From Language Skills to Global Readiness: Coursera Elevates Taiwan’s Bilingual 2030 Goals

  • Industry:

    Government

  • Location:

    Taiwan

  • National GDP:

    $755.306 billion

  • Topics:

    topic, topic

96%
course completion rate
89%
of course takers completed more than four courses
85%
increase in English language confidence reported among learners

Overview

As part of Taiwan's Bilingual 2030 vision, the National Development Council (NDC) started a training program with the Civil Service Development Institute (CSDI) to enhance English proficiency skills among Taiwan’s civil servants. This program aims to build upon the existing skills within the government sector to foster global communication and collaboration with international organizations and to create a business-friendly environment in Taiwan for global companies.  

This program shows Taiwan's dedication to equipping civil servants with access to continuous learning while also working to drive strong economic growth and attract foreign investment. 

Challenge

Taiwan is a leader in semiconductor technology, producing over 90% of the world’s most advanced semiconductors, which are used to manufacture everything from home appliances to smartphones. As Taiwan looks to strengthen its position in global markets, it needs to invest in upskilling civil servants with more advanced English language skills and knowledge in target areas such as AI, digital development, and sustainable development. This dual investment in language and technical skills will help Taiwan remain a key player in high-growth industries while driving sustainable economic growth.

Connie Chang

Director General of the Department of Overall Planning, NDC

"We needed an international digital learning platform where civil servants could learn at their own pace in their own time, and Coursera provides that flexibility."

Solution

To support Taiwan’s Bilingual 2030 vision, NDC partnered with Coursera to upskill civil servants with flexible, tailored, on-demand training from over 325 leading academic and industry partners, including universities and companies such as Yale, Duke, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Meta, and IBM.

NDC provided Coursera access for training cohorts of 1,500 civil servants over 6-month intervals. To build on English-speaking and writing skills, CSDI also initiated a pilot program with over 300 learners, using a hybrid model that combined Coursera’s digital offerings with practical group sessions that focused on topics such as negotiations, public speaking, and English composition, enabling civil servants to learn more effectively.

Approach

Every 6 months, the CSDI selected participants from departments that frequently engage in international communication, ensuring that training was highly relevant and beneficial. Coursera held introductory meetings guiding them through the system, enabling leadership teams to be more confident and hands-on with their employees' onboarding and learning experiences. In addition, Coursera advised on which courses could be most applicable to their learners.

CSDI hosted webinars to help learners select the most relevant courses and understand how to use the platform. Dedicated program managers oversaw groups of 100 learners, which provided crucial support in maintaining an impressive 96% course completion rate.

Learners appreciated the flexibility of Coursera, as it could adapt to their dynamic working schedules. "As a busy public servant, I treasured the chance to learn and take courses when I had time, usually at night," says Pei-Chen Su, a learner from the Department of Government Ethics at the Taoyuan City Government. "I thoroughly enjoyed the 'AI for Everyone' course, and can't wait to apply AI tools and new concepts to future work initiatives."

Civil servants, who are required to complete continuing education credits each year, could earn those credits by completing Coursera courses and were even given opportunities for study leave. These incentives encouraged enrollment, kept learners engaged, and motivated participants to complete their courses.

Courses recommended to learners focused not only on improving English communication skills but also sought to elevate their professional expertise in English with subject matter experts from top educational institutions. CSDI’s support structure and incentives were instrumental in achieving high engagement and completion rates.

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Impact

Since this training program began, confidence among civil servants in their English language tasks has increased, with rates nearly doubling from 26.6% to 49.3%. Director General Connie Chang of NDC Taiwan reflects on this growth, praising the civil servants’ dedication to enhancing their international communication skills.

“This initiative with Coursera has been transformative,” says Director General Chang. “The remarkable improvement in English proficiency is crucial for elevating Taiwan to the international stage.”  

Over 84% of respondents report the courses improved their working knowledge and expertise, highlighting the value of providing continued education for civil servants. One learner, Kyle Tsai from the Ministry of Finance's Customs Administration, acknowledges this impact. “Through Coursera, I've accessed various online courses, enhancing my English and learning new skills like cybersecurity and coding. For a public servant, this training is crucial for staying updated and providing better public service in today's globalized world.“

"Over 87% of our first cohort expressed satisfaction with Coursera's teaching materials and felt that the courses helped to expand their English knowledge and abilities,” says Director General Chang. “With a completion rate of 96% and over 89% of our course takers completing more than four courses, we are seeing substantial improvements in both language and professional skills among our civil servants." 

Moving Forward

Looking ahead, NDC plans to expand ‌training to 6,000 learners by 2025. By continuing to invest in upskilling programs, Taiwan shows its ongoing desire to remain a key player in advanced technology markets that require advanced communication and technical skills, maintaining its commitment to building a workforce of highly skilled and adaptable civil servants. This will foster an international environment for economic growth, and open up communications on the global stage.

84%

of respondents believe that the courses improved their work knowledge and expertise 

85%

of learners say they can utilize what they’ve learned from Coursera

WiS-Ms. Connie Chang 2

Coursera's vast array of courses and expertise allowed anyone who came onto the platform to find an area relevant to them, and they could learn from and upskill, especially in English. This capability is crucial for us to share our expertise and have more international dialogue.

Connie Chang
Director General of the Department of Overall Planning
NDC

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