A total of 13 beneficiaries of the Taiwan Scholarship and Huayu Enrichment Scholarship Program were honored by the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs May 8 in Taipei City for outstanding performances during their stay in the country.
At a farewell party attended by nearly 200 scholarship recipients from 56 countries in their final semester of study in Taiwan, the 13 graduating students were recognized for surpassing their peers in the categories of charitable service, competitive spirit, intellectual achievement, overall performance and social achievement.
The program is a wonderful platform for promoting mutual understanding, boosting relations and facilitating friendship between Taiwan and its diplomatic allies and other partner states, MOFA Deputy Minister Wu Chih-chung said during the ceremony.
Over the years the initiative has paid handsome dividends by contributing to major developments in the recipients' home countries, Wu said, adding that he encourages them to maintain close contact with Taiwan's representative offices so that the friendship can continue long into the future.
Echoing Wu's remarks, Yang Min-ling, director-general of the MOE's Department of International and Cross-Strait Education, said she expects the graduating class to become cultural ambassadors for Taiwan and share their wonderful experiences in their home countries.
Among the individuals recognized during the event, Noel Ivan Ulloa was singled out for his intellectual achievements. The Nicaraguan national is set to receive his master's degree next month in remote sensing science and technology from Taoyuan City-based National Central University in northern Taiwan.
Ulloa, who made up his mind while in college to pursue advanced studies at NCU, said the scholarship program enabled him to observe the changes in the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve of his home country and study the damage done to the rainforest. The aspiring scholar said he wishes to continue his academic pursuits by enrolling in a doctoral program in Taiwan and use his research to bring attention to the gravity of deforestation.
Another student, Marko Podstavek from Slovakia, was honored for his overall scholastic performance. An undergraduate majoring in diplomacy at Taipei City-based National Chengchi University, Podstavek said he pays very close attention to Taiwan's social and civic movements, and is committed to promoting the culture of the Eastern European country in Taiwan.
Established in 2004, the program encourages outstanding students from countries around the world, especially ROC diplomatic allies, to study Mandarin or undertake degree programs in Taiwan.
The graduating class of 2017 comprises 1,140 program participants, up 10.3 percent from the year before to a record high, bringing the total number to more than 10,000 from over 100 countries, according to the MOE.
Source: Taiwan Today