The peak of the number of Macau students choosing to study in Taiwan was the 2016/2017 school year, with the number reaching 4,995. In recent years, the number of Macau students going to Taiwan for further education has gradually decreased. In the most recent academic year (2019/2020), the number has dropped to more than 3,700.
Is the decline in this series of figures just a coincidence, or is it the result of changes in the economic environment and political climate? In view of this, in this topic we invited several Macau students to share their reasons for choosing to study in Taiwan or giving up on going to Taiwan, hoping to explore the influencing factors behind their choice of promotion. There are always many decision-making moments in the journey of life. Reality always keeps us in the midst of compromises and struggles, but there is always nothing wrong with chasing dreams while young.
The number of Australian students going to Taiwan is declining or because of the political atmosphere Cui Zizhao: Relaxing restrictions on Hong Kong and Macao students coming to Taiwan to study in high schools is a “good thing.”
[Text: Journalist Xixizi]
In the past ten years, the number of Macao residents who went to Taiwan to study in Taiwan has basically exceeded 4,000. At the peak, it was nearly 5,000, but it fell to more than 3,700 in the 2019/2020 school year. Cui Zizhao, a Macau media person who is studying for a master’s degree in Taiwan, said that in recent years, many schools in Macau have strengthened encouragement of students to go to China for further studies, and even provided a large number of recommended places. On the contrary, going to Taiwan for further studies gradually lacks school encouragement. “Even some red-bottom schools try to get students to dispel the idea of going to Taiwan to study. I believe this situation will gradually spread to schools across Australia, because now all schools are under the official school network, and school policies and resources have to be affected. Government’s domination.” It is also pointed out that under such circumstances, the decrease in the number of students going to Taiwan for further studies in recent years is an inevitable result. Regarding the intention of Taiwan’s Ministry of Education to relax restrictions on Hong Kong and Macao students coming to Taiwan to study in high schools, Cui Zizhao thinks it is a good thing.
Cui Zizhao said that there is even a saying in Macau that going to Taiwan for further education, “it is easy to absorb the values of anti-communism, democracy and freedom, which will affect the CCP’s education policy for youth in Macau. Therefore, the cross-strait situation, the CCP’s policy towards Hong Kong and Macao, and the impact on students Going to Taiwan for further studies has a certain degree of influence, and this is also a so-called political factor.” It was also pointed out that since Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected, the relationship between the two sides of the strait has become increasingly tense and deteriorated; and after the anti-transmission campaign in 2019, the Mainland has strengthened its comprehensive governance over Hong Kong and Macao, and the relationship between Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan has become more affected. Influenced by mainland factors, and accompanied by deterioration.
The Macau Education and Youth Bureau stated that starting from the introduction of the “College Student School Supplies Allowance” in the 2011/2012 school year, the bureau will sort out the progress of local students abroad based on beneficiaries and make public announcements. According to the latest information provided by the Bureau of the number of students entering Macao in Taiwan, the number of Australian students enrolled in Taiwan in the 2019/2020 school year is more than 3,700. The registration and assessment of the school supplies allowance for tertiary students in the 2020/2021 academic year is still in progress, so there is no relevant figure. From 4,120 in the 2011/2012 school year to 4,995 in the 2016/2017 school year at its peak, in recent years, the number of students from Macau who went to Taiwan for further studies has been declining according to the school year. Cui Zizhao believes that if the promotion is intended to be affected by the epidemic, the number of people should fall in the 2020/2021 school year, rather than the 2019/2020 academic year.
According to Taiwan media reports, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education intends to loosen restrictions on coming to Taiwan to study in high schools, allowing Hong Kong and Macao students to apply for high schools in Taiwan in the name of “schooling.” It is also pointed out that considering that Hong Kong and Macao students who come to Taiwan to study in high schools are under the age of 18, their parents cannot accompany them to take care of Taiwan. The new amendment will make the school principal, school manager or director serve as the guardian in Taiwan. In response to the new measures, Cui Zizhao said that the measures are aimed at middle school students or are more attractive to students in Hong Kong. Perhaps a small number of Macao people will also consider this approach. “When education in Macau is flooded with the CCP’s political infiltration, I believe there are still parents who do not want students to receive CCP-style patriotic education. This will add one more option, which is a good thing.”
