Manila, Aug. 10 (CNA) Access to Taiwan's high-tech sector and the ability to learn Chinese are among the major factors sparking interest among Filipino students to study in Taiwan, educators said on the first day of the Taiwan Education Fair in the Philippines on Saturday.
Trinity University of Asia President Wilfred U. Tiu said at the fair that both factors were important in the eyes of Philippine students, who see overseas study as a chance to make themselves more competitive in the job market.
Studying Chinese is a big draw because of the considerable demand for Mandarin speaking professionals in the Philippines, he said.
Tiu noted that the Philippines has tried to move toward filling the gap by adding Chinese language to elementary and middle school curriculums in the country, but the lack of educators has made it difficult to implement the policy.
At the same time, the availability of scholarships and future access to Taiwan's technology sector are also key incentives because of the potential career opportunities exposure to the tech sector could bring, Tiu said.
Now in its second year, the two-day fair is providing a chance to 32 Taiwanese universities this year to sell their programs and attract students from the Southeast Asian country, according to the organizer, the non-profit Taiwan Education Center in the Philippines.
More than 500 people visited the fair on Saturday and were introduced to Taiwan's education system and environment by students and faculty of Taiwanese universities such as National Chengchi University and Fu Jen Catholic University.
At the opening ceremony, Michael Hsu Taiwan's representative to the Philippines, said there are more than 1,600 Filipino students studying in Taiwan, with 450 of them enrolled in colleges or universities and the rest studying Chinese language or engaged in short-term programs.
He hoped that through the fair, more people in the Philippines will gain in-depth knowledge of Taiwan's higher education system and its advantages, and become interested in studying in Taiwan.
Justine Pura, a Filipino student at National Sun Yat-sen University who was on hand to share her experiences, said Taiwan is a good option for Filipinos to study abroad because of its appealing culture and food as well as its convenient transportation and relatively low living expenses.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel