First batch of overseas students returns to Taiwan

With Taiwan safe from coronavirus, should we allow our overseas students to return?

Travelers are waiting to enter the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on March 20, 2020. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post) – The Ministry of Education (MOE, 教育部) has allowed 2,242 foreign graduates from 13 countries to return to Taiwan, and as of Thursday night, 145 had entered the country, with a total of 272 foreign students approved to return.

The students come from 13 countries, such as Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Mongolia, Cambodia, Palau, Laos, Bhutan, Fiji, and Brunei, considered as low risk.

However, approximately 40,000 overseas students unable to return are currently in China, Indonesia, and Malaysia. With Taiwan safe from coronavirus, should we allow all our overseas students to return?

Michael J. K. Chen (陳振貴), principal of Shih Chien University (實踐大學), stressed that overseas Taiwanese students have already finished classes, meaning Taiwan’s successful handling of the coronavirus outbreak should increase the attractiveness of Taiwanese institutions.

To his end, he recommended that the government refers to the 141 Taiwanese business association’s suggestions and reevaluate its position.

With universities shut down all over the world, Taiwan could take advantage of its success in tackling the coronavirus pandemic by opening its campuses to students unable to return abroad next semester, he continued.