Gov’t still divided on how to treat Chinese students


TAIPEI–Over six months has passed since Taiwan first opened full-time admissions to students from China, but local society has also been divided on whether restrictions on them should be eased, according to a local scholar. The government’s “three limits, six noes” policy on the admission of mainland Chinese students to local universities is the result of doubts and opposition from the public, said Chang Wu-ueh, director of the Graduate Institute of China Studies at Tamkang University, in a recent interview. The “three limits” refer to restrictions on the number of Chinese universities that the government can recognize, the total number of Chinese college students who can enter Taiwan, and a limit on the accreditation of Chinese diplomas related to medical personnel certification exams. The “six noes” mean that mainland Chinese students are not allowed to receive scholarships or professional licenses, work in Taiwan before or after graduation, receive extra points in examinations or take civil service exams. These restrictive policies represent a transitional, compromised product, Chang said. They are not in line with the original goal of opening to Chinese students, or the spirit of education, he went on. In the current political environment, however, “we can only make do with this and hope for something better,” he admitted. Chang proposed two directions for the government’s future policy on the issue. First, he said, if Taiwan wants to recruit top students from china, then not only should it scrap the restrictions but it should provide incentives. An Industry

Otherwise, it will be difficult to attract outstanding students, since many countries such as the U.S., the United Kingdom and Singapore all offer abundant scholarships, Chang said. On the other hand, if Taiwan does not target the best students in China, it should treat education as an industry, the scholar said. As long as they can afford the tuition fees, Taiwan should allow them to study here, using the high tuitions charged to international students to improve local schools’ quality, he added. The current educational environment for Chinese students, Chang said, can hardly attract the best, nor can it help low-ranking schools to solve their financial problems. Lin Kuo-ming, a sociology professor at National Taiwan University (NTU) expressed a similar view. In a recent forum on the issue, Lin said many of the private schools that fail to recruit enough students hope opening to Chinese students will solve their financial problems. However, many Taiwanese people view China as hostile and therefore see Chinese students as potential enemies, according to Lin. These people think Chinese students should not be allowed to take up or share Taiwan’s resources. Yu Zelin, a Chinese student who studies at Chinese Culture University in Taipei, said that opening the educational market was a decision the authorities should have made earlier from the perspective of academic globalization. Problems