Number of Indian, Southeast Asian Students Rising in Taiwan

The newly established Centre for India Studies (CIS) at National Tsing Hua University is the first of its kind in Taiwan.


The number of Indian and Southeast Asian students opting for Taiwan as their destination for studies is increasing, as a result of the government’s constant efforts to make it an education hub for international students.

The number of Indian and Southeast Asian students coming to Taiwan for studying in colleges and universities has tripled over the last decade, Bi Tzu-an, the head of the Ministry of Education’s Department of International and Cross-strait Education Affairs, said, according to the Central News Agency (CNA).

Ten years ago, the number of Indian and Southeast Asian students opting for university and post-graduate studies in Taiwan was around 8,000, according to the Education Ministry. In 2016, students from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries rose to 28,000, and further increased to 38,000 in 2017. These were the students who took admissions in post-secondary level, the report added.

Taiwan launched its “New Southbound Policy” (NSP) in 2016, which aims to enhance collaboration in the field of higher education and economic cooperation with neighboring countries, including India.

Taiwan is focusing on India under NSP, Deputy Minister of Education Leehter Yao told Education Times last month. “Our universities are looking at young brains from India and enthusiastic approach of the students to participate in the Masters, PhD and post-doctoral work,” he was quoted as saying by the publication.

Yao added that the current number of Indian students in Taiwan is 1,500 and his ministry expects that the new policy will help increase this number to 10,000 in coming years.

Various attempts are being made by the educational institutes of Taiwan to attract Indian students, the CNA report added. For instance, the National Tsing Hua University’s newly established Centre for India Studies (CIS) will undertake Indian-focused research on politics, economics, business activities, culture, philosophy, literature, language, etc. The center is the first of its kind in Taiwan.

“As the first school-based India study center in Taiwan, our mission is to enrich Indian insights, to boost mutual activities between Taiwan and India, to foster educational interactions, and to enhance business cooperation, and eventually to make impacts on economics and society,” the CIS says on its website.

In the last 10 years, the number of  Indian students at the school has increased from 40 to over 200, CIS Director Wang Wei-chung was cited as saying by CNA.

Since 2010, the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) has also been working to promote higher education exchanges with India, helping in increasing its visibility among Indian students, he added.

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