Outcomes of the Second High-Level Dialogue on March 1, 2022:
- To reaffirm both sides’ commitment to deepening cooperation on international education, particularly in the area of English and Mandarin Chinese language education, based on what both sides have achieved in past years.
- To take of stock of achievements to date to enhance and expand existing programs for two-way educational exchange between the U.S. and Taiwan.
- To agree to develop a midterm (3-5 year) plan for further cooperation under the U.S-Taiwan Education Initiative, to highlight shared values between Taiwan and the United States.
- To highlight the importance of cooperation on international education among like-minded, democratic partners in support of free and open education.
Progress to date:
- In December 2020 the United States and Taiwan launched the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative, which aims to expand opportunities for American students to learn Mandarin from Taiwanese teachers, as well as opportunities for U.S. teachers to help Taiwan reach its goal of becoming a bilingual society by 2030. Under the Biden Administration, we continue to implement the Education Initiative and help ensure that U.S. campuses remain bastions of innovation and intellectual freedom, values we share with Taiwan.
- To date, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has committed to spending US$790,000 to increase funding to three Department of State (DoS)-managed exchange programs (NSLI-Y, CLS and Gilman) and the U.S is seeing more Americans come to Taiwan to study Chinese and to teach English, particularly through the Fulbright ETA program. In 2022, MOFA has pledged to provide the same funding to continue supporting the State Department’s language programs.
- The Ministry of Education (MOE) will jointly sponsor the “Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program” with the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. The program will last for five years. Both parties will provide up to US$ 25,000 each year to grant no fewer than ten American undergraduate students of limited financial means to study Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan. The agreement was signed by Managing Director Ingrid Larson of the AIT Washington Headquarters and Representative Bi-khim Hsiao of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) on November 3rd, 2021.
- The United States has increased funding to the Taiwan Fulbright program, administered by the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (FSE), to a total of US $1 million per year. This has enabled FSE to increase the number of participants in several Fulbright exchange programs, both in Taiwan and the United States.
- Under the Initiative, the U.S. and Taiwan side have been working closely to make it possible for more than 200 American Fulbrighters to come to Taiwan last year despite all the COVID-related restrictions.
- In addition to the Fulbright Program, our U.S. government-sponsored grantees, including 45 students of the Language Flagship Program and 29 students of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) recently arrived in Taiwan to begin their Mandarin learning.
- For the outbound Taiwan teachers to the United States, Fulbright Taiwan was able to send 42 Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTA) to teach in U.S. universities and colleges last year. The MOE will additionally subsidize ten FLTA candidates for their living allowances and travel expenses in 2022. MOFA will also sponsor five more FLTA candidates, making it a total of 15 additional candidates from Taiwan side.
- In addition to the FLTAs, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are also working together on the Huayu Best Program to facilitate U.S.-Taiwan university-to-university exchange on Mandaring teaching.
- At the same time, Taiwan’s Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) has opened 15 Taiwan Centers for Mandarin Learning in the United States that aim to expand existing Mandarin and English language learning opportunities in the United States and Taiwan. OCAC is working towards the goal of opening to 100 Centers in coming years, including additional centers in the United States and Europe.
- In support of the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative, the Ministry of Education is leading a delegation from Taiwan to attend the NAFSA Conference in Denver, Colorado and to meetings in Washington D.C. in May and June of 2022. The delegation is comprised of representatives from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Community Affairs Council, and university leadership. The purpose of the visit is to highlight the U.S.-Taiwan cooperation on international education and promote additional exchange opportunities with Taiwan. A Joint MOU signing ceremony for the Huayu Best Program and sister schools and the U.S. –Taiwan Education Forum will be held, demonstrating the high level of Taiwan-U.S. cooperation on education.
- The Teachers of Critical Language Program (TCLP) is now open to K-12 teachers in Taiwan to teach Mandarin in the United States. The TCLP brings certified Taiwan language teachers, who serve as a cultural resource for their host schools and communities, to the United States for one year to teach Mandarin to American primary and secondary school students. In 2022 being Taiwan’s 1st year, 55 teachers met application requirements and five to seven will be selected to teach Mandarin in the United States during the 2022-23 academic year.
- Since the launch of the Initiative, AIT has launched a series of activities in collaboration with different Taiwan agencies.
AIT Supports Chinese Language Education through Its Strong Partnership with Taiwan
On January 16, 2021, AIT kicked off the first activity of the new U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative: Teaching Chinese as a Second Language Symposium in collaboration with the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan). The symposium was attended by 200 Taiwan Chinese language teachers, 42 of whom are Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTA) that are going to the United States this summer. AIT Director Christensen delivered the opening remarks, along with Deputy Secretary General Szu-Chien Hsu, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, Deputy Minister of Education Mon-Chi Lio , and OCAC Minister Chen-Yuan Tung.
AIT Supports Taiwan’s Bilingual Policy by Co-hosting Bilingual Education Symposium with the Ministry of Education
In March 2021, to support the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative, Director Christensen delivered remarks at the National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) in Kaohsiung, along with Education Minister PAN Wen-chung, NSYSU President CHENG Ying-Yao and Kaohsiung City Mayor CHEN Chi-mai. At this Bilingual Education Symposium, more than 250 English language education experts came together to discuss ways to promote Taiwan’s bilingual education. One highlight was a Fulbright session – Taiwan has the second largest ETA program in the world with almost 150 ETAs co-teaching in ten localities around Taiwan.
Establishment of the “Fulbright-Taiwan Ministry of Culture, Arts Professionals Grant”
In August 2021, Fulbright and the Taiwan Ministry of Culture signed an MOU to establish a new grant program aimed at increasing non-academic arts exchange. After approval by the WDC-based Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, AIT Director Oudkirk – as Honorary Chair of the Fulbright Taiwan Board – witnessed the launch of the new “Fulbright-Taiwan Ministry of Culture, Arts Professionals Grant.” This is the first such grant Fulbright has established with the Taiwan Ministry of Culture.
AIT Supports Taiwan to Form Global Partnerships in Education with U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative
On November 30, 2021, Director Oudkirk Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, Chiayi County Deputy Magistrate Liu Pei-dong, CCU President Fong Zhang-hua and representatives from the British Council, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada participated in the Taiwan-U.S. Education Initiative Symposium at National Chung Cheng University (CCU) in Chiayi. The event brought together more than 200 K-12 and higher education educators, central and local government officers, and international education representatives to discuss ways to form global partnerships in education.
AIT Highlights U.S.-Taiwan Education Partnership through Mandarin Teaching Symposium
On January 15 and 16, 2022, AIT, the Ministry of Education (MOE), and the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan) co-hosted the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative’s symposium titled “Teaching Chinese as a Second Language.” The event was attended by 200 in-person and virtual participants, including representatives from the National Security Council, MOE, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC), as well as Mandarin teachers from across Taiwan and the United States, including Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants, MOE recruited Mandarin teachers, and OCAC’s overseas Mandarin teachers.