More students heading abroad

Post date: Jul 28, 2015 4:52:39 AM

By Rachel Lin, Weng Yu-huan and Chen Wei-han / Staff reporters,

with staff writer Mon, Jun 22, 2015

HIGH-SCHOOL GRADUATES:In a development described as detrimental to Taiwan, the number of students choosing to pursue a first degree abroad doubled last year

The number of high-school graduates continuing their studies abroad has more than doubled to 1,288 students last year from 556 in 2010, representing about 0.5 percent of the total, with students from private high schools making up the majority.

The three schools that contributed the highest number of outbound students were Kang Chiao Bilingual School (KCBS) in New Taipei City, with 128 outbound students out of 191 graduates; followed by National Experimental High School in Hsinchu County, with 60 out of 206 graduates; and Ivy High School in Taichung, with 58 out of 373 graduates, according to the Ministry of Education.

Other institutions in the top 10 were Taipei First Girls' High School at No. 8 with 35 out of 1,016 graduates continuing their studies abroad and Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University, ranked No. 9 with 28 out of 956 graduates studying abroad, according to the ministry.

KCBS subsidary Kang Chiao International School assistant director Anne Ramalho said the school has responded to the globalization of education, with more affluent parents aiming to send their children abroad to pursue degrees.

Kang Chiao International School was established in 2009 specifically to prepare students for overseas study and has seen steady growth in enrollment, with more than 145 graduates heading abroad to study this year - the most popular destinations being the US and the UK, she said.

National Experimental High School dean of academic affairs Chuang Tien-ting (莊添丁) said that the school has a bilingual division that has attracted the children of US-born Taiwanese who moved to the nation to work in Hsinchu.

The school's bilingual students prepare for international - mostly US - college entrance exams in their third year of study, and the majority of those students leave for the US upon graduation, Chuang said.

Taiwanese universities should encourage high-school students to pursue college educations at home, as this leakage of talent does not bode well for Taiwan, he said.

Ivy High School vice principal Chen Ching-lung (陳金龍) said the school has a specialized program tailored for students planning to further their education overseas, with 100 percent of students in the program go abroad to study after graduation.

Most students decide to study abroad because their families have overseas assets at destination countries, while some are seeking professionally oriented educations in foreign countries in subjects such as medical science or the arts, Chen said.

The school's program has an average enrollment of 40 students per year, he said, adding that the school exerts little promotional effort to recruit students, as positive word-of-mouth publicity attracts a steady stream of applicants each year.

Taipei First Girls' High School academic registration director Liao Shao-tang (廖紹棠) said universities in the US and in Hong Kong are most favored by the school's students, because most of the world's leading universities are in the US and because the US has a larger Chinese-speaking population than the UK, while Hong Kong-based universities offer students attractive scholarships.

"The languages and culture in Hong Kong are commensurable [with those in Taiwan], while many Hong Kong universities enjoy high world rankings and offers classes taught in English," Liao said.

Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University acting principal Hung Jen-ching (洪仁進) said that the US is the top destination for high-school graduates because there are many top-ranking universities and it has a large Chinese population.

"Children today have a high degree of autonomy and their own life plans," Hung said, citing two students at the school who plan to study at Waseda University in Japan and "have been improving their language ability since the first year of study."

K-12 Education Administration Director Wu Ching-shan (吳清山) said that Taiwanese universities are ranked relatively highly around the world, and although there has been a steady increase of high-school graduates seeking college educations abroad, overseas study might not be suitable for every student.

Most people choose to study abroad after they have finished college, which might be a better age as students are more mature, Wu said.

Students can use digital technology to develop global perspectives and learn foreign languages and a foreign diploma does not always bring success, he said.

Additional reporting by Liang Pei-chi and Lee Chung-hsien