Read about the curricula, exams and tests commonly encountered at international schools, including the UK and US systems, International Baccalaureate and International Primary Curriculum.
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A wide array of international schools serve the expatriate and dual-citizenship communities of Taiwan, which has one of East Asia’s leading tiger economies. Schools are clustered around the capital Taipei and coastal cities of Hsinchu, Taichung and Kaohsiung.
International schools in Taiwan are prohibited from admitting children of Taiwanese nationals who do not also hold an overseas passport. Expatriate children often predominate and schools tend to be expensive, catering to families on expatriate packages.
Most schools offer an American-style curriculum, International Baccalaureate programmes or a combination of the two, and there are diverse Christian foundations. Coeducational day schooling is the norm and many schools admit children of all ages. But a handful offer boarding and there are several high schools.
There are eight IB World Schools, which all offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma, while two schools, I-Shou International School and Taipei Kuei Shan School, follow all three IB programmes. Teaching is in English at four schools, while the other four teach in English and Chinese.
Taipei American School, which was founded in 1949 to serve the children of US military personnel, today follows an American-style curriculum leading to the IB Diploma plus Advanced Placement courses and SATs. The popular school has some 2,235 students enrolled.
Taipei European School, which was formed through a merger of the city’s British, French and German schools, has separate sections using the national curriculum and instructional language of each country. They feed into a common high school, where students take the IB Diploma.
Taiwan has a highly developed education system founded in the strong Confucian values of its citizens. Education is compulsory from age six to 18 and more than 95 per cent of school leavers go on to university. Taiwan has 128 universities and 45 per cent of working age people hold degrees.