Asked why he chose to study for a master’s degree in Taiwan, Cui Zizhao said that the main consideration is that Taiwan is currently the only democratic and free place in the Chinese-speaking region, and the current democratic freedom in Hong Kong and Macau has seriously regressed. “Personally, I want to continue to study and learn more knowledge. No one wants to breathe free air.”
Compromise and Solve: Unrealized Plan to Go to Taiwan
[Text: Intern reporter Li Qing]
Going to Taiwan to go to university has always been a popular option for Macau students, but in recent years the number of students going to Taiwan and Macau has begun to show a downward trend. There is a middle school teacher now that fewer and fewer people go to study in Taiwan “maybe several a year.” Affected by the epidemic, in the past two years, Taiwan Overseas Joint Admissions has cancelled the “subject test” held locally in Macau, and changed to the “four-school joint test” and the results of relevant subjects in secondary schools, the total scores of the subjects and the students’ optional order are used. And the number of school departments as the basis for distribution. The two interviewees Lin (pseudonym) and Liu Zishun participated in the overseas joint recruitment of Taiwan in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Both Lin and Liu Zishun were admitted to the National Taiwan University, which is known as the “Taiwan No. Affected by various factors, both of them finally gave up going to National Taiwan University to study.
The reason why I chose to go to Taiwan for the first time: Leaving Australia to see the humanistic care of Taiwanese Manchu
Liu Zishun said that the reason why he chose to enroll in a university in Taiwan is actually very simple. Like most of his peers, he hopes to go out of Macau and see other places in the world.
For Lin, the opportunity that triggered him to apply for National Taiwan University came from a student exchange group he participated in in the middle school. He met some Taiwanese friends during the exchange group. “I think they are so kind.” He feels the friendship of Taiwanese. . He said that his experience with Taiwanese made him feel that Taiwan is a place full of “humanistic care.” At the same time, Lin believes that Taiwan has a different education system and living environment from Macau, and these two are the biggest attraction for Macau students to study in Taiwan.
Dissuasion from parents and school
When he first signed up for Taiwan Joint Enrollment, Lin was opposed by his parents. In the face of opposition from his family, he chose to register for the Taiwan entrance exam without telling them, and paid the registration fee with his own money. At the time of Taiwan’s general election, his family told him that Taiwan’s political environment is more complicated, and that the control of the epidemic is also relatively unstable compared to Macau and Mainland China. At the same time, they are also worried about the impact of the epidemic. The problem of returning to Australia. Furthermore, the university background in Taiwan will inevitably have an impact on the future job hunting. After studying in Australia, he may not develop well, so he is persuaded not to study in Taiwan. The opinions of his family greatly influenced his decision to promote.
On the other hand, Lin’s secondary school is a “red-bottom school” commonly known by Macao people. The school teacher also told him to think carefully about “it is more recommended not to go to Taiwan.”
On the contrary, Liu Zishun’s situation is relatively better. Liu Zishun said that neither his parents nor the school gave him much advice, but let him decide for himself. However, Liu Zishun himself also feels that if he wants to return to Australia to work after graduation, especially in government departments, there may be no advantage in going to Taiwan to study.
After National Taiwan University released the list, Lin was admitted to the Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, and Liu Zishun was admitted to the Department of Forestry and Environment, National Taiwan University.
Lin said that he also received admissions for civil engineering from the University of Macau and sociology at Sun Yat-sen University, but he eventually chose to study at Sun Yat-sen University in China. This year he has finished his freshman year and is ready to choose anthropology to study. For him, it is a better choice for him than staying in Macau to study the subject of “money”. Guangzhou is a big city, CUHK has many old classmates and friends, and Guangzhou is also close to Macau. closer.
