Higher education in Taiwan

Fees and enrollment for international students

Higher education in Taiwan

While Taiwan’s strengths have traditionally lain in technical fields and business, the university and college sector has been reformed by successive governments to expand its appeal to foreign students, and attract the best and brightest in all fields.

Taiwan has a range of internationally renowned higher education establishments, both private and public, that cater to vocational and academic students. Foreign students wishing to study abroad in Taiwan will find that barriers to obtaining degrees and higher level qualifications have been relaxed. Consequently, undergraduate study now constitutes the fastest growing sector of higher education for international students.

The majority of students from abroad studying for undergraduate degrees are in fields that Taiwan has traditionally excelled in, namely technology and business (61% in 2008), but the country also has a vibrant social sciences, and arts and humanities sector to cater to potential students’ tastes. In addition, the study of Chinese in Taiwan is a very large component of the country’s higher education programmes, and until recently was the most popular field of study for foreign students.

Most degree courses are completed over four years, although two- and five-year junior colleges do exist, and specialty courses like medicine and dentistry are longer as in most countries. Masters and Doctoral graduate programmes usually require a minimum of two years study to complete.

Taiwan’s degree programme and college accreditation is of an internationally recognised standard, and a large number of Taiwanese students go on to study graduate programmes abroad.

A full list of universities and junior colleges, and their contact information can be found on the Ministry of Education website  in .xls format

Fees and considerations

Tuition fees and financing your education in Taiwan will be an important issue for many potential applicants. With many colleges and universities setting their own admission rules for foreign students, it is often best to contact your desired establishment directly. 

However, as a rough guide, in 2012 the cost of tuition per semester at public universities was around US$840 - 1,000, and US$1,540 - 1,800 in the private sector.

Scholarships for study in Taiwan  are available through the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (depending on your native country’s diplomatic relationship with Taiwan).

Make sure you choose your program of study carefully:

  • Is your course open to international students?
  • Ensure that you meet the academic requirements for your course
  • Check that it is taught in the appropriate language (English programmes are not always available, so make sure!)

Enrollment in a Taiwanese university

Documents required for university applications:

  • Photocopies of original diplomas or exam certificates (translated if not in Chinese or English)
  • Financial statement of self-sufficiency
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Application fee
  • Any other documents, as required by individual universities, etc.

The Ministry of Education website  has a full list of universities and colleges, and their contact details so that you can assess your individual options and requirements.

Once you have enrolled successfully and received a letter of acceptance, you will need to apply for a visitors visa or resident visa, depending on your study programme length and your stay in total. Resident visas are issued for stays over 6 months, so most degree and graduate programmes will find this appropriate.

Student visas

Documents required for student visa applications:

  • One copy of completed visa application form with two passport size, color photos taken within the last 6 months
  • A passport valid for no less than 6 months and a copy of it. (There should be at least two empty visa pages).
  • School-issued enrollment certificate from the establishment you will be studying at.
  • Proof of financial support, and relevant documents
  • Visa application fee

Upon arrival in Taiwan you will be required to apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC)  and re-entry permit within 15 days. Arrangements can be made at the local office of the Taiwan Immigration Agency, and will require the following:

  • A completed application form
  • Passport with resident visa
  • Student ID card or enrollment verification (original and copy).
  • One passport-sized color photo taken in the past six months
  • Application fee
  • Health certificate, no older than 3 months

Further reading

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