TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taiwan universities have received a soaring number of applications by visiting students from Hong Kong colleges amid escalating tensions in the city where several institutions have cut short their first semester.
After months-long unrest in Hong Kong, tensions reached another height over the past week as violent clashes broke out on college campuses, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
The ongoing chaos forced university authorities to announce the shortening of the semester for safety concerns.
As of Monday afternoon, 623 out of 1,021 Taiwan students studying in Hong Kong universities had returned to Taiwan, according to the Ministry of Education (MOE).
Against this backdrop, some local universities have launched special programs to accept them as guest students.
The aforesaid schools include National Taiwan University (NTU), National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), National Chengchi University (NCCU), National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) and National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU), according to local media.
NTU vice president Chou Chia-pei (周家蓓) said on Thursday that 562 Hong Kong college students had submitted their application to become guest students so far, including 289 locals, 168 Hongkongers and 105 international students.
Chou said the number of applications from Hongkonger had drastically increased from the day earlier, adding that these students are demanding to study in Taiwan.
The students can start sitting in NTU classrooms as soon as Dec. 2 and stay until the semester ends in January next year, Chou said.
Not only students but professors are looking to teach in Taiwan as well. National Sun Yat-sen University as received ten applications of visiting students, while at least five professors from Hong Kong colleges have reportedly applied as visiting scholars too.