Restrictions against Australia, Bhutan, Brunei, Fiji, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, New Zealand, Palau, Thailand and Vietnam were lifted earlier this month. Returning students are required to go through quarantine, including staying at an off-campus epidemic prevention hotel.

“The MOE will also continue to examine the entry quarantine situation of overseas students”

“The MOE will regularly request the CECC [Central Epidemic Command Center] to provide an updated list of ‘low-risk countries and regions’ that can be allowed to enter the ROC (Taiwan), and then implement relevant operations of arranging overseas students to enter the ROC (Taiwan) in orderly batches,” said the Ministry of Education in a statement.

“In addition, the MOE will also continue to examine the entry quarantine situation of overseas students, and then evaluate the relaxation of other entry targets in order to ensure the safe and orderly return of overseas students to the ROC (Taiwan) to study under the premise of giving priority to epidemic prevention.”

According to the MOE, 63,000 international students were hosted in Taiwan at the end of 2019, up from almost 57,000 in 2018/19.

An annual survey from the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET) revealed that 85.6% of international students come from elsewhere in Asia.

Over a third of international students were said to be overseas Chinese, including those from Hong Kong and Macau, with a further 4.7% from the Chinese mainland.

The survey also looked at students’ motivations for studying in Taiwan, with 41% citing the country’s “freedom and openness”, 34.5% scholarship opportunities and 33.6% tuition costs, while 28% chose Taiwan because they said the culture was easy to adapt to.

Of those surveyed, 35.7% said language barriers also caused difficulties. Less than 5% of international students in Taiwan are language students, although 87.6% of those surveyed considered learning the language important.

More than four out five students said they wished to work in Taiwan after graduating.

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