Number of HK, Macau Students in Taiwan Drops in Four Straight Years|港澳生報名"海外聯招"人數 連四年下降
As the anti-extradition bill protest continues in Hong Kong, many local residents are planning to move abroad. According to figures from Taiwan's Ministry of Interior, the number of Hong Kong residents living in Taiwan have been on the rise for the past three years. However, the number of students coming to study in Taiwan has dropped in four consecutive years. Scholars believe the drop has something to do with the growing recruitment from China and the low birthrate in Hong Kong.
Due to the geographical proximity with Hong Kong, as well as the absence of a language barrier, Taiwan was a popular destination for students from Hong Kong in the past. However, statistics have shown that the number of Hong Kong high school graduates applying for universities in Taiwan has dropped from around 6,000 in 2015 to merely 2,000 this year. The University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Students believes the drop is linked to Hong Kong's low birth rate as well as China's growing recruitment effort and their increasing scholarship. Some in the academia said Taiwan should make its universities more attractive to students from Hong Kong.
The number of students (from Hong Kong to Taiwan) has been dropping every year. However, recruitment by individual universities has led to increasing number of incoming students. Other than encouraging independent recruitment effort from universities, we should put more scholarship in place and attract more Hong Kong students amidst the ongoing protest.
Scholars have pointed out that the average tuition fee for Taiwan's public universities is around NT$50,000 an academic year; about NT$100,000 for private universities and those are cheaper than Hong Kong's tuition fee which is NT$150,000 per academic year. They also said that Taiwan has an edge in terms of its geographical proximity to Hong Kong and its quality of teachers. The scholars said they hope universities could attract more students from Hong Kong amidst the ongoing protest.
Those who have positive views towards Beijing or those who don't care about politics tend to study in China. However, some are not willing to compromise on their politics. If students from Hong Kong or Macau study in Taiwan, after graduating, there's a possibility that they'll choose to live in Taiwan.
The students who are admitted by universities can apply for living permit. Those from other high schools and universities might need to apply through the Mainland Affairs Council if they wish to enroll in universities in Taiwan.
The Ministry of Education said that if students from Hong Kong seek residency or student visa due to their participation in the anti-extradition bill protest, they could apply through the University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Students or through individual universities. Whether they can apply through other channels depends on the arrangement of the Mainland Affairs Council.
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