Hong Kong protests lead to surge in Taiwan university applications

Protesters gather during a rally for secondary school students near the Hong Kong Museum of Art in Hong Kong, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. Protesters in Hong Kong wrote hundreds of Christmas cards on Thursday for people jailed in the city's pro-democracy movement, promising they won't be forgotten as they face spending the festive season behind bars. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — About 3,427 Hong Kong students have enrolled in Taiwan universities for their bachelor’s studies this year, up 65 percent from the same period last year, according to Chinese-language media.

This surge of Hong Kong students is attributed to the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement (Anti-ELAB Movement) that began last year.

Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao reported on Monday that Hong Kong students can apply to local universities through the “University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Students” or directly to the institution of their choice.

This year’s application period ended up on March 28, except for Soochow University, Feng Chia University and the National Sun Yat-sen University which will welcome applications until June or July.

Authorities expect that more than 5,000 people in Hong Kong will apply to study in Taiwan this year thanks to local institutions’ independent admissions and postgraduate programs.

The report quoted Liang Kuan-fen (梁冠芬), chairman of the Hong Kong Chinese Middle School Association (香港中文中學聯會), who attributed the rise in applications for undergraduate classes in Taiwan this year to last year’s Anti-ELAB Movement.

Taiwan also offers studies in a less fierce environment, Liang said, adding that Taiwan universities offer subjects that are not offered by their Hong Kong counterparts.

Wu Pao-cheng, a student counseling consultant at the Hok Yau Club, remarked that students may be dissatisfied with the society and Hong Kong’s education system, leading to them deciding to study in Taiwan or planing to emigrate there.