University presidents call for admission of mainland students

Updated: 2010-04-21 07:42

(HK Edition)

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Several university presidents said Tuesday that Taiwan should open its doors to mainland students as soon as possible, insisting that there will be more pros than cons.

With a legislative committee scheduled to review law amendments regarding this issue today, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) legislative caucus said earlier Tuesday that they strongly opposed the government's plan to allow mainland students to study in Taiwan.

However, the university presidents said the policy the government plans to carry out along with the opening will protect Taiwanese students' interests.

The government late last year decided to allow mainland students to study in Taiwan, but it will limit the number of mainland students to under 2,000 a year in the initial stage of the program.

The presidents of Taiwan's universities said during a press conference Tuesday that opening Taiwanese universities to mainland students will not threaten Taiwanese students in any way, be it in the college entrance slots or job opportunities.

National Taiwan University President Lee Si-chen said that more than 80 percent of university presidents in Taiwan support opening Taiwanese universities to mainland students, citing a survey conducted while he was serving as the head of the Association of National Universities.

It is a global trend to allow the free flow of students, and Taiwan should not selectively open its doors to students from overseas but not those from the mainland, Lee said, adding that he expects local students will be greatly inspired by mainland students' attitudes toward learning.

The press conference was held by the legislative caucus of the ruling party Kuomintang, which supports the move.

China Daily/CNA

(HK Edition 04/21/2010 page4)