Taiwan Education Center – Introduction and Structure
The internationalization of higher education is a crucial approach to broaden students’ horizons and increase their international competitiveness. To accommodate the demands from the education industry for internationalization, the government has taken many highly effective measures in recent years, including encouraging students to study abroad, increasing international student enrollment, enhancing students’ foreign language proficiency, and promoting the teaching of Chinese as a second foreign language.
Enrolling new students overseas has become a common practice among advanced countries. For example, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have set up their respective educational centers (i.e. Canadian Education Center, Alliance Française, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, and British Council) in major states around the world. Playing a significant role in enrolling outstanding international students, these centers offer prospective students not only consulting services but also various language courses and proficiency tests, so as to equip them with required language skills in advance.
To implement the Executive Yuan’s enhancement program on international student enrollment and the governmental policy of promoting the teaching of Chinese as a second foreign language, the Ministry of Education specifically laid down the “Guidelines on Subsidizing the Establishment of the Taiwan Education Center Overseas.” Issued on 8 February 2007, the guidelines aim to help Taiwan’s universities and colleges set up their respective Taiwan Education Centers (TECs) in important foreign countries. The TECs’ functions are fourfold: (1) providing foreign students with the information about Taiwan’s higher education; (2) organizing enrollment briefings and education expositions overseas; (3) offering prospective students direct, comprehensive consulting services; and (4) running Chinese language courses and proficiency tests in coordination with the national policy of teaching Chinese as a second foreign language.
The TECs have multiple objectives. Firstly, through active participation in local education fairs as well as meticulous planning for Taiwan education exhibitions and promotional events in foreign countries, the TECs seek to give foreign educational communities and students a deeper understanding of Taiwan’s higher education. Besides, the TECs have to organize educational seminars or forums on different disciplines, insofar as to facilitate face-to-face discussions about research cooperation and academic exchange between Taiwan and foreign countries. Moreover, the TECs should act as the agents that help attract international first-rate students to study in Taiwan, and provide Taiwanese students and personnel with the information and services for academic research and exchange overseas. The TECs will also place a high priority on running Chinese language courses and proficiency tests, administering the certification examination on teaching Chinese as a second foreign language, and offering other professional courses in collaboration with Taiwan’s universities and colleges.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Education to promote the TECs, the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET) channels its resources and experience of organizing international education fairs to formulate a phased plan, dedicating itself to the pertinent preparations and orientation. The FICHET attempts to carry out this plan in an incremental fashion. In addition to assisting in the TECs’ development and fully grasping their performance, the FICHET endeavors to inform Taiwan’s higher education institutions about the TECs’ functions and services, thereby encouraging them to utilize the TECs in forging their global partnerships and increasing their international student enrollment.
The platform is dedicated to improving the TECs’ informational transparency, familiarizing Taiwan’s universities and colleges with the TECs, fostering greater participation in TEC-related events, striking up inter-university strategic alliances, and observing the latest higher education trends in the world. We positively welcome extensive utilization of this platform from anyone interested.