The US and Taiwan Strengthen the Collaboration in Education
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On Monday, Taiwan and the US reiterated their dedication to strengthening collaboration in English and Mandarin-language education, with plans to extend their partnership to encompass scientific fields. Deputy Minister of Education, Liu Mon-chi, headed a delegation of ministry officials to the fourth high-level dialogue within the Taiwan-US Education Initiative in Washington, as announced by the Ministry of Education in a press release yesterday. The ministry highlighted the results of bilateral cooperation in Mandarin and bilingual education, exchanges among elementary, junior-high schools, and universities, as well as the development of semiconductor talent.

Liu noted significant advancements in promoting Mandarin education since the previous dialogue held in February of last year. This year, a record number of 3,080 US students are slated to study Mandarin in Taiwan, while the ministry has selected 147 Mandarin-language teachers and teaching assistants to work in the US. Taiwan has extended subsidies to 20 universities in Taiwan and 56 universities in the US as part of the Huayu Best program aimed at enhancing the quality of Mandarin education. Additionally, four Taiwan Centers for Mandarin Learning were established last year. Liu also highlighted that the University Academic Alliance in Taiwan, comprising 12 Taiwanese universities, has forged memorandums of understanding with three US university systems to collaborate in the fields of semiconductors, engineering sciences, and Mandarin-language education.

Expressing gratitude to the US government for its ongoing support of bilingual education in Taiwan through the dispatch of professional English teachers, the ministry expressed hope that the two nations could expand their collaboration to encompass STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in elementary and junior-high schools.

Also in attendance at the meeting were National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Szu-chien, who participated remotely, Overseas Community Affairs Council Minister Hsu Chia-ching, and Representative to the US Alexander Yui.

Representing the US side were US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Camille Dawson, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairwoman Laura Rosenberger, and AIT Managing Director for the Washington office Ingrid Larson.

Following the meeting, the delegation proceeded to the University of Maryland, a partner in the Huayu Best Program, to confer with university president Darryll Pines on plans to offer Mandarin courses focused on professional fields to US students participating in internships in Taiwan, as per the ministry’s statement.

The US-Taiwan Education Initiative, inaugurated in 2020 and expanded last year, aims to facilitate increased Mandarin learning opportunities for young Americans in Taiwan, as well as to facilitate the deployment of more Taiwanese Mandarin instructors to teach in the US, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In conjunction with the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan), the government is advocating for the use of English as the medium of instruction for English-language classes in universities and is recruiting additional English teaching assistants to fulfill its Bilingual 2030 policy objectives, the ministry added.

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