The Taiwan-U.S. Education Initiative was launched Dec. 3 in Taipei City as part of the like-minded partner’s efforts to expand access to Mandarin and English language instruction while safeguarding academic freedom.
Under the initiative, the two sides will enhance existing educational exchange programs, explore opportunities for language teachers to serve projects in U.S. universities and Taiwan institutions, and encourage more American students to study in Taiwan.
Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu said during the launch ceremony that the initiative is a milestone in related cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S. The two sides will continue strengthening educational institution and youth exchanges going forward, he added.
In response, AIT Director Brent Christensen said the initiative is set against the backdrop of two trends—the closing of Confucius Institutes in universities worldwide and Taiwan’s heightened commitment to English education. This is also expected to highlight Taiwan’s role in offering Chinese language instruction to Americans and the international community, he added.
In a tweet on its official Twitter account, the MOFA said “Minister Wu is proud to be joined by AIT Director Christensen in launching the #Taiwan-#US Education Initiative. The tie-up expands access to Mandarin & English language instruction. It also ensures academic freedom, a tradition cherished & shared by the like-minded partners.”
A memorandum of understanding was also signed Dec. 2 by Hsiao Bi-khim, head of Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S., and Ingrid Larson, managing director of American Institute in Taiwan. It was concluded prior to an education cooperation virtual dialogue staged the same day involving officials such as Harry Ho-jen Tseng, deputy minister of foreign affairs; David Stilwell, U.S. assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs; and Mitchell Zais, U.S. deputy secretary for education.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the event focused on topics like the government’s 2030 bilingual country policy and promotion of Taiwan’s Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language as the standard evaluation of Mandarin competency in the U.S. (YCH-E)
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