On 31 December 2020, the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Taiwan ordered Taiwan schools to stop accepting entry permit applications by international students for at least one month, effective immediately.

The suspension applies to all international students, including those from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The decision follows an announcement last Wednesday that Taiwan will implement stronger border and quarantine controls in response to the new, more infectious strain of COVID-19 that was first detected in the UK.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Education there are over 19,000 international students currently studying for degrees in the country, but only 115 had entered the country in December.

Mr Ben Chen (陳維斌), vice president for international and Mainland China affairs at Chinese Culture University in Taipei, said that the decision will affect mainly international students who had applied to start school in the February 2021.

The MOE has said that it will review the decision in one month.

Taiwan vs COVID-19

Taiwan has been one of the most successful countries in dealing with COVID-19.

It has just over 700 cases, seven deaths and has never had to go into lockdown.

The country’s success is the result of several factors:

  • Eearly and strict border controls
  • A ban on foreign visitors
  • Mandatory quarantine for Taiwanese nationals returning to the country, and
  • The fact that many Taiwanese citizens chose to wear face masks, even before they were required to.

Source: Focus Taiwan