Taiwan offers thousands of scholarships for Southeast Asian students

By Le Nguyen, Minh Nga   March 27, 2024 | 06:59 pm PT
Taiwan offers thousands of scholarships for Southeast Asian students
The National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, January 2024. Photo by Unsplash/Ricky LK
At least 2,000 Vietnamese students will be sponsored by Taiwan with plane tickets, tuition fees, and living expenses to study in semiconductor and engineering fields this year.

These incentives are part of the International Industrial Talents Education Special Program (INTENSE) for students from Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as announced earlier this month by Taiwanese education authorities.

Han Quoc Dieu, chairman of the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Ho Chi Minh City, said the program was a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Training, businesses, and universities aimed at focusing on training manpower in the fields of science, engineering, chips, and semiconductors.

Accordingly, universities will train based on the requirements and orders of businesses.

The Taiwanese government covers tuition fees and other administrative costs for up to two years. Participating companies provide each student with a living allowance of NTD10,000 (US$312) per month, and students will have an additional allowance during their internship.

After this period, students can choose to stay in Taiwan or return home.

The condition for students to maintain their scholarship is to be in the top 70% with the best performance in their class from the second year onwards.

After graduation, they will receive bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees corresponding to their training programs.

To facilitate recruiting students from Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines for universities in Taiwan, the Taiwanese Ministry of Education subsidizes three universities to establish overseas consulting offices in the above countries.

The offices will have dedicated personnel to provide administrative and interview venue support locally, offer consultation services for students, and serve as a venue for future Mandarin language training courses for prospective students, according to an official announcement from the INTENSE program.

In the first year, the program plans to enroll 2,000-2,500 Vietnamese students, who can start their studies in February or September.

Han Quoc Dieu, head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in HCMC, assesses that this training program benefits both Taiwan and Vietnam in training manpower in semiconductors and science and engineering.

Vietnam needs manpower to promote this industry, while Taiwanese companies currently produce 65% of chips and 92% of advanced processing chips, leading the world.

Taiwan is also struggling with an aging population and a declining birth rate.

University enrollment has decreased by 20% compared to 10 years ago, and businesses are facing labor shortages.

Last year, Taiwan announced a plan to spend $162.5 million over five years to increase the number of international students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields, focusing on Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

According to ICEF Monitor in June 2023, Vietnam is the top market for Taiwanese international students. More than 20,000 Vietnamese are studying there, accounting for nearly a quarter of all international students.

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