September 12, 2005

Where is Taiwan as China rises in the global IC industry?

 chipmaker can acquire sufficient equipment and funding, but it will not be successful without valuing the importance of professionals. The success of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry has been helped by substantial support from the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) Electronics Research & Service Organization (ERSO). Taiwan’s semiconductor industry was led by a group of foreign-educated professionals during the initial stage. However, the falling numbers of Taiwan students enrolling in foreign institutes and the declining birthrate pose potential threats to local semiconductor industry growth.

According to statistics gathered by the Institute of International Education in the US, Taiwan is no longer in the top five regions when it comes to enrollment in US institutions. The enrollment for Taiwan students has continued declining over recent years. The number of students peaked at 37,581 in 1994 and dropped below 30,000 to 28,930 in 2002. From 1994 to 2002, the number of Taiwan students enrolling in the US dropped about 15%, but the proportion of students from Taiwan in the total dropped 43% to 4.8% in 2002, down from 1993’s 8.4%.

The number of Taiwan student enrollments in the US in 2003 is a good indicator of the trend. The total number of students enrolling in US institutions in 2003 grew 6.4% on year to 582,996. India replaced China as the region with the largest number of foreign students enrolling at 12%, China contributed 10.8%, South Korea 8.4%, and Japan 8% (Japan was the first-ranked region from 1995 to 1999 until it was replaced by China in 2000). Taiwan was ranked fifth. Despite losing the top spot, China has continued to report ramping numbers of overseas student enrollments since 2000. The number of enrollments has grown by three times within a decade to 61,765 in 2004, up from around 20,000 in 1995.

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