Why Institutional Scholarship Policy Matters: Its Influences on Graduate International Students of a Regional University in Taiwan





academic performance, financial adjustment, international students, institutional scholarship policy, regional university, Taiwan


This qualitative study explored the importance of scholarship policies toward international graduate students during their studies at a regional university in Taiwan from the “push-pull” framework. Ten participants representing Indonesia, Vietnam, and India, the University’s three largest international student groups, were interviewed. The analysis of the 10 semi-structured interviews investigates international students’ choices to attend a regional university, and whether scholarship policy impacts their decision-making. Findings revealed the different influences of scholarship policy on international graduate students from majors and departments in their academic and financial adjustment. Key advantages and disadvantages of current scholarship policies are discussed with regards to students’ experiences. Moreover, the study provides suggestions about recruitment and retention policies in terms of English-taught degree programs and institutional scholarship programs, particularly for Taiwanese regional universities seeking to expand their international student enrollment.


Download data is not yet available.


Avery, C., & Hoxby, C. M. (2004). (2007). Do and should financial aid packages affect students' college choices? In C. M. Hoxby (Ed.), College choices: The economics of where to go, when to go, and how to pay for it (pp. 239–301). University of Chicago Press. https://www.nber.org/books/hoxb04-1

Bashir, S. (2007). Trends in international trade in higher education: implications and options for developing countries (Report No. 6). World Bank Publications. https://documents.worldbank.org/

Bazeley. (2013). Qualitative data analysis: Practical strategies. SAGE Publications.

Chen, Y. F., & Chen, H. J. (2009, May 15). A study on international student adjustment from academic, social and cultural: Viewpoints in Taiwan [Paper presentation]. The International Conference on Business Management and Information Technology Application, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. http://www.kyu.edu.tw/teacpage/teacpage98/99年度論文成果電子檔98-233.pdf

Chiang, S. (2021, December 03). Taiwan’s MOE subsidizes universities to promote bilingual learning. Taiwan News. https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4280892

Chou, C. P., & Ching, G. (2012). Taiwan education at the crossroad: When globalization meets localization. Palgrave Macmillan

Chou, C. P., Roberts, A., & Ching, G. S. (2012). A study on the international students’ perception and norms in Taiwan. International Journal of Research Studies in Education, 1(2), 71–84. https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrse.2012.v1i2.76

Dassin, J. R., Marsh, R. R., & Mawer, M. (2017). Introduction: Pathways for social changes? In J. R. Dassin, R. R. Marsh, & M. Mawer (Eds.), International scholarships in higher education: Pathways to social change (pp. 2–22). Palgrave Macmillan.

Eder, J., Smith, W. W., & Pitts, R. E. (2010). Exploring factors influencing student study abroad destination choice. Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, 10(3), 232–250. https://doi.org/10.1080/15313220.2010.503534.

Harman, G. (2003). International PhD students in Australian universities: Financial support, course experience and career plans. International Journal of Educational Development, 23(3), 339–351.


Heller, D. E. (1997). Student price response in higher education: An update to Leslie and Brinkman. The Journal of Higher Education, 68(6), 624– 659. https://doi.org/10.2307/2959966

Hu, S. (2011). Scholarship awards, student engagement, and leadership capacity of high-achieving low-income students of color. The Journal of Higher Education, 82(5), 511–534. https://doi.org/10.1353/jhe.2011.0028

Hu, S., & John, E. P. (2001). Student persistence in a public higher education system: Understanding racial and ethnic differences. The Journal of Higher Education, 72(3), 265–286. https://doi.org/10.2307/2649332

Jiani, M. A. (2016). Why and how international students choose Mainland China as a higher education study abroad destination. Higher Education, 74(4), 563–579. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-016-0066-0

Kondakci, Y. (2011). Student mobility reviewed: Attraction and satisfaction of international students in Turkey. Higher Education, 62(5), 573–592. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-011-9406-2

Macaro, E., Curle, S., Pun, J., An, J., & Dearden, J. (2018). A systematic review of English medium instruction in higher education. Language Teaching, 51(1), 36–76. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444817000350

Mazzarol, T., & Soutar, G. N. (2002). “Push‐pull” factors influencing international student destination choice. International Journal of Educational Management, 16(2), 82–90. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513540210418403

McMahon, M. E. (1992). Higher education in a world market. Higher Education, 24(4), 465–482. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00137243

Mellors-Bourne, R., Humfrey, C., Kemp, N., & Woodfield, S. (2013). The wider benefits of international higher education in the UK (Research Paper No. 128). https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/240407/bis-13-1172-the-wider-benefits-of-international-higher-education-in-the-uk.pdf

Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implement. John Wiley & Sons.

Merriam, S. B., & Tisdell, E. J. (2019). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. John Wiley & Sons.

