Taiwan schools to help Nicaraguan students continue studies after diplomatic split

Universities in Taiwan have said they are willing to provide the necessary support and assistance to Nicaraguan students to remain in school here, in the wake of their country's decision to switch diplomatic recognition to China.

National Taiwan University (NTU), National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), National Chengchi University (NCCU), and others said Friday they will help with issues like funding and part-time jobs for Nicaraguan students who are studying in Taiwan.

Currently, there are 91 Nicaraguan students in Taiwan universities, at least 53 of whom are on Taiwan government scholarships granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), while some are recipients of scholarships funded by Taiwan International Corporation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), according to the education ministry.

MOFA said Saturday it has yet to decide on whether to suspend the scholarships for Nicaraguan students. But in recent similar diplomatic splits, MOFA and TaiwanICDF have withdrawn all scholarships for students from the countries that have broken ties with Taiwan.

For the four Nicaraguan students currently at NTU, the nine at NTNU, and six at NCCU, there might be some recourse, as the three universities, along with several others, have said they are willing to help work out some financial solutions.

According to the Ministry of Education (MOE), the students' financial situation will likely be affected, but the "decisions of the competent authority will be respected."

There are no Taiwanese students at universities in Nicaragua, the MOE said.

The issue of the scholarship students arose after Nicaragua's said Thursday that it was switching diplomatic recognition to China, which led to Taiwan's announcement that it was terminating diplomatic relations with the Central American country and recalling the staff at its embassy and technical mission there.

Nicaragua's decision to switch recognition to Beijing came a month after President Daniel Ortega won a fourth consecutive term, in an election that was seen by leaders around the world as controversial.

The termination of diplomatic relations between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Nicaragua leaves Taiwan with 14 diplomatic allies worldwide.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen (???) took office in 2016, Taiwan has lost eight diplomatic allies, namely Burkina Faso, Panama, Sao Tome and Principe, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and now Nicaragua.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel