Taipei - The British Council in Taiwan and Ministry of Education are pleased to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate in promoting, and in supporting of Taiwan’s ambition to become bilingual by 2030. The MOU establishes an agreement to jointly work together in area of shared interest between both sides, and to open for increased education collaboration between UK and Taiwan. UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Taiwan, Lord Faulkner, British Office in Taipei representative John Dennis, Minister of Education Pan Wen-Chung, Director General of Department of International and Cross-strait Education Nicole Lee, British Council in Taiwan Director Ralph Rogers, and Taipei Representative Office in the UK representative Kelly Hsieh witness the signing ceremony on 22 October.
The MOU marks another important milestone in Taiwan’s ambition to become bilingual by 2030, setting out how the British Council in Taiwan and Ministry of Education will work together in support of this goal, in the following key areas:
- The cultivation of English language proficiency in Taiwan
- The cultivation of Chinese language proficiency in the UK
- The internationalisation of higher education
- The internationalisation of basic education
Commissioned by the Ministry of Education in 2020, the British Council in Taiwan has delivered two projects to support the creation of a pathway to create a bilingual education system. ‘English Impact Taiwan’ was a large-scale base-line study to evaluate levels of English proficiency across Taiwan at grade 9 to grade 12; ‘Sustained Progress and Rise of Universities in Taiwan (SPROUT) research and consultancy project focused on evaluating the strategies of higher education institutions to cultivate the English proficiency of their students. In 2021, another study named ‘The Bilingual Education Program for Students in College (BEST) research and consultancy project’, delivered in partnership with several UK institutions, aimed to help universities in Taiwan develop and deliver plans to drive up both the quantity and quantity of English medium education (degree subjects taught in English).
UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Taiwan, Lord Faulkner said: “The United Kingdom is proud to support Taiwan’s ambitions to cultivate English language proficiency and become bilingual by 2030. The efforts to create an inclusive bilingual environment will help enhance Taiwan’s international competitiveness and forge business connections. I believe the MOU will bring together leading organisations and institutions in the UK and Taiwan, cultivate English language proficiency for Taiwanese people, and strengthen the relations between Taiwanese people and billions of English speakers all over the world. Another important goal from the agreement is for the British Office, the British Council, and Ministry of Education to work together on cultivating Chinese language proficiency in the UK. This is supported by the UK’s Turing Scheme, which this year will enable up to 250 students to come to study in Taiwan.”
Pan Wen-Chung, Minister of Education said: “Taiwan’s Ministry of Education is pleased to join hands with the British Council in Taiwan to promote bilingual education and to improve the English proficiency of our students. Other than establishing four bilingual education focused universities, we also set up English teaching guidelines for high schools and below in Taiwan with a goal of having 60 percent of schools use only English to teach English courses by 2024. The MOU sets up the steps we will be taking to realise the bilingual 2030 goal, and to internationalise our education system.”
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