Taiwan and the U.S. are both world leaders in educating children and adults for the 21st century, so it comes as no surprise that the educational links between our two nations are strong. Educational ties between the Republic of China and the United States date back more than a century, from the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship Program which provided grants to Chinese students to undertake degree studies in the US. Many highly skilled people were educated under the program, including three Nobel laureates. Today, more than 20,000 students from Taiwan are pursuing education in the United States during the 2014-15 school year. ; and between 1988-2012, more than 30,000 American students traveled to Taiwan to pursue studies on the island. Twenty-six training centers with year-round classes cater to international students who come to Taiwan to learn Mandarin Chinese, many of the from the United States.
Taiwan and the U.S. share many common values, including a deep appreciation and understanding of the value of a good education. Also similar to the United States, Taiwanese students usually complete 12 years of initial education, progressing through elementary school, junior high school, and senior high school. Some students will attend vocational school in lieu of senior high school. Taiwan transitioned from a system of 9-years of compulsory education to 12-years of compulsory education for all students in 2014. After senior high school, many students go on to attend one of Taiwan’s one hundred plus institutions of higher education, a combination of both public and private entities. Taiwanese students are
regularly ranked near the top in many international educational
assessments. In the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment
(2009), Taiwanese students scored 5th highest in math compared to their
international peers, and 12th in Science.
Many Universities in Taiwan as well as Taiwan's Ministry of Education are active in engaging educational institutions all around the world, including in the United States. The Ministry of Education has signed MOUs with Caltech, Colombia University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Southern California to jointly offer scholarships for PhD students from Taiwan. The Ministry has also signed academic cooperation MOUs with Harvard University, MIT, the University of California Berkeley, and the University of Chicago to provide funding for Taiwan's top research universities to send students and faculty for academic exchanges.
The Ministry also provides financial aid to assist American students who are studying in Taiwan. The vibrant democratic system, diverse social developments, and safe and convenient environment makes Taiwan a great place for pursuing language studies--and connect with Asia.