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New regulations mean foreigners are excluded from public schools in Taiwan

Welcome to Forumosa's corner for moms and dads to talk about the issues involved in parenting in Taiwan.

Re: New regulations mean foreigners are excluded from public schools in Taiwan

Postby Liam Og » 30 May 2016, 18:02

hsinhai78 wrote:Before we conclude that this is a case of xenophobia we should wait until OP reports back after next week.
And as I have written in my first (long) reply, separate quotas and placements are in fact the legal reality and usually work to the benefits of foreigners, i.e. in college admissions in Taiwan. I can somewhat sympathise with the officials that OP encountered: Taiwanese parents compete for placements and a foreign family being given de-facto preference would cause social tensions. I am sure that would cause social tensions in Western countries as well.


My wife checked back with the education department website today and said that there are no places left with striking distance of Xindian. So we have been excluded from any chance of a place in a public school this year, based only nationality, and with no indication that the situation will be any different next year. The problem is not that we didn't get a place, but that we didn't even get to apply for the chance of a place.

My wife contacted the education department and they took her details and said they will get back to us. If they don't get back we will contact the news, I am sure Tsai Ying Wen's opponents would be delighted to hear a story like this.

Obviously it was unfair when foreign nationals had preferential access, but the remedy is not to take this and to turn it into no access at all.
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Re: New regulations mean foreigners are excluded from public schools in Taiwan

Postby Doraemonster » 30 May 2016, 21:34

This is potentially a great leap backward for Taiwan. I sincerely hope it's only due to a misinterpretation of the laws or some other transient snafu that is so common here. In any case, with the demographic crisis looming shouldn't it be schools competing for admissions, especially in some sort of Xindian?

Getting the media interested is definitely the best way to approach this. Hope it works out well in the end.
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Re: New regulations mean foreigners are excluded from public schools in Taiwan

Postby hsinhai78 » 31 May 2016, 02:25

BillCollins wrote:
hsinhai78 wrote:Before we conclude that this is a case of xenophobia we should wait until OP reports back after next week.
And as I have written in my first (long) reply, separate quotas and placements are in fact the legal reality and usually work to the benefits of foreigners, i.e. in college admissions in Taiwan. I can somewhat sympathise with the officials that OP encountered: Taiwanese parents compete for placements and a foreign family being given de-facto preference would cause social tensions. I am sure that would cause social tensions in Western countries as well.


My wife checked back with the education department website today and said that there are no places left with striking distance of Xindian. So we have been excluded from any chance of a place in a public school this year, based only nationality, and with no indication that the situation will be any different next year. The problem is not that we didn't get a place, but that we didn't even get to apply for the chance of a place.

My wife contacted the education department and they took her details and said they will get back to us. If they don't get back we will contact the news, I am sure Tsai Ying Wen's opponents would be delighted to hear a story like this.

Obviously it was unfair when foreign nationals had preferential access, but the remedy is not to take this and to turn it into no access at all.


Again - the website not showing any availabilities does not necessarily mean there are none for international students. Let's hope for the best. I might suggest you also directly contact the office of Mayor Eric Chu. He used to be an assistant professor at CUNY and spent several years living in New York, hence where others might lack the multicultural perspective, he should be sympathetic for your situation.
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Re: New regulations mean foreigners are excluded from public schools in Taiwan

Postby headhonchoII » 31 May 2016, 08:05

Doraemonster wrote:This is potentially a great leap backward for Taiwan. I sincerely hope it's only due to a misinterpretation of the laws or some other transient snafu that is so common here. In any case, with the demographic crisis looming shouldn't it be schools competing for admissions, especially in some sort of Xindian?

Getting the media interested is definitely the best way to approach this. Hope it works out well in the end.



There's no demographic crisis in Xindian that's for sure. I am rooting for the OP and eager to see if there will be a resolution soon or if other foreign parents have some input. It seems that disputes at these public enrollment forums are fairly common and the admins , having a lot of power and being in public place, will go back to rote regulations when accused to favoritism.
There's a hierarchy in Taiwan and its mostly property based. I put my kid in another families huji temporarily to access the schools, my kid (who is fully Taiwanese) can't go to some of the most popular schools cos he used a borrowed huji.
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Re: New regulations mean foreigners are excluded from public schools in Taiwan

Postby Icon » 31 May 2016, 10:04

BillCollins wrote:
hsinhai78 wrote:Before we conclude that this is a case of xenophobia we should wait until OP reports back after next week.
And as I have written in my first (long) reply, separate quotas and placements are in fact the legal reality and usually work to the benefits of foreigners, i.e. in college admissions in Taiwan. I can somewhat sympathise with the officials that OP encountered: Taiwanese parents compete for placements and a foreign family being given de-facto preference would cause social tensions. I am sure that would cause social tensions in Western countries as well.