Liu Zishun said that because the Department of Forest Environment was not his “first choice”, and considering the recent changes in the epidemic, he chose to stay in Macau and study bioinformatics. He confessed that he did not consider going to the mainland to study, thinking that he could not adapt to the living environment and rhythm of the mainland.
The two of them are similar to many young people in Macau, dreaming of leaving Macau for a visit when they grow up. However, when faced with dissuasion from family members or schools, the impact of the epidemic on the two places, and concerns about future employment and prospects, the rift formed between ideals and reality becomes an obstacle to their decision-making. It also became a barrier to siege them to Taiwan.
Life will always face many decision-making moments. Most of the time, we are compromising and solving. At the moment, it is always difficult to tell whether the decision is suitable. Perhaps it can only be tested by time.
Studying in Taiwan = Uncertain future?
I prefer the rhythm of life in Taiwan to the rhythm of life in the Mainland, so I chose to study in Taiwan.
However, when the relatives and friends around me knew my choice, they all felt sorry. After all, in their eyes, sending them to a prestigious university in the Mainland was very easy for me to study science at a certain school, but I was “rebellious”. I chose to study in Taiwan, and even my mother’s friends collected a lot of relevant information about studying in the Mainland or Macau, hoping to dispel my thoughts of studying in Taiwan. In my eyes, their persuasion is only telling me that if I study in Taiwan, my four years of hard work will only be a waste of time, because I am studying in Taiwan and I will have a poor future development prospects when I return to Australia. Those who study in Australia will lose at the starting line, so if I want to get ahead, I should choose to study in the Mainland or study in Australia obediently.
Also because of this, I thought more than once whether I was wrong when I chose to study in Taiwan because I liked the pace of life in Taiwan. Was it better to give yourself a little more pressure at the beginning to be sent to the mainland? Is it true that when I return to Macau in the future, I am destined to be a lot worse than others? Fortunately, my parents fully support my choice. In their eyes, even if I choose a famous university in the Mainland, it is not enough to make a good trip to the place they like. Their support is undoubtedly lost because of the persuasion of others. I gave a tonic.
I am very honored to have the support of my parents, but not every friend around me is as lucky as me to have parents who support my own ideas. I have a friend’s classmate. He was forced to sign up for the mainland’s recommendation because of the pressure at home, but he failed in the first round of the written test. In the eyes of his friends’ parents, he just went out and played during the Christmas holidays. He didn’t prepare for the written test at home, so he was brushed down. Otherwise, his school grades would definitely be guaranteed to be successful. But in the eyes of his friends, he is not interested in the universities and subjects that the mainland recommends to take, so he can’t afford to prepare for the written test. All choices are only due to the hope of his parents. The failure of the pass gave him a sigh of relief and gave him a new opportunity to think about the subject and school he was interested in.
In the end, my friend also chose to study in Taiwan, but my friend’s mother has always opposed his choice, and the reason for objection is only because she thinks that when her child goes to Taiwan to study, she will meet a group of Taiwan independence elements, and then her son will also be taken by them. Brainwash them and join them, becoming a “thug” reported by some media, affecting social stability, and there is no good way out in the future. Even though friends are now admitted to National Taiwan University, they have not been able to get their mothers to accept their choice, and they even feel that the children deliberately sent them to the mainland for the job test in order to force them to agree to their children’s choice to study in Taiwan, but the friends did not. Give in and still stick to your choice.
Ten thousand readers have one Wan Hamlet
When I was in junior high school, I determined my intention to enter a higher education, but I was hesitated and lost because of other people’s opinions on the way, but now I am proud of my choice. Going to Taiwan to study in Taiwan is not the choice of a loser. The prospects of returning to Australia after university are not necessarily worse than those from the Mainland or studying in Australia. Everyone has their own desired university life. Rather than blindly following other people’s choices or listening to their opinions, you should think clearly about the place where you are really suitable for further studies. After all, life is yours and not others. Ten thousand readers have one Wan Hamlet. No one can fully become what others expect, so don’t give up the life you expect because of others.
