The 2018 Taiwan Scholarship and Huayu Enrichment Scholarship Welcome Party and the inaugural Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Award Ceremony

The afternoon of October 26 saw the 2018 Taiwan Scholarship and Huayu Enrichment Scholarship Welcome Party attended by over 770 scholarship-winning students from 72 countries. Vice President Chen Chien-jen gave the opening address. He warmly welcomed the students and pointed out that Taiwan is a friendly nation that advocates the values of freedom, democracy, and human rights. It also offers quality tertiary education with very affordable tuition and housing costs, and the number of overseas students in Taiwan has grown significantly in recent years.

The government provides scholarships to encourage outstanding young international scholars to study in Taiwan and thereby enhance exchanges, understanding and friendship between Taiwan and the world. The Taiwan Scholarships—to undertake a degree—and the Huayu Enrichment Scholarships—to undertake language studies—are provided by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Science and Technology. These scholarship programs were set up in 2004, to encourage outstanding international students to come to Taiwan, and since then, more than ten thousand scholarships have been awarded. In the 2018–19 academic year, a total of 1,549 scholarships were awarded to students from 86 countries, of which the Ministry of Education provided 422 Taiwan Scholarships, and 426 Huayu Enrichment Scholarships.

After graduating and returning to their countries, alumni of our universities have very successful careers in government, industry, and academia, and they make enormous contributions. To publicly recognize some of their achievements, the Ministry of Education has created the Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Awards. Seven of the many outstanding people who have studied in Taiwan, and then had remarkable achievements, were selected as the first ever recipients:

• The Hon. Mr. Arnaldo Castillo Figueroa, the Minister of Economic Development, and also the Cabinet Coordinator for National Economic Development of the Republic of Honduras who graduated from the Department of Engineering of the Military Academy of the Republic of China.

• The Hon. Mr. Asterio Appi, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Nauru, who graduated from the Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology.

• Mr. Choong Kam Kow who graduated from the Department of Art at National Taiwan Normal University. He is an artist who enjoys the reputation of being a "National Treasure" in Malaysia. He has received the A.M.N. honor by the head of state of Malaysia and Blossom Art Honorary Academy Award.

• Dr. Gloria Jumamil-Mercado, who graduated from National Sun Yat-Sen University.

• Mr. Lee Ser Chong from Malaysia, who graduated from Tamkang University’s Department of Accounting. He is Chairman of the Sunta and Lien Fu groups and the Strategic Quality Management Consultancy Group Ltd. In 2018 he was elected President of the World Federation of Taiwan Alumni Associations.

• Professor Roel Sterckx, the Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilisation at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the British Academy, who graduated from National Taiwan University.

• Mr. Tan Chee Lay, from Singapore, who graduated from the Department of Chinese at National Taiwan Normal University. He is currently the Dean of Nanyang Technological University’s Singapore Centre for Chinese Language and has an exceptional record in the academic and literary fields.

All these alumni have had outstanding professional achievements and have spared no effort to deepen exchanges and cooperation between their respective homelands and Taiwan.

Vice President Chen Chien-jen personally presented the inaugural Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Awards to the five able to come to Taiwan. Dr. Gloria Jumamil-Mercado and Professor Roel Sterckx were unable to attend.

It is hoped that after returning to their homelands after a very productive Taiwan adventure, the scholarship winners will emulate the global distinguished alumni and have very successful careers and contribute to the development of various field, and also become cultural ambassadors and forge new links between Taiwan and other countries.

Source: Ministry of Education, Republicof China(Taiwan)