Decision to recruit students from China is not mine: Tu

The China Post staff

Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng said yesterday he cannot make any decision as to how colleges and universities in Taiwan can recruit students from China.

Tu made the remarks after a Chinese vice minister said yesterday colleges and universities in Taiwan may recruit students in China.

China welcomes Taiwan to recruit students for its institutes of higher learning, Yuan Gueiren told a Kuomintang-sponsored cultural seminar in Beijing. On the other hand, Yuan said, Taiwan should provide necessary assistance to Chinese students that are recruited.

Responding to Yuan’s call, Tu said, “That decision should be taken by the Mainland Affairs Council.”

If the rejection of the Olympic torch relay through Taiwan is a guide, the Mainland Affairs Council’s decision is a foregone conclusion.

No schools in Taiwan would be allowed to go to China to recruit students.

But that may be just as well. The fact is that few Chinese students would try to come to Taiwan, where the cost of living is a couple of times higher than in China, and be able to afford exorbitant tuitions and fees.

Only a few Chinese students have visited Taiwan to take short term courses, Yuan Gueiren said. “We hope,” he added, “more will go to Taiwan and study there.”

Taiwan should reciprocate what China has done for its students, Yuan urged.

Starting 2005, for instance, their tuition fees were lowered to the same level as their Chinese counterparts, Yuan went on. “We also provide scholarships,” he added.

In March last year, China decided to accredit degrees awarded by colleges and universities in Taiwan, Yuan said.

Student exchanges are a two-way street, Yuan pointed out. “We welcome students from Taiwan,” he said, “and Taiwan should welcome our students.”