Cai Ziyu: The main reason for the decline in the number of students enrolled in other places is not due to the epidemic
[Text: Journalist Xixizi]
The new crown epidemic caused the social development of Macau to be suspended and slowed down for a time. It also stopped many people’s original life plans. For example, because of the closure of customs everywhere, studying abroad is no longer as easy as it used to be. Cai Ziyu, president of the Macau Educational Society, said that the epidemic has indeed reduced students’ desire to go to other places for further studies, but his analysis of political factors has also contributed to it.
He took the case of studying in Taiwan. In recent years, the number of Hong Kong studying in Taiwan has doubled, but Macau has not changed much. It is closely related to the political situation in Hong Kong and Macau. It is expected that if the political situation in Macau changes as freedom of speech is narrowed, I believe that he will choose to do so in the future. The number of people going to higher education in Taiwan will also increase.
Cai Ziyu mentioned that in recent years, a wave of immigration has erupted in Linbu Hong Kong, which has been politically turbulent. The number of people who have chosen Taiwan to study in the past two years has risen instead of falling, which also shows people’s mindset of leaving. According to Hong Kong media reports, in view of a series of social incidents, some parents encourage their children to stay in Taiwan after graduating from university to fight for the right of abode there. “Parents in Hong Kong are very anxious to send their children to Taiwan or even immigrate, because parents focus on the safety of their children and choose a safe place for them.”
He said that on the other hand, since the first-class universities in the Mainland open up admissions to Hong Kong and Macau students, the recommendation seems easy and easy for Macao students. After comprehensive consideration, parents think that going to the Mainland is also a good choice. This may be one of the reasons why the number of people going to college in Taiwan has decreased in recent years.
Are political considerations related to further studies?
But Cai Ziyu believes that the choice of students and parents also involves consideration of political factors. After the DQ Democrats of the Legislative Council EAC, he found that Macau people who do not care much about politics began to awaken, “This concern is not necessarily a national event, but political events and ripples have touched every family’s impact on their children. Educational plans, career planning… If the authorities further suppress freedom of speech, the situation in Macau will become tense following Hong Kong’s footsteps. We must start to think about whether it is safe, secure and stable to stay in Macau.” He also pointed out that participation in the “June 4th” rally has also become the so-called DQ “criminal evidence”, which will also arouse the public’s doubts, because many people have participated, does this mean that Macau’s freedom has been further narrowed? ?
Furthermore, Cai Ziyu said that the development of the epidemic is only one of the parameters for considering the place of study. When other factors are stable, the epidemic will be considered first, but when other more important factors such as political factors change, I believe that the situation in Macau will be like Hong Kong. The number of Taiwanese entering schools will increase sharply. With the adaptation and understanding of the new coronary pneumonia, it is also foreseen that it must coexist with it for a long time, so that the fear has been reduced. Cai Ziyu predicts that the impact of the epidemic on admission to school will be reduced.
How much cross-strait relations affect the desire to enter school
In Taiwan, the Macao Economic and Cultural Office temporarily ceased operations in June this year. This raises concerns that the changes in the relationship between Macao and Taiwan are widely involved. It has also been reported that the diplomas of Taiwan colleges and universities often hinder employment in Australia. Will these factors also discourage students who intend to study in Taiwan? Cai Ziyu believes that “more or less influential”, but believes that students are more focused on the development of the subjects they are studying, and Taiwan is still attractive due to its academic level and humanistic atmosphere.
He gave an example. Perhaps some top students did not have enough financial means to study in the UK and the United States. Taiwan is a more economical choice, and it can also be a springboard for studying abroad in the future. “It will be easier to study in Taiwan and then to study in the United Kingdom and the United States. It is also easier to apply for scholarships and bursaries to study abroad.” He also pointed out that Taiwan has strong soft power and emphasizes liberal arts education and the cultivation of comprehensive quality. It is only a diploma, but a comprehensive talent.
Originally published in “On All Media”