The 2023 Study in Taiwan Higher Education Expo aim for SMJK (a type of national secondary school in Malaysia) students was held in schools in seven states: SMJK Katholik Melaka, SMJK Chan Wa Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, SMJK Chung Hwa Klang, Selangor, SMJK Chong Hwa Kuala Lumpur, SMJK Tanah Puteh Kuantan, Pahang, SMJK Keat Hwa Alor Setar, Kedah, and SMJK Yuk Choy Ipoh, Perak, from May 8 to 15, 2023. It drew the participation of 33 Taiwan universities and colleges. Around 10,000 students and parents visited the expo despite the persistently heatwave in Malaysia.
The expo was supported by the local government and was organized by the Organization of Taiwan Education and Cultural, Malaysia, and co-organized by the Malaysian Conforming Secondary Schools Principals Council, and the Malaysia Secondary School Chinese Language Teachers Association. It has been conducted annually across schools in Malaysia since 2013, aiming to introduce Taiwan's higher education to local students and encourage more students to study abroad in Taiwan.
Besides the professional courses like medicine, engineering, and education, a couple of vocational and technical program courses that included business management, tourism and leisure, designing, automotive mechanics, baking, and so on, were also available at the expo, tailored to the students who have talents on practical skills. Representatives from colleges and universities also provided information about scholarships and other financial aid for students who are interested in studying in Taiwan with financial difficulties.
Mr. Beh Chew Nam, CEO of The Organization of Taiwan Education and Cultural, Malaysia, stated that the expo was canceled due to the pandemic in 2020 and has returned this year. He thanked the TECO Education Division for the assistance and appreciated the efforts of the participating universities in promoting professional courses in their universities throughout the event.
The courses and admissions systems of Taiwan’s universities and colleges are diversified and adaptive to the latest global education trends. Hence, he hoped that the students could grab the opportunity to interact with representatives of universities, learn new things from the professionals, and widen their horizons at the expo.
Dr. Joy Yen, Deputy Representative of the TECO Malaysia, was invited to attend the expo of Selangor and stated that Taiwan's New Southbound Policy highlights the importance of bilateral people-to-people exchanges and resource sharing. Taiwan is the world leading producer of information and communication technology products, especially in the semiconductor industry.
She encouraged more talents from Malaysia to utilize the learning resources in Taiwan and see the study experience as a chance for increasing self-knowledge so that they can contribute to the country and society in the future. The professionals from both sides should also continue to work together and exchange ideas, to strengthen bilateral education cooperation and partnership.
Ms. Charlin Chang, Director of the TECO Education Division, added that Taiwan has always been the ideal destination for Malaysian students to pursue their studies, regardless of race or religion. In fact, Taiwan is ranked second Muslim-friendly among non-Muslim nations. Most universities in Taiwan have set up adequate prayer rooms and halal restaurants or halal food zone for Muslim students. Moreover, Ministry of Education, Taiwan provides the MOE Taiwan Scholarship and Huayu Enrichment Scholarship every year to encourage outstanding international students to pursue a degree program and learn Mandarin in Taiwan.
The dignitaries included Mr. Haji Sajoli Bin Masdor, Deputy Director of Selangor Education Department, and Mr. Abdul Aziz Bin Md Hashim, Deputy Director of Learning Sector, Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Education Department, were invited to attend the expo of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur respectively.
Positive feedback about the expo was received from the students and was well-reported by the local press at the end of the event. The students responded that they had a good experience at the expo as they could gather information about the courses they were interested in and stay updated with the latest education trends and developments in Taiwan.