My wife checked back with the education department website today and said that there are no places left with striking distance of Xindian. So we have been excluded from any chance of a place in a public school this year, based only nationality, and with no indication that the situation will be any different next year. The problem is not that we didn't get a place, but that we didn't even get to apply for the chance of a place.

My wife contacted the education department and they took her details and said they will get back to us. If they don't get back we will contact the news, I am sure Tsai Ying Wen's opponents would be delighted to hear a story like this.

Obviously it was unfair when foreign nationals had preferential access, but the remedy is not to take this and to turn it into no access at all.


Actually, it was Tsai's opponents the ones who wrote and executed legislation like this. the new government has been in power barely 8 days and anyways, regarding regulations, they won't be able to make any changes in at least two years. This and many other troublesome landmines have been planted in advance to see the new Administration stumble, and general rule of thumb is that anyone who performs their job regardless of banner is considered a traitor and hence will be punished accordingly when the blues regain power -no more dorms, excluded from promotions, ostracism. Hence the difficulty in getting things done. Remember public servants cannot be fired and they will stay in their posts almost 20 years to get that lovely 18% -which does not apply to the younger generation BTW.

As HH said, this is probably a misinterpretation/mismanagement from the desk jockeys. I have met the director of Dafeng school before and he seemed like a very reasonable guy, as well as the staff. The school overall seemed very open to the diversity of nationalities in the area -I have several Latino and Vietnamese neighbors whose kids go there, and they were OKish. They are of the few schools that I know of that have special resources allocated to foreign children integration. Maybe they had a budget cut?

Which reminds me: this year the government votes on a budget decided last year by the previous Adminsitration. hence, their hands are tied.
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Re: New regulations mean foreigners are excluded from public schools in Taiwan

Postby Liam Og » 31 May 2016, 12:54

Icon wrote: this is probably a misinterpretation/mismanagement from the desk jockeys.


I agree with what people are saying, thanks for all the advice. The problem was stemming immediately from the enrollment guidelines they were following on the day. Those were - I presume - written by a New Taipei civil servant, and not necessarily reflected in actual legislation.

My wife had the idea to go to the blue news channel - if it came to that - because they are in national opposition so might be more likely to go with that kind of story. However the KMT are at the head to the New Taipei government.

In any case we are not going to give up on the problem yet. I said that because I was feeling bad after the experience at the weekend, but I don't think we are likely to get this kind of unfair treatment in the long run.
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Re: New regulations mean foreigners are excluded from public schools in Taiwan

Postby headhonchoII » 31 May 2016, 13:03

In reality you will probably get better treatment than my kids
In the long run. That's what I'm betting. The system isn't fair here . You know only 5% of kids have access to public kindergarten places right?
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Re: New regulations mean foreigners are excluded from public schools in Taiwan

Postby Liam Og » 08 Jun 2016, 22:14

Just to let people know the outcomes of this story:

The public officials got back to us after six days by texting the same line as in the enrollment form "locals enroll first, foreigners can apply to left over places etc"

On a happier note we found a private kindergarten at an affordable price, so I am happy that he can attend that school for the next year or two. Its a better deal than we would have gotten in my home country, where there is no public kindergarten.

In the meantime I am going to send a letter to the major Eric Chu to point out the issue, and to express the hope that things can be made more fair. Affecting Taiwan's image as a fair society, discouraging foreign nationals needed by the economy etc etc I am not planning on going to go to the TV news, unless we come up against the same thing when it is elementary school time.

Thanks for all the good advice!
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Re: New regulations mean foreigners are excluded from public schools in Taiwan

Postby headhonchoII » 08 Jun 2016, 23:00

You never made it clear that it was kindergarten you were applying to. Public kindergarten places are almost impossible to get. I feel we have wasted our time helping you because you've been economical with
Your information here.
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Re: New regulations mean foreigners are excluded from public schools in Taiwan

Postby Liam Og » 09 Jun 2016, 09:45

headhonchoII wrote:we have wasted our time helping you.


You and the queen is it?
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