students. In recent years, the number of overseas students in Taiwan has been rapidly increasing, and last year they constituted 10% of the total number of students currently studying at colleges and universities in Taiwan. So this year - 2019 - NISA launched some new mechanisms for students who have something on their mind to contact someone about it, and receive rapid and effective handling of the matter.
NISA’s Inquiry Service for Overseas Students at Tertiary Colleges and Universities has now set up a dedicated webpage, an online mailbox, and a telephone hotline for overseas students; a network of personnel in a range of agencies who can immediately be called on for assistance; and each year it conducts a number of meetings with overseas students in conjunction with several other agencies. These new mechanisms are outlined below.
1. Website and mailbox
NISA has set up a webpage for overseas students at www.nisa.moe.gov.tw. The webpage provides information about laws and regulations affecting them, and channels for obtaining information from various authorities and agencies. There’s also an FAQ section answering questions commonly asked by students doing a program at a college or university in Taiwan, and an online mailbox where students can lodge other questions and views. Specialist personnel will reply and can provide assistance to deal with the matter(s) raised.
2. NISA Hotline 0800–789–007
NISA now provides an inquiry hotline to help overseas students get immediate answers to their questions, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Students can speak directly with a specialist in Chinese or English, and in Indonesian or Vietnamese with the help of a professional interpreter. A voicemail service is available outside business hours, where students can ask questions, make suggestions, give details of matters they want to report, and provide details of how to contact them. A specialist will then listen to the voicemail in business hours and give priority to handling the matter.
3. Multi-agency network
The Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of the Interior, the Overseas Community Affairs Council, and the NISA Project Office have jointly set up a platform, and a dedicated communication network, response protocol, and mechanisms, for the proper handling of overseas student related matters.
4. Overseas student seminarsTeams of personnel from the Ministry of Education, the Overseas Community Affairs Council, the Ministry of Labor, the National Immigration Agency, the National Health Insurance Administration, the Bureau of Consular Affairs, and the University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Students travel to the north, central, southern, and eastern areas of Taiwan and conduct meetings and interviews with overseas students. These are designed to help the students to understand Taiwan better and answer their questions about any study-related matters or their everyday life in Taiwan, and express the government’s care and concern.