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Taiwan – Education and Schools

Taiwan is an island nation located in East Asia, with a highly regarded education system that is known for its emphasis on science and technology. In this article, we will explore the quality of education in Taiwan, the ages at which education is compulsory, the types of schools available, the syllabus and qualifications offered, typical school hours and holidays, enrollment requirements, competition for enrollment, and options for higher education.

Quality of Education in Taiwan

Taiwan has a well-regarded education system, with a strong emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The country has a high literacy rate and consistently ranks highly in international rankings, such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Taiwan’s education system is designed to provide students with a comprehensive education that prepares them for their future careers and fosters a lifelong love of learning.

Compulsory Education in Taiwan

Education is compulsory in Taiwan for children between the ages of 6 and 18. This means that all children must attend school for at least 12 years, from primary school to upper secondary school.

Types of Schools in Taiwan

Primary Schools

Primary schools in Taiwan are for students between the ages of 6 and 12. The curriculum focuses on basic skills such as reading, writing, and mathematics, as well as subjects such as social studies, natural science, and physical education. Primary school is compulsory for all students and is free of charge.

Junior High Schools


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Junior high schools in Taiwan are for students between the ages of 12 and 15. The curriculum is more focused on academic subjects, such as mathematics, science, and foreign languages. Students also take courses in social studies, physical education, and the arts. Junior high school is also compulsory for all students and is free of charge.

Senior High Schools

Senior high schools in Taiwan are divided into several different types of programs, including general academic, vocational, and arts programs. These programs are designed to prepare students for a variety of careers and further education opportunities. Senior high schools are not compulsory and are fee-paying.

Syllabus and Qualifications in Taiwanese Schools

The curriculum in Taiwanese schools varies depending on the level of education. However, there are certain core subjects that are taught across the country, such as mathematics, science, social studies, and foreign languages. Students are required to take exams at the end of each level of education to receive a qualification.

Qualifications offered by Taiwanese schools include the Junior High School Diploma, the Senior High School Diploma, and the Vocational High School Diploma. Students who wish to attend university must take the General Scholastic Ability Test (GSAT), which is a standardized test that measures their academic ability. The results of the GSAT are used by universities to determine which students they will admit.

School Hours and Holidays in Taiwan

School hours in Taiwan vary depending on the level of education. Primary schools typically start at 8 am and finish at 4 pm or 5 pm, while junior high schools and senior high schools start at 7:30 am and finish at 5 pm or 6 pm.

The academic year in Taiwan starts in early September and ends in late June of the following year. There are two semesters, with a one- to two-week holiday in October, a two- to three-week holiday in February, and a one-week holiday in April or May. In addition to these breaks, there are also national and regional holidays throughout the year.

Enrollment Requirements and Competition

To enroll in a school in Taiwan, students must provide documentation such as a birth certificate, proof of residency, and their academic records from their previous school. For international students, a passport and visa may also be required. In addition, students may need to take an entrance exam to be admitted to certain senior high school programs.

Competition for enrollment in Taiwanese schools can vary depending on the location and the level of education. Some senior high school programs may be more selective than others, particularly those with a strong vocational or arts focus. However, the competition for enrollment is generally not as intense as in some other countries.

International Schools in Taiwan

For students who are not native Taiwanese speakers or who wish to receive an international education, there are also many international schools in Taiwan. These schools offer an education in English or another foreign language and follow a different curriculum than traditional Taiwanese schools. Some popular international schools in Taiwan include:

International schools in Taiwan can be quite expensive, and admission is often competitive. However, they offer a unique opportunity for students to receive an education that is not available in traditional Taiwanese schools.

Higher Education in Taiwan

Taiwan has a wide range of universities and higher education institutions, both public and private. The most prestigious universities are known as the “National Universities”, which includes National Taiwan University, National Cheng Kung University, and National Tsing Hua University. Other top universities in Taiwan include the National Chiao Tung University, the National Sun Yat-sen University, and the National Central University.

To be admitted to a university in Taiwan, students must have completed their senior high education and have received the GSAT or its equivalent. In addition, some programs may require students to take additional entrance exams or provide other documentation. Competition for admission to top universities can be fierce, but the Taiwanese education system places a strong emphasis on equal opportunities and strives to provide access to higher education for all students.

In addition to traditional universities, Taiwan also has many vocational schools and community colleges that offer technical training and education.

In conclusion, education in Taiwan is highly regarded and known for its emphasis on STEM education. Students are required to attend school from primary school to upper secondary school, and they can choose to continue their education at a senior high school or vocational school. The curriculum is standardized across the country and includes a broad range of subjects, including mathematics, science, and foreign languages. International schools and universities also offer unique opportunities for students who want an education in English or a different curriculum. Overall, the education system in Taiwan is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their future careers and contribute to society.


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