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Gov't, councils announce talent recruitment program

The Ministry of Education, National Science Council (NSC) and Executive Yuan launched the Overseas Technology Talent Recruitment Program on Wednesday. With a budget of NT$150 million per year, the program will award grants for 43 doctoral and post-doctoral students to study abroad.

The program was launched in response to Academia Sinica President Wong Chi-huey's (翁啟惠) “Declaration on Talent Recruitment” on Aug. 14, along with 18 other prestigious leaders in business, arts and media sectors. Wong stated that the decreasing number of international students has caught their attention, and that society and the government must acknowledge this. He said that failure to address this issue will result in a serious disadvantage for Taiwan's professionals in the future, especially considering that overseas Chinese students greatly outnumber those from Taiwan.

Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) also expressed his concern for Taiwan's lack of talent recruitment over the past few years. He emphasized the need to cultivate young high-tech personnel for the future, in spite of the fact that the current talent pool may be sufficient for the time being. According to statistics, Taiwan's overseas students have decreased over the years, amounting to approximately 24 thousand students in 2011, which is the lowest in 10 years.

According to Wong, the general assembly of Academia Sinica will team up with the Ministry of Education and the NSC to map out a detailed strategy over the next six months. The organizers announced yesterday that they will issue grants to 30 doctoral and 13 post-doctoral academically accomplished students to study abroad in top-30 world ranking schools based on the Academic Ranking of World Universities and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Academia Sinica will write recommendation letters for chosen applicants, said Wong. Students will be expected to benefit the tech industry in Taiwan after graduation, said Chiang, or to return after gaining at most 15 years' of expertise overseas.

Based on the program, the main fields of study will include major industrial technology development issued by the Executive Yuan, such as information and communication, electronics, bio-chemical, intelligence technology or advanced technology such as quantum application, energy, and material science.

Minister of National Council Science Cyrus Chu (朱敬一) said that although budgets have become tighter, the three ministries will try to “squeeze” all their efforts to cultivate the future of Taiwan's young professionals.

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