Ministry of Education and Culture (2020). Penyampaian Informasi Beasiswa Universitas Bologna Italia Tahun Anggaran 2020/2021.

Mobley, C., Brawner, C. E., & Ohland, M. W. (2009). The South Carolina merit scholarship: Strategies used by engineering students to keep their LIFE scholarship. International Journal of Engineering, 25(6), 1249–1256. https://hdl.handle.net/10018/1024640

Nghia, T. L. (2019). Motivations for studying abroad and immigration intentions. Journal of International Students, 9(3), 758–776. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v0i0.731

Özoğlu, M., Gür, B. S., & Coşkun, İ. (2015). Factors influencing international students’ choice to study in Turkey and challenges they experience in Turkey. Research in Comparative and International Education, 10(2), 223–237. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745499915571718

Pare, J., & Tsay, W. (2014). A study of the adjustment process of international students within the Taiwanese institutions of higher education. Central Taiwan Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 25(3), 1–34. http://web.nchu.edu.tw/pweb/users/wtsay/research/13304.pdf

Rienties, B., Beausaert, S., Grohnert, T., Niemantsverdriet, S., & Kommers, P. (2011). Understanding academic performance of international students: The role of ethnicity, academic and social integration. Higher Education, 63(6), 685–700. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-011-9468-1

Roberts, A., Chou, P., & Ching, G. (2009). Contemporary trends in east Asian higher education: Dispositions of international students in a Taiwan university. Higher Education, 59(2), 149–166. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-009-9239-4

Schartner, A., & Young, T. J. (2016). Towards an integrated conceptual model of international student adjustment and adaptation. European Journal of Higher Education, 6(4), 372-386. https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2016.1201775

Smart, J. C., Ethington. C. A., Riggs, R. O., & Thompson, M. D. (2002). Influences of institutional expenditure patterns on the development of students’ leadership competencies. Research in Higher Education, 43(1), 116–132. https://doi.org/10.1080/02680930210140257

Spencer, D. (2017, October 06). Taiwan needs a higher education revolution. Taiwan News. https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3268945

Suprapto, N., Saragih, O. K., & Al Ardha, M. A. (2019). Life adjustment of international students in eastern Taiwan. Journal of International Students, 9(2), 613–634. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v9i2.613

Taiwan Financial Supervisory Commission. (2019, February 11). Taiwan’s 2030 goal to become a bilingual nation. https://www.fsc.gov.tw/en/home.jsp?id=253&parentpath=0,4,212,252

Taiwan Ministry of Education (TMOE). (2015). 新南向人才培育推動計劃.

Taiwan Ministry of Education (TMOE). (2019). E112-1 number of non-citizen students in universities, colleges and junior colleges - by genders, broad field (27 categories), countries and schools.


Takaya, K. (2016). Needs assessment for exchange students in Taiwan. Journal of International and Comparative Education, 5(1), 33–45. https://doi.org/10.14425/jice.2016.5.1.33

Thomas, L. (2002). Student retention in higher education: The role of institutional habitus. Journal of Education Policy, 17(4), 423–442. https://doi.org/10.1080/02680930210140257

Thomas, L. (2020). Student retention in higher education: The role of institutional habitus. Bourdieu and Education, 191–210. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429445163-13

Tinto, V. (2017). Through the eyes of students. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 19(3), 254–269. https://doi.org/10.1177/1521025115621917

Tinto, V., & Pusser, B. (2006). Moving from theory to action: Building a model of institutional action for student success. National Postsecondary Education Cooperative. https://nces.ed.gov/npec/pdf/Tinto_Pusser_Report.pdf

Townsend, P., & Jun Poh, H. (2008). An exploratory study of international students studying and living in a regional area. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 18(2), 240–263. https://doi.org/10.1080/08841240802487411

Tsai, Y., Trang, L. T., & Kobori, K. (2017). Factors influencing international students to study at universities in Taiwan. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 5(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.31686/ijier.vol5.iss1.46

U.S. Department of Education. (2021). Type of financial aid. https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types

UNESCO. (2018). Global education monitoring report 2019: Migration, displacement and education – Building bridges, not walls. United Nations. https://en.unesco.org/gem-report/report/2019/migration

Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training. (2010). Đề án đào tạo giảng viên có trình độ tiến sĩ cho các trường đại học cao đẳng giai đoạn 2010-2020.

Ziguras, C., & McBurnie, C. (2011). International student mobility in the Asia-pacific: From globalization to regional integration? In S. Marginson, S. Kaur, & E. Sawir (Eds.), Higher education in the Asia-Pacific: Strategic responses to globalization (pp. 123–140). Springer Science & Business Media.




How to Cite

Phan, G., & Liu, W.-Y. (2022). Why Institutional Scholarship Policy Matters: Its Influences on Graduate International Students of a Regional University in Taiwan. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v14i1.3333



Empirical Article