Study in Taiwan: Top Universities, Cities, Rankings, Fees, Entry Criteria & Visa Details | Top Universities

A growing number of international students are choosing to study in Taiwan, an ‘Asian Tiger’ perhaps best known for its world-leading tech industry, but also offering strong academic programs across the full subject spectrum.

Close proximity to Hsinchu Science Park – Taiwan’s answer to the US’s Silicon Valley – makes universities in Taiwan such as National Tsing Hua University and National Cheng Kung University exciting places to study for anyone interested in high-tech.

But while Taiwan’s tech sector is undoubtedly impressive, it has much more to offer, and its popularity as a study destination is growing across a wide range of subject areas. In fact, government statistics from 2011 showed that the most popular courses for international students were in business and management, followed by engineering, arts and humanities, social sciences and media. Taiwan is also a popular destination for language courses in Mandarin Chinese.

Why study in Taiwan?

 

The Taiwan government is keen to attract more international students, and has set the ambitious target of reaching 150,000 international students by 2020. To try and hit this target, many universities in Taiwan are increasing the number of degree courses taught partly or entirely in English, and the government is also offering a series of scholarships for international students. Many of Taiwan’s top universities also offer their own international scholarships.

According to a government survey of international students, other top reasons to study in Taiwan include the high quality of the location’s academic resources, the rich cultural environment and future job prospects.

Universities in Taiwan

16 universities in Taiwan are ranked in the QS World University Rankings 2021, and as many as 35 universities are featured in the QS Asia University Rankings 2021

Of the top universities in Taiwan, National Taiwan University is the leader of the pack, ranked 19th in Asia and joint 66th in the world this year. Also among the world's top 300 universities are National Tsing Hua University (33rd in Asia), National Cheng Kung University (42nd in Asia), National Chiao Tung University (46th in Asia),  National Taiwan University of Science And Technology (48th in Asia).

Search and compare the top universities in Taiwan and the rest of Asia

Student life in Taiwan

 

If you do decide to make a move to Taiwan, you can expect student life to be lively and varied, reflecting the growing international student population, as well as the location’s existing cultural diversity. The influence of mainland Chinese culture is widely in evidence, in Taiwan’s architecture, cuisine and, of course, the official language, but Western, Japanese and aboriginal cultures have all left their mark too.

As a student, it’s likely you’ll be based in one of Taiwan’s larger cities. However, it would be well worth spending some time exploring other parts of the area during your stay, particularly the eight national parks. You could also take the opportunity to participate in traditional celebrations, such as the renowned Penghu Seafood Carnival, Confucius Ceremony and Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.

Taipei and New Taipei

 

Many of the leading universities in Taiwan are located in its political, economic and cultural capital, Taipei City. Located at the northern top of the island, Taipei is about 25km inland, on the Tamsui River. A 24/7 kind of city, Taipei fuses the ultra-modern and the historic. Skyscrapers and high-tech headquarters intermix with ancient temples, traditional tea-houses and busy markets. It’s surrounded on all sides by New Taipei City, formerly known as Taipei County, Taiwan’s largest metropolitan area.

Universities in Taipei include Taiwan’s highest-ranked university, National Taiwan University (19th in Asia; joint 66th in the QS World University Rankings 2021). Known locally as Táidà, the university is in the Daan district, close to one of the points at which Taipei ends and New Taipei City begins.

Other high-ranking universities in Taipei and New Taipei include: National Yang-Ming University, Taipei Medical University (90th in Asia; joint 387th in the world), National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (48th in Asia; joint 267th in the world), National Taiwan Normal University (61st in Asia; joint 331st in the world), National Taipei University of Technology (88th in Asia; joint 488th in the world), National Chengchi University (95th in Asia; 581-590 in the world) and Fu Jen Catholic University (251-260 in Asia).

Other top student cities in Taiwan

While the Taipei area has the lion’s share of Taiwan’s top universities, there are also high-ranking institutions across the territory. Hsinchu City, about 80km south-west of Taipei, is known as the home of Hsinchu Science Park. Dubbed Taiwan’s “Silicon Valley”, the park has become a major hub for high-tech development, drawing on the region’s existing strengths in this field. National Tsing Hua University and National Chiao Tung University are both located in Hsinchu, and are both ranked within the world’s top 210 universities.

In the south of Taiwan, Tainan City is home to National Cheng Kung University, and Kaohsiung City to National Sun Yat-sen University (73rd in Asia; joint 416th in the world). Back in the north, Zhongli City boasts National Central University (67th in Asia; joint 465th in the world), while Guishan Township is home to Chang Gung University (177th in Asia; joint 593rd in the world). Finally, National Chung Hsing University (112th in Asia; 601-650 in the world), known in Chinese as Xingda, is in Taichung – the third-largest city after New Taipei and Kaohsiung, located towards the central part of Taiwan.

See where Taipei ranks in the QS Best Student Cities

Cost of studying in Taiwan

Tuition fees vary by university and by subject, with private universities typically charging slightly more, and subjects such as medicine at the higher end of the fee range. To give you an idea, National Taiwan University’s international students tuition fees for the 2016/17 academic year are NTD 50,460-62,100 (US$1,650-2,040) per semester for undergraduates and NTD 51,280-62,360 (US$1,700-2,050) for most graduate programs. Tuition fees for the MBA program are much higher, priced at NTD 142,600 (US$4,700). There are two semesters per year.

The university also advises students to budget up to NTD 113,000 (US$3,700) per semester to cover living costs on top of your tuition fees, including accommodation, food, health insurance and course supplies.

Applications and visas for Taiwan

Applications to universities in Taiwan are made directly to the institution, either through an online system or by sending completed documents in the post. Students may be asked to provide photocopies of academic qualifications and study records, letters of recommendation, proof of language proficiency, proof of sufficient funding (or scholarship award), and an application fee. Some courses may require students to sit an entry exam.

Applications are processed at the start of the calendar year, up to early March. Applications for the government-run Taiwan Scholarship Program must be submitted between the start of February and end of March.

Once accepted onto a course, international students will need to apply for a student visa and, after entering Taiwan, a resident visa. Students who want to work part-time must also apply for a work permit; this allows them to take on employment of up to 16 hours per week during term-time.

Find out how universities in Taiwan compare to other top universities in Asia

Fast Facts

  • Island located 120km off the east coast of China
  • Capital city: Taipei (largest city is New Taipei City)
  • Currency: New Taiwan dollar
  • Official language: Mandarin Chinese (Minnan and Hakka are also spoken, and English is widely studied and understood)
  • The north has mild winters and a hot, rainy summer; the south is generally warm and relatively dry
  • Nearly 60% of the island is covered by forest
  • International companies headquartered in Taiwan include Acer, HTC, and Giant (the world’s largest bike manufacturerby revenue).
  • Taiwan was the world’s fourth biggest holder of nanotechnology patents in 2012.
  • Popular snacks include oyster vermicelli, Taiwanese meatballs, pearl milk tea and the strangely named ‘coffin sandwich’ and ‘stinky tofu’.