Taiwanese agents meeting with education providers at the 2017 StudyTravel Alphe Taiwan Conference
Growth in Taiwanese outbound market
The number of Taiwanese students studying abroad in 2016 increased by 7.3 per cent, compared with the previous year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Education.

In total, 58,061 Taiwanese students studied abroad last year, exactly 3,955 more than in 2015.

The USA recorded the highest number of incoming students (21,127); however this was a decrease of 139 students.

The data showed a significant rise in Taiwanese students choosing Australia, Canada and Japan as study destinations.

Australia was the second most popular destination in 2016, chosen by 13,582 students, a 32 per cent increase on the previous year, while Canada's appeal grew 38 per cent, attracting 1,327 more learners and bringing the total number to 4,827.


Speaking to StudyTravel Magazine about the desirability of both Australian and Canada as English-speaking study destinations, Sean Su at Bright Future International Student Exchange Services  said, "Canada is generally very friendly to Taiwan students, visa wise, and so is Australia. The advantage of Canada is the ability to study two languages at once, at a lower cost, so it's very attractive. The work study programme in Australia is especially attractive to Taiwanese students given the relatively high wages there."

Julia Wang agrees that Canada and Australia have proven more popular recently at Merica Group "First of all, students choose these two destinations because of the exchange rates. Most Taiwanese students are practical which means they will consider the tuition and the costs during their studying periods; as a result, Canadian and Australian currency exchange rates are stable compared with other countries. On average that will also decrease the costs for long-term students," she told StudyTravel Magazine.

Japan ranked as the third most favoured destination amongst Taiwanese students last year, with 8,444 students, an increase of 12.7 per cent on the previous figure of 7,491.

The growth in popularity of Japan also comes as no surprise to agents, and Sean adds, "Given Taiwanese history with Japan and the popularity of Japanese culture, there's a lot of students that wish to speak and study Japanese. This sentiment is further proven by the fact that Taiwan was the top monetary donor to Japan after the tragic Sendai earthquake and tsunami and that a lot of the donations came from students."

"Japan is popular due to its cultural background and easiness to get to and to live in," states Lavinia Yang at First Study "Taiwanese students and families are still very reserved in some aspects.

They are not really the ones who dare to move out of comfort zones and parents prefer to offer a 'safe bet' for their children. For instance, a place they have friends and families, a school they know people who go to, a job they know they can definitely get, a country they have heard, a school their friend/family's been to or studying at."

Notably, Germany also grew in numbers, with 1,488 students in 2016, compared to 919 in 2015. 

Meanwhile, the UK witnessed a slight decline in incoming Taiwanese students, registering 45 fewer students in 2016 with a figure of 3,920. Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea and New Zealand also suffered a decrease of students according to the data.


The Ministry of Education statistics relates to all kinds of study-abroad programmes including short-term, long-term, language schools and diplomas.


By Clarissa Waldron
Editorial Assistant