Taipei (CNA) – Taiwan’s Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said on Thursday that Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) agreed to discuss the loosening of regulations against Taiwanese universities’ EMBA programs accepting Chinese students.

There are many Taiwanese universities with EMBA programs overseas, including in mainland China, but those programs are forbidden from accepting Chinese students under current regulations. The programs were set up mainly to provide education for Taiwanese businesspeople based overseas.

For example, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology’s (Taiwan Tech) EMBA program in Singapore each year receives applications from many Chinese executives and enterprise owners, but none of them can enroll in the program because of the regulations.

That has caused the number of students accepted into the program to be just one third of the total number of applicants. The university is the first institution of higher education in Taiwan to set up an EMBA program in Singapore.

According to Hsu, Lai indicated after the Cabinet meeting on Thursday morning that he was open to discussing the loosening of regulations to allow the recruitment of mainland Chinese students, adding that favorable changes may occur in the near future.

Political Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education (MOE) Leehter Yao (姚立德), who also attended the meeting, said that besides Taiwanese businessmen based abroad, foreigners are also allowed to enroll in Taiwanese universities’ overseas branches under current regulations, but students from mainland China are not allowed to.

The MOE is planning to conduct an internal overall review of the situation very soon, he said.  

By Ku Chuan and Isabel Wang