All you need to know about studying in Taiwan

Overseas-education | 31 Jul 2020

With an outstanding higher education system offering a wide variety of subjects and scholarships, Taiwan stands as one of Hong Kong students’ favorite study abroad destinations.

Closer to home, Taiwan has always been a top destination for education amongst Hongkongers given its lower entrance requirements and tuition fees, and a more affordable cost of living. Besides, Hong Kong and Taiwan share similar cultures. Its culturally vibrant campuses and slower pace of life are also major draws to international students. Last year, over 6,800 Hong Kong students headed for Taiwan to further their studies.

There are three main pathways to studying undergraduate programs in Taiwan: individual application, joint distribution system, or through taking the one-year preparatory program at National Taiwan Normal University.

In Taiwan, the majority of bachelor programs take four years to complete and are internationally recognized. Nonetheless, if graduates wish to return to Hong Kong to pursue a career in the civil service or in schools, they are required to pass the assessment of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications, or relevant professional statutory bodies, to determine whether their degree is equivalent to a Hong Kong degree or relevant professional qualifications.

Wide-ranging programs

The diversity of accredited programs offered by Taiwan universities and the focus on innovative research make it an appealing overseas study option. Moreover, they offer disciplines that are unavailable in Hong Kong, such as agriculture, forestry, oceanography, and early childhood education. Known for its world-leading technology industry, subjects like robotics and artificial intelligence are also underscored in Taiwan’s tertiary education.

The Taiwan government is keen to attract more international students, and has set the ambitious target of reaching 150,000 international students by 2020. While most of the bachelor programs are taught in Chinese, many top-notch universities have been increasing the number of degree courses taught partly or entirely in English to cater to international students.

Affordable costs

In terms of costs, Taiwan's tuition fees and living expenses are comparatively lower than popular countries such as the UK, the US or Australia. According to the University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Students, the tuition fees of liberal arts colleges are generally lower, whereas that of medical colleges are about twice as expensive. Summing up the tuition fee, living and miscellaneous expenses, the annual budget is around HK$24,000 to $89,000.

Furthermore, the government is offering a series of scholarships for international students, including Elite Overseas Chinese Student Scholarship, MOE Outstanding Overseas Chinese Student Scholarship, and Overseas Chinese Association Scholarship/Financial Aid. Some top universities also provide their own international scholarships to lessen the financial burden for parents.

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