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  • President Ma attends 2012 Taiwan International Science Fair Award Ceremony
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President Ma attends 2012 Taiwan International Science Fair Award Ceremony. President Ma attends 2012 Taiwan International Science Fair Award Ceremony. President Ma delivers address. President Ma presents awards.
President Ma Ying-jeou on the afternoon of February 10 attended the 2012 Taiwan International Science Fair Award Ceremony. The president was accompanied to the event by Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) and National Taiwan Science Education Center Director-general Chu Nan-Shyan (朱楠賢). In personally presenting the Young Scientist Awards, the president expressed the importance that the government places on science education.

In a speech delivered in English, the president remarked that science education at the elementary and secondary levels creates a foundation for national science development, as well as overall national competitiveness, which is why our government has always attached such great importance to it. The president noted that this marks the third time he has attended the Taiwan International Science Fair. This event, he said, provides a platform for outstanding local and foreign students to cooperate and compete. In addition, projects at the science fair are selected to represent Taiwan in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the International Mathematical Olympiad and the International Science Olympiads, and other international competitions. President Ma remarked that over 200 outstanding young people from 17 nations are participating in this year's science fair. He said he hopes the young people will take advantage of this opportunity to make new friends, learn from each other, and expand their network of contacts, all of which will be important in the future if they want to start up new business ventures.

President Ma emphasized that Taiwan has extremely limited amounts of natural resources, but has something even more precious – namely its people, citing the speech by the famous columnist Thomas L. Friedman from The New York Times in describing Taiwan as a country that drills its people, not its ground. The government, the president said, has long invested in education and starting last year decided that education expenditures will be required to comprise 22.5% of budgets at all levels of government, from the previous 21.5%. This translates into another NT$20 billion in education-related funding each year. Meanwhile, the government is aggressively promoting the internationalization of Taiwan's campuses, hoping that foreigners will account for 10% of all students here in 2020. This, he noted, will help to strengthen cooperation and competition among students from both Taiwan and overseas, and thereby enhance the quality of education here.
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