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Taiwan to enroll more mainland students in higher-level vocational programs

TAIPEI, Dec. 28-- Taiwan's education department increased the quota of mainland students who want to study in a two-year program to achieve a bachelor's degree on Monday.

The quota will be raised from 1,000 to 1,500 for the academic year of 2016-2017, said the department in a press release.

The two-year program is specifically open for students who study in vocational schools but would like to proceed in higher education and obtain a bachelor's degree.

Previously only students from southern provinces of Guangdong and Fujian were allowed to study in such programs in Taiwan. The department plans to add another four provinces as well as Beijing and Shanghai.

The application will start in February, the statement said.

Compared with colleges in Europe and North America, Taiwan colleges are considered a better option for mainland vocational school graduates, because of the good education quality and lower tuition, said the department, adding that there is also no language barrier.

The new policy is a result of negotiation between the two sides after the historic meeting between Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore in early November, during which Ma suggested that the two sides allow more mainland students to study in Taiwan, the department confirmed in the statement.