Chinese students hoping Taiwan can be more open to them (update)
Central News Agency
2013-06-11 09:26 PM
Taipei, June 11 (CNA) Taiwan currently imposes strict restrictions on Chinese nationals studying in the country, but some of them attending a job-matching event in Taipei on Tuesday hoped the situation would soon change. Hu Jun-feng, a graduate student in psychology at National Taiwan University, told CNA it was unfortunate that Chinese students are not permitted to work in Taiwan, saying it would be a "win-win" situation if Chinese students could be hired by local companies looking for qualified employees. "I don't even have a chance to compete (for a job here)," Hu said on the sidelines of an event organized by the Taipei-based Association of Chinese Elite Leadership that arranges meetings for Chinese students in Taiwan with potential employers from China and Taiwan. Around 150 students and 26 companies attended the meeting at the Chang Yung-Fa Foundation, according to the organizers. Chang Wu-yueh, the honorary chairman of the association, said the success Chinese students in Taiwan have in finding jobs has important implications for Taiwanese schools, which face dwindling enrollments as Taiwan's population ages and may need to rely on overseas students to survive. If the Chinese students are able to find good jobs after they graduate, it will be a big selling point in attracting more talented Chinese students to study in Taiwan, Chang said. Resigned to not being allowed to land a job in Taiwan, Hu still believes his experience here will give him an edge in his job search, as warming ties across the Taiwan Strait are creating a demand for workers who are able to understand the mindsets of people from both sides. A graduate student in journalism, who wished to be identified as Minty Chang, was not as optimistic, saying she wasn't sure how far her experience in Taiwan would get her. Taiwan's job market is not open to Chinese students, and it is also not convenient for Chinese students to participate in job recruitment events back home, she said. "It's a pretty big disadvantage for us," she said. She suggested that Taiwan take a first step by opening up part-time jobs and internships to Chinese students and allowing them to be research assistants. On Taiwan's enrollment restrictions, Hu contended that Taiwan's policy to only accept students from eight Chinese provinces and cities was actually self-defeating. Students from those eight areas -- many the most affluent in China -- may have the option to study in the United States or Europe, he said, while students from less well-off areas who are currently not allowed to come to Taiwan are the most eager to study here. All of these restrictions, whether related to work or enrollment, were imposed to protect the employment and educational rights of domestic students. There have also been concerns that Chinese students might be involved in espionage activities. President Ma Ying-jeou, who favors closer ties with China, said in March that his government wants to ease restrictions on Chinese students in Taiwan, such as allowing them to serve as research assistants. A graduate student in risk and insurance studies, who wished only to be identified as Rachel, felt even that would be a big step forward. "Being a research assistant is a very crucial part of graduate school. It is very important in training one's research capabilities," she said. Rachel said she came to the event to look for jobs in the financial sector. Financial exchanges between China and Taiwan are on the rise, and many Taiwanese financial institutions now have offices in China, which she said could be an opportunity for her. Stanley Au, chairman of Delta Asia Financial Group, told CNA that his group was participating in the meeting because it was short of staff in its Macau office and hoped to recruit well-trained Chinese students. Au believes Chinese students educated in Taiwan have an advantage over their counterparts in China because Taiwan is a liberal market with a culture closer to Hong Kong and Macau. (By Christie Chen)
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