Search

 

Cablegate: Taiwan Prepares to Admit Prc University Students

VZCZCXRO4537
PP RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHIN #1627/01 3240939
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 190939Z NOV 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0393
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 0564
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0422
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TAIPEI 001627

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS USTR, STATE FOR EAP/TC,ECA/A/E/EAP, EAP/PD,USTR
FOR STRATFORD AND WINELAND,NSC FOR LOI, TREASURY FOR
OASIA/CWINSHIP AND MPISA,COMMERCE FOR
4431/ITA/MAC/AP/OPB/TAIWAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON ECIN CH TW KPAO
SUBJECT: TAIWAN PREPARES TO ADMIT PRC UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

REF: A. TAIPEI 1530
B. TAIPEI 1569
C. TAIPEI 1584

TAIPEI 00001627 001.2 OF 003


1. (SBU) Summary. On November 10, Education Minister Cheng
Jei-ching announced that, beginning with the fall semester in
2009, Taiwan's colleges, universities and graduate schools
will begin accepting up to 1,000 students per year from the
PRC. Increasing cross-Strait contacts by opening Taiwan to
Mainland students was a platform of President Ma Ying-jeou's
campaign, but the details of how the policy will be
implemented suggest that protecting job opportunities for
Taiwan students is also a high priority for Ma's
administration. Minister Cheng stated that "three
limitations and six noes" will apply to PRC students studying
in Taiwan, restricting the study of certain subjects as well
as students' options for employment while in school and after
graduation. Taiwan has almost one million undergraduate
students, so the actual impact on the island's
undersubscribed post-secondary educational system of the
small number of PRC students is likely to be minimal. End
Summary.

------------------------------------------
Students to be Admitted Starting Next Fall
------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) On November 10, Education Minister Cheng Jei-ching
announced that, beginning with the fall semester in 2009,
Taiwan's colleges, universities and graduate schools will
begin accepting students from the PRC. Initially, the number
of students accepted will be limited to 1,000, but Minister
Cheng told AIT that the number could ultimately increase to a
maximum of one percent of the number of new college entrants
(Note: typically, more than 200,000 freshmen per year enroll
in Taiwan's universities and colleges. End Note.) Cheng
said the limit will be reviewed two years after the new
policy takes effect. The Ministry of Education (MOE) has yet
to work out how the quota will be divided among Taiwan's
various institutions of higher education, according to Wang
Kung-sheng, the Director of the Cultural and Educational
Exchange Department of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC).

----------
Background
----------

3. (SBU) In 1988, Taiwan began to invite professionals from
China to come to the island for short-term cultural and
educational exchanges, including post-graduate scientific
research. In October this year, Taiwan extended the limit on
the length of stay for Chinese students doing research here
from four months to one year. According to MOE, there are
342 students from the PRC currently doing research in Taiwan.
By comparison, Taiwan's National Security Council estimates
there are approximately 6,500 Taiwan students studying in
China, and approximately 20,000 students have gone to the
Mainland since Beijing removed restrictions on Taiwan
students 15 years ago. (Note: Taiwan does not keep
statistics on the number of students from the island who go
to the Mainland to study. End Note.) In 2002, Taiwan first
allowed Taiwan universities to provide executive MBA (EMBA)
programs to the PRC staff of Taiwan firms operating in China.
There are nine Taiwan universities that now provide EMBA
programs on the Mainland. In October Taiwan allowed Chinese
students to enroll in EMBA programs offered on the offshore
islands of Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu.

4. (SBU) Allowing Mainland students to come to Taiwan for
post-secondary education was part of the campaign platform of
President Ma Ying-jeou, which emphasized improving
cross-Strait relations. Educational exchange, as well as
increased cross-Strait tourism, were portrayed by Ma's
campaign as a way to enhance stability through
people-to-people ties. The details about implementation of
the new policy announced by Minister Cheng indicate that
there will be a strong emphasis on protecting job
opportunities for Taiwan graduates and preventing a major

TAIPEI 00001627 002.2 OF 003


influx of PRC students who would seek jobs here after
graduating.

