Dr. Nicole Lee Yen-Yi, Director-General of the Department of International and Cross-strait Education of the Ministry of Education (MOE), and a delegation which included Ms. Lin Hsin-Pei, Head of the Department’s Overseas Chinese Students and International Students Service Section, visited Kuala Lumpur from April 6 to 8, 2023, to continue deepening the bilateral talent cultivation cooperation in conjunction with Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy. The TECO Education Division in Malaysia arranged the visit of the MOE delegation.
Dr. Lee and her delegation first visited the Chinese Taipei School Kuala Lumpur. Ms. Cheng Ya Fen, the principal, presented the school's latest developments and achievements. Dr. Lee applauded the school for its efforts promoting high-quality Taiwanese education and Chinese culture overseas. She hoped the school would continue its important role doing so in this multicultural community and be a shining example of what Taiwan education offers. The delegation then enjoyed a tour of the school that was led by Mr. Tu Shu Yao, chairman of the school board, and interacted with the teachers and students.
The MOE delegation also paid a courtesy visit to the United Chinese School Committees 'Association of Malaysia, the leading organization for Chinese education in Malaysia. She received a warm welcome from its chairman, Mr. Tan Tai Kim, and chief executive officer, Mr. Leong Seng Yee. Discussions were held on topics related to a range of potential bilateral education cooperation projects, related to such areas as STEAM—Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics—teacher training programs, counseling, sports, and so on.
Dr. Lee was invited to give opening remarks at the 2023 Taiwan Higher Education Fair in Kuala Lumpur on April 7. This annual Education Fair is organized by the Federation of Alumni Associations of Taiwan Universities, Malaysia (FAATUM). The 2023 Taiwan Higher Education Fair was held in five major cities across Malaysia—:Kota Kinabalu, Sibu, Batu Pahat, Kuala Lumpur, and Penang—between March 27 and April 12. Twenty-eight universities of technology and 50 general universities participated in the exhibitions to promote study in Taiwan.
In her remarks Dr. Lee pointed out that the number of international students who choose to study in Taiwan is growing as many countries sing the praises of Taiwan’s internationalized higher education. Malaysian students are the third-largest number among international student in Taiwan. According to MOE statistics, there were more than 12,000 Malaysian students studying in Taiwan in 2022, mainly in arts and humanities fields, services, business, administration, and law. She thanked FAATUM for its all-out efforts hosting the Education Fair, and thanked the participating universities in Taiwan for enthusiastically sharing details of their programs and distinct features with the local students, parents, and teachers.
She then outlined the Ministry of Education’s Taiwan Scholarships offered to qualified overseas students to undertake a degree at a college or university in Taiwan and the Huayu Enrichment Scholarships to learn Mandarin in Taiwan, to encourage more students to study there. Taiwan enjoys a developed higher education system, and advanced technological and vocational education, while Malaysia is well-known for its rich natural resources and workforce. They should therefore join hands to enhance the mutual sharing of resources to engage in international talent cultivation, and recruit more students to study in Taiwan.
YB Lim Hui Ying, Malaysia's Deputy Minister of Education, was another of the dignitaries who spoke at the Education Fair. She said that education is the backbone of a country, and that this is a significant field that ties Malaysia and Taiwan. Malaysia is keen to internationalize its higher education system and promote innovative development through its interactions with international institutions. She said that Malaysia values its partnerships with institutions of higher education in Taiwan and she hoped that bilateral education cooperation can be strengthened. She believed that this education fair created an opportunity to inform Malaysian students about more study opportunities and various tertiary level courses in Taiwan.
On April 8, the delegation visited FAATUM and exchanged ideas about further promoting higher education in Taiwan. The delegation conveyed the Ministry's deep gratitude to FAATUM for its long-standing support of Taiwan. The three-day visit to Malaysia was very fruitful, The delegation had in-depth communications with the local organizations and enjoyable interactions with many potential students.