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Partner Organization: Fulbright Taiwan, Foundation for Scholarly Exchange in cooperation with the Ministry of Education

Language Requirement: No requirement, knowledge of Mandarin is useful

Eligible Program Dates: September through February or mid-January through July*

*Teachers going to Taiwan must arrive by early September or mid-January. Program lengths can vary. 

Educational System Overview

In Taiwan, the Ministry of Education is responsible for formulating policies for educational development and the management of the public school system. There are up to 20 years of schooling including: 6 years of primary, 3 years of junior high, 3 years of senior high, 4-7 years of college or university, 1-4 years masters, and 2-7 years doctorate. The rate of literacy is 98.2% in Taiwan.

Both the public authorities and private organizations provide education in Taiwan at all levels. The distribution varies, with the majority of 1-12 education taking place in public institutions. Private institutions make up 67% of tertiary university and college education.

In the Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Taiwan is ranked 16th in the index of Innovation and sophistication factors, 14th in the index of Higher Education and Training, and ranked 15th in the Global Competitiveness Index (overall). Strong higher education and the innovation capacity are Taiwan’s notable strengths. Click on the following links for information about the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Taiwan has more than 160 higher education institutions, of which 70% are categorized as universities and the rest as colleges. Fourteen universities in Taiwan are ranked in the QS World University Rankings 2015/2016, led by National Taiwan University at 70, and a further 9 within the world’s top 500.

Universities in Taiwan also have a good representation in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015/16. The strongest subject areas are engineering & technology, and social sciences & management, with 8 universities in the world’s top 400 for each. Meanwhile, 7 universities are ranked for natural sciences and life sciences & medicine, and 2 for arts & humanities. In addition, with strong and at-edge Mandarin Chinese teaching, Taiwan is a popular destination for language courses.

Taiwan’s school system is renowned for producing exceptionally high levels of attainment with some of the highest scores in the world on comparative international tests, especially in more technical fields such as mathematics and science. Taiwan has been a center for technical excellence for decades.

For example, in 2006, when Taiwan first participated in PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), it ranked first of all participating countries for mathematics. Since then, it has consistently performed well on PISA. In the 2012 administration of the test, Taiwan ranked 4th in math, 8th in reading and 13th in science. Taiwan’s impressive performance has been attributed to investing heavily in education so this tiny island with limited natural resources could compete in the global economy.

Currently, the main issues which Taiwan government and society work out are mainly:

  1. The quality of preschool education development;
  2. The extension of basic education to 12 years;
  3. The reform plan for technological and vocational education, and the plan for developing technological university paradigms;
  4. The promotion of university teaching excellence;
  5. The development of family education, and the local establishment available to ongoing learning and all senior citizens;
  6. The program of two-way educational exchange (more foreign students study in Taiwan and more Taiwan students study overseas);
  7. The boost of arts education.

To support these works above, especially #1, #3, #4, #6, and #7, foreign language learning, especially English learning, is a key focus in education in Taiwan. In 2001, the Ministry of Education launched a reformulation of English language-in-education policy, moving English instruction from the secondary school level to the primary level. As a result, English education is treated as a tool to keep up with the rapid globalization of the world economy. In Taiwan, the enthusiasm for learning English has been growing at an astonishing rate over the past few years.

In developing English education in Taiwan, there are some issues to be faced:

  1. The shortage of qualified English teachers, especially in remote area;
  2. Divergence of textbooks;
  3. Large classes of students with mixed proficiency.

U.S. Teacher Specializations for Taiwan

All specializations welcome, those below are particularly appropriate:

  • Elementary School Teachers (K-6)
  • English Teachers (K-12)
  • TEFL Teachers (K-12)
  • Chinese Teachers (K-12)
  • Math and Science Teachers (K-12)

Suggested DA Program Project Topics for Taiwan

Topics of potential interest to U.S. teachers may include any topic within the scope of the specializations above.

Taiwan provides an opportunity for U.S. teachers to learn “best practices” including but not limited to:

  • Cooperation and Collaboration between schools
  • School Leadership, and Development of System Leader
  • Behavior Management
  • Leadership of Subject Knowledge, Teaching, and Learning in English, Math, Science, Chinese

Study in Taiwan