------------------------------
Three Limitations and Six Noes
------------------------------

5. (SBU) According Minister Cheng, PRC students would be
restricted from studying subjects related to national
security, high-technology and medicine. MAC educational
exchange director Wang told AIT that MOE is reviewing which
courses at Taiwan's various colleges and universities would
be prohibited for Mainland students. MOE is also reviewing
Chinese university curricula to determine which degrees from
Mainland universities will be recognized in Taiwan, according
to Wang.

6. (SBU) Chinese students will face restrictions in regard to
application, enrollment and employment. The "six noes"
include no part-time work off-campus, no employment in Taiwan
directly after graduation, no access to the island's
universal health insurance system, and no scholarships
offered by MOE. The policy, however, will not prevent
universities and colleges, as well as private enterprises,
from awarding scholarships directly. In addition, Mainland
students who take Taiwan's compulsory university entrance
examinations will not be accorded extra points, as are
"overseas Chinese" students and those who are members of the
island's aboriginal tribes. PRC students will also not be
allowed to take examinations for professional certification,
for example to become a CPA. They will be allowed to work
part-time on-campus, for example as teaching assistants.
Schools will be responsible for providing students from the
PRC with group health insurance.

----------------------
Implementation Details
----------------------

7. (SBU) MAC's Wang told AIT recently that MAC is working
with MOE to draft implementing regulations and an amendment
to Article 22 of the Act Governing Relations between Peoples
of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. This article
states that rules governing recognition of PRC educational
certificates must be developed by MOE and submitted to the
Executive Yuan for approval. The amendment to the act will
require approval by the Legislative Yuan (LY). Wang said
that MAC and MOE expect that the process can be completed by
next fall, in order to allow PRC students to enroll in the
fall semester. In July, MOE began consulting with schools
and education experts on how the policy should be
implemented, so the ministry anticipates that the LY will
pass the required amendment, according to Wang.

-----------------------------
What Will it Mean for Taiwan?
-----------------------------

8. (SBU) MAC optimistically estimates that as many as 5
million PRC students may wish to come to Taiwan. However, by
limiting the number of students allowed to enroll to 1,000
per year, the Ma administration is proceeding cautiously on
expanding cross-Strait educational exchange. According to
sources in academia, the actual impact of the new policy on
the island's post-secondary educational system is likely to
be minimal. Professor Wang Dau-chang, who is the Director of
the Office of International Affairs at National Yunlin
University of Science and Technology, told AIT recently that
the new policy will not significantly affect the island's
major colleges and universities, where competition for
admission is already keen. Wang's opinion was echoed by
Professor Chung Tsung-ting, who heads the university's EMBA
program. Yunlin County Deputy Magistrate Li Ying-yuan told
us separately that, in his view, because most Taiwan
universities have higher tuition levels than those in China,
only a limited number of PRC students would apply to study
here.


TAIPEI 00001627 003.2 OF 003


9. (SBU) With over 160 universities and colleges on the
island, a university seat is virtually assured for any Taiwan
high school graduate who wants one. At the same time,
Taiwan's college student pool is gradually shrinking,
according to Professor Huang Chin-tan of Mingchuan
University's graduate school of management. Dr. Huang told
us that he estimates the total number of students entering
tertiary education will be approximately 20,000 less than
current levels by 2015. He added that colleges and
universities in central and southern Taiwan, in particular,
could face a shortage of students in the future, and
therefore, in his view, allowing Mainland students to study
in Taiwan is a sound policy.

10. (SBU) MAC officials say that the next round of talks
between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the PRC's
Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS)
could address issues related to educational exchange, for
example establishing a regular channel for communication
between education officials on both sides of the Strait.
MAC's Ms. Wang told us, though, that Taiwan and PRC officials
had not yet agreed on whether to include education issues on
the agenda for the SEF-ARATS talks next year.

-------
Comment
-------

11. (SBU) Criticism of the Ma administration's moves to
increase economic ties with China (reftels), combined with
public concern about rising unemployment, may explain the
various restrictions on PRC students included in the new
policy. Although the immediate impact of policy change on
Taiwan's educational system may be slight, in the long-term,
enrolling Chinese students may help the island's less
prestigious universities reduce pressure from a declining
Taiwan student pool. Another factor Ma must consider is the
general hostility on the part of his DPP opposition to this
administration's opening to China. In the current political
climate, there is likely to be some opposition as the
decision is implemented. End Comment.
SYOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: