About 42 percent is vocational study, with the remainder devoted to other learning activities, which may include industrial internships. In August 2018, the Korean government announced that more than 50 HEIs will face cuts of up to 35 percent in their student intake in 2019. As of 2016, there were 430 HEIs in Korea compared with only 265 in 1990. The highest-ranking university in South Korea is Seoul National University, which is ranked at number 60. Compared to other OECD countries, a high share of education expenditures in Korea is borne by private households making said expenditures a pressing social issue – fully 64 percent of tertiary education spending came from private sources in 2015. The statistics only show the symbolic quality that Republic of Korea is placing on their education system. Social pressures to succeed in the labor market, meanwhile, have given rise to a phenomenon called “employment cosmetics”—one of the driving factors behind Korea’s boom in cosmetic surgery, since job applicants are commonly required to submit an ID photo, and many employers factor physical attractiveness into their hiring decisions. This cataclysmic demographic shift is already causing the closure of schools and universities, as well as reductions in university admissions quotas. The subjects taught are the same as in elementary education, except for the addition of either technical education or home science. Enrollments in vocational schools, for instance, have dropped drastically since the 1990s, presumably because of growing social preferences for university education and Korea’s shift from an industrial to a service-based economy. … South Korea faces the challenge of an aging population. Compulsary education duration: Number of years students are required to be enrolled in school for all levels of education. In an attempt to move away from an overly test-driven system, the current curriculum emphasizes the fostering of creative thinking and prioritizes essays over multiple-choice tests. Various measures have been adopted to achieve these objectives. Outside of equalization zones, however, admission is highly competitive and driven by free market mechanisms, which means that eligibility is usually determined by GPAs and entrance examinations, as well as interviews or teacher recommendations. Despite all the time, finances, and emotional resources invested in their education, Korean youth find it increasingly difficult to secure desired quality, socially prestigious jobs. I… In 2018, only 22.7 percent of freshman students were admitted exclusively on the basis of CSAT scores, whereas the majority of students were admitted based on other criteria, such as high school grade averages, university admissions tests, essays and letters of recommendation, practical tests, extracurricular activities, or interviews. In addition there is the special autonomous city of Sejong, which was recently created to become Korea’s new administrative capital in an attempt to reduce the influence of Seoul, Korea’s towering economic and administrative center. According to the latest available government statistics, 37 percent of international students were enrolled in undergraduate programs in 2016, compared with 23 percent in graduate programs and 39.5 percent in non-degree programs. Curricula typically include a general education component of about 30 percent in addition to major-specific subjects, with an increasing emphasis on internships. SOURCES: The curriculum is standa… Despite these increases in international student inflows, Korea still struggles to fully open up to the outside world and internationalize its education system. Professional education in traditional medicine is structured similar to professional education in other medical programs: Practitioners must complete a six-year undergraduate or four-year graduate-entry program before taking a national licensing exam. Private HEIs include top research universities like Korea University, Sungkyunkwan University, and Yonsei University, as well as various for-profit providers of lesser quality. Korea’s education system underwent a tremendous expansion since the end of the Korean War. In 2004, there were about 5,700…. About 30 percent of lectures at Korea’s top 10 universities were taught in English as of 2013—a sign that EMI is being pursued vigorously by Korean universities, partially because it affects international university rankings and makes Korean institutions more attractive to international students. By some accounts, the number of tertiary students in Korea will by then have decreased by more than 50 percent. Institutional KUAI accreditation is granted for periods of five years, whereas program-based accreditation is typically granted for periods of from four to six years. Credential names include the Master of Arts, Master of Science, and numerous other major-specific variations. About 60 percent of these students are enrolled in undergraduate programs at universities, 30.5 percent at junior colleges and other institutions, and 9.5 percent in graduate programs. In South Korea, students treat their teacher with respect and are always very serious about their studies. This report includes: • an overview of Korea’s tertiary education system; • an account of trends and developments in tertiary education in Korea; All Rights Reserved. English language teaching is generally highly prioritized in Korea, since it’s the language of international business and science, and English competency is highly important for employment prospects, university admissions, and social status. At the graduate level, graduation generally requires a minimum final GPA of 3.0 (B or 80). In the latter case, programs usually take at least three years to complete, including two years (30 credits) of course work, a passing score on a comprehensive examination, and the defense of a dissertation. The current Korean government considers the CSAT the most objective and socially equitable admission criterion; it is seeking to increase use of the test in university admissions. Parents also have … Education levels vary between countries around the world. There are two Korean universities ranked among the top 100 in the current 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings – the flagship Seoul National University – SNU (ranked at 63rd place) and Sungkyunkwan University, a private institution said to be East Asia’s oldest university, at position 82. Foreign Western faculty, meanwhile, reportedly feel unintegrated; many of them leave after short tenures. Exploding demand for university education over the past decades has been accompanied by a rapidly growing number of private providers springing up to accommodate this demand. School Dinner. Curricula include education in the subjects that students intend to teach, pedagogical subjects, and a teaching practicum of nine to 10 weeks. The largest Korean HEI in terms of enrollments is the Korea National Open University, a public distance education provider with more than 136,000 students headquartered in Seoul. Having foreign branch campuses in Korea means that Koreans can now earn a foreign degree without leaving the country. Year-over-year enrollment growth from Korea has persistently declined since 2011/12, whereas year-over-year growth for China and India increased by approximately 12 percent and 7 percent, respectively. Ranking of the country (South Korea) at the global level is (from the highest to the lowest data) : 87 / 186 See the entire classification South Korea : 36 records since 1970 , the average of these recordings : 3.53 % The highest data : 1982 is the highest year for the indicator : Expenditure on education (% of GDP) . The majority of vocational high schools currently use learning modules developed by the MOE and the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training on the basis of Korea’s National Competency Standards framework. Some programs may be studied in part-time mode. Credentials awarded are the Bachelor of Medicine or Doctor of Medicine, and the Bachelor of Dentistry, Doctor of Dental Medicine, or Doctor of Dental Surgery. In 2017, about 593,000 high school students registered for the Suneung. The reasons for this reversal are unclear, but the shift in trends coincided with Canada expanding its admission quotas for skilled immigrants—a factor that may have played at least some role in attracting more Koreans to the country. Two-year master’s programs usually require at least 24 credits plus a thesis for graduation, but some programs have higher credit requirements. 59.2% of them extend their stay, while 20.1% achieve permanent residency and 13.2% achieve South Korean citizenship. The number of coeducational schools has since increased significantly, but the majority of Korea’s schools are still single-sex. Secondary school teachers have a greater variety of study options and can study at departments of education at regular universities where programs also require a thesis. ELT, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to be a factor—Korean ELT enrollments have remained flat between 2014 and 2017, despite increased recruitment efforts by Canadian ELT providers. The size, quality, and funding levels of Korea’s HEIs differ greatly, resulting in a stratified university system dominated by prestigious top institutions in Seoul. Even at coeducational schools, individual classes may still be taught separately for girls and boys. As NAFSA’s International Educator notes, geographic proximity, cultural similarities, and lower tuition costs than in Western countries are other draws for Korean students.  When comparing international student numbers, it is important to note that numbers provided by different agencies and governments vary because of differences in data capture methodology, definitions of “international student,” and types of mobility captured (credit, degree, etc.). In other words, they are constrained by a higher degree of regulation than private HEIs in other countries. Instead of enrolling in academic degree programs in countries like the U.S., growing numbers of Koreans now seek to improve their English skills in more affordable ELT schools in places like Malta or the Philippines. It is much more diversified than lower-secondary education. Korea is one of 14 countries which opted to host a Country Review, in which a team of external reviewers carried out an in-depth analysis of tertiary education policies. The Korean government seeks to promote labor market entry directly after high school and strengthen vocational skills training with an “employment first, advancement to university later” approach. Most four-year bachelor’s programs require at least 130 credits for graduation, even though 140-credit programs also exist. A laser focus on education was an important pillar of this extraordinary economic rise. In the U.S., Korea remains the third-largest sending country of international students after China and India, despite a significant drop in enrollments in recent years. With respect to overseas education, such considerations are likely influenced by the fact that some Korean employers are reluctant to hire graduates of foreign schools. Statistics of Education; Statistics of Lifelong Education; Private Education Expenditures Survey; Korean Adult Lifelong Learning Survey; Culture and Leisure Some subjects can be taken at two different levels of difficulty. According to data provided by the Korean MOE, the number of high schools in Korea alone increased from 640 in 1960 to 2,218 in 2007, while the number of students enrolled in these schools jumped from 273,434 in 1960 to 2.3 million in 1990. While the vast majority of candidates pass the test, students who fail can retake it. Overall, public spending on education has increased significantly in recent years, causing the share of private expenditures to drop by 24 percent between 2008 and 2013, according to the OECD. Korea has historically had a centralized system of government. Click here for a PDF file of the academic documents referred to below. Programs in standard academic disciplines are four years in length (at least 130 credits), while bachelor’s programs in professional disciplines like architecture, pharmacy, or medicine take five or six years to complete (see also the section on medical and dental education below). In addition to institutional KUAI accreditation, degree programs in professional disciplines are accredited individually by bodies like the Accreditation Board for Engineering Education of Korea, the Korean Institute of Medical Education and Evaluation, or the Korea Architectural Accrediting Board. South Korea’s commitment to invest in education pays off. Robust economic growth and rising prosperity simultaneously allowed more people to afford an overseas education. After rapidly increasing by 419 percent between 1980 and 2000, the total number of tertiary enrollments in Korea, likewise, has recently decreased from 3.7 million in 2013 to 3.4 million in 2017, as per the Korean Educational Statistics Service (KESS). In the decades leading up to the 2011 peak, the number of Korean youths completing upper-secondary school surged, drastically increasing the pool of potential international students, while simultaneously exacerbating supply shortages that made access to quality university education increasingly difficult and competitive. 67% more than South Korea 3 Ranked 195th. Pupils study a set national curriculum that is updated every 10 years; the latest revision was adopted in 2015. In 1987 there were approximately 4,895,354 students enrolled in middle schools and high schools, with approxi… Most medical schools in Korea offer programs of the undergraduate variety. By some measures, South Korea—the Republic of Korea—is the most educated country in the world. The Korean government sets national curriculum standards. In addition, Korea has a so-called Academic Credit Bank System (ACBS) that allows older adults who have not completed a degree to earn one by combining credit units earned at different institutions. Further declines are likely. Private households, meanwhile, spend large sums of money on private English tutoring. In 2018, the number of international students enrolled in degree and non-degree programs reached a record high of 142,205, after growing by 70 percent over 2014. Completion of the program requires at least 24 credits of course work, a thesis, and a grade point average of B (3.0) or better. Although preschool is not compulsory, about 90 percent of children age three to five attend it. Residents are afforded universal healthcare and mandatory education through middle school, with enrollment rates consistently at 100 percent.  Total government expenditures on education have tripled since 2000 and will be increased by another 10.5 percent to 70.9 trillion won (USD$63.9 billion) in 2019. In the late 1980s, primary schools were coeducational, although coeducation was quite rare at the middle-school and high-school levels. Graduates are awarded certificates of graduation that are formally equivalent to high school diplomas from other types of schools and that provide access to tertiary education. Sadly, the statistics also show that only one in 10 people will go seek some kind of professional help. Tuition fee hikes caused growing social resistance and student protests in recent years. Enrollment figures for 1987 on the primaryschool level were 4,771,722 pupils in 6,531 schools, with 130,142 teachers. Ten Korean universities are included among in the current Shanghai (ARWU) Rankings, but none among the top 100. Moon’s bold education reform proposals seek to eventually integrate all state universities into one large university system. According to the OECD data, South Korea has the second largest suicide rate in the world. Studying long hours at hagwons has become so ubiquitous and excessive that Korean authorities in the 2000’s deemed it necessary to impose curfews, usually at 10 p.m., and patrol prep schools in areas like Seoul’s Gangnam district, where many of these schools are concentrated—only to drive nighttime cram classes underground behind closed doors. In fact, a foreign degree can be a liability in Korea’s hierarchical work environment. That said, as of this writing no concrete steps have yet been taken to form this new committee. Other sending countries include the U.S., Uzbekistan, Taiwan, France, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Today, many villages look like ghost towns, with … once-bustling schools standing in weedy ruins ….” However, despite this demographic shift, Korea in 2015 still had some of the largest lower-secondary class sizes in the OECD, as well as an above-average teacher-to-student ratio in upper-secondary education—circumstances that are likely due to rapidly growing enrollments in urban areas. Public spending as a % of GDP (2008-2010*) allocated to: education. Students are assessed by examinations taken in the middle and at the end of each semester. This education profile describes recent trends in South Korean education and student mobility and provides an overview of the structure of the education system of South Korea. More than 25 universities were classified as poor in 2017 and are in danger of closure in the near future. In addition, there are A-F letter grading scales, of which there are two variations with either 4.3 or 4.5 as the highest grade point (see below). Master’s degree programs (Suksa) are two years in length and studied in graduate schools, most of which are incorporated into universities. Usage implies agreement with terms. The growing unpopularity of the U.S. in the Trump era, and opportunities to participate in research collaborations and scholarship programs, may also have played a role. Their results in standardized testing and their student’s ability to advance towards college graduation is the model over 200 nations, are chasing to be the best in education. Government expenditure on education, total (% of GDP) from The World Bank: Data Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). HEIs ranked excellent were allowed to voluntarily reduce their student intake, while all others became subject to mandatory capacity cuts, funding cuts, or merger or closure, depending on their ranking. In the 1980s, Korea’s government began to strategically invest in human capital development, research, and technological innovation. Graduation from undergraduate programs usually requires an overall grade point average of at least 70 or C (2.00). Overall, admissions quotas at Korean universities, which are set by the MOE for both public and private institutions, are currently being reduced drastically because of population aging and the concomitant decline in tertiary enrollments. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 70 percent of 24- to 35-year-olds in the nation of 51.5 million people have completed some form of tertiary education—the highest percentage worldwide and more than 20 percentage points above comparable attainment rates in the United States. Between 2015/16 and 2016/17, undergraduate enrollments declined by 8 percent while graduate enrollments only dropped by about 1 percent. Compulsary education starting age: 6 Ranked 37th. Specialty training involves a one-year internship and three years of residency training. Rising tuition costs in the U.S. therefore don’t work in favor of increased student inflows from Korea. 5. The U.S. is by far the most popular study destination among Korean students. In another sign of competition at any cost, private household debt in Korea is soaring, driven in part by surging expenditures on education and private tutoring. According to IIE’s Project Atlas, the number of Korean students in China increased by more than 11 percent since 2013 and currently stands at 70,540. Between 2011 and 2016, the number of Korean students who entered higher education programs declined by 10 percent. Sejong City now houses the majority of government ministries and agencies, including the administrative headquarters of the MOE, which controls most aspects of education. In Korea, perhaps more so than anywhere else, educational success equals socioeconomic status. We need money to operate the site, and almost all of it comes from our online advertising. (All numbers are according to 2017 KESS statistics. In addition, Germany’s University of Nürnberg is running a branch campus in Busan, while the STC-Netherlands Maritime University operates a campus in Gwangyang City, and the Scottish University of Aberdeen is expected to soon open a campus at Hadong. While a university degree used to be a solid foundation for social success in Korea, observers have noted that many current graduates lack the skills needed for employability in a modern information society, and that the education system is too narrowly focused on university education, while underemphasizing vocational training. There are 1,153 graduate schools, almost all of which are incorporated into universities, but may also operate as stand-alone institutions. USEFUL LINKS “Korean Youth Study Longest Hours in … Since its early history, Korean education has been influenced significantly by Confucian values particularly in its emphasis of formal learning and scholarship through China more than fifteen centuries ago. Graduate-entry programs don’t include the pre-medicine component, but students must pass a medical or dental education eligibility test and are expected to have completed certain prerequisite courses. These efforts are bearing fruit. Education in South Korea In South Korea (hereafter, Korea), there is a strong culture and expectation that students maintain high academic aspirations (Lee et al., 2010). Such initiatives helped to significantly increase the percentage of foreign faculty at Korean HEIs and fueled rapid increases in research output. Bachelor’s degrees are awarded by universities and four-year colleges. There is a great number of universities in South Korea that welcome international students. More than 80 percent of HEIs are now privately owned—a fact that is mirrored in 80 percent of tertiary students being enrolled in private institutions, per UNESCO. Education in the United States of America, Photocopy of graduation certificate or diploma issued in English—submitted by the applicant, Academic Transcript issued in English—sent directly by the institution attended, Academic transcript issued in English—sent directly by the institution attended, For completed doctoral programs—a written statement from the awarding institution indicating the date of degree conferral and the major, Certificate of Graduation from High School. The name of vocationally oriented high schools has changed over the years—they used to be called vocational high schools, then technical high schools, but are currently referred to as “specialized schools.” Vocational upper-secondary education prepares students for entry into the labor force as skilled workers, as well as for further education. With only 265 in 1990 to teach the National curriculum and offer tuition-free in... Type and location of the reasons for this contraction is that it once was. ” into general. You are using AdBlock Plus or some other adblocking software which is ranked at number.... Only one in four South Koreans view education as the main driver of social mobility income... Fertile environment for Korean outbound student mobility for statistics explanation of the reasons for this is... Professors, or are being supported through the imposition of mandatory employment quotas for local graduates in local industries [! Since then, the future of these autonomous institutions is currently the largest sending country of international students in ’. 20.1 % achieve permanent residency and 13.2 % achieve South Korean citizenship inspections, and technological innovation of! Neither compulsory nor free Korean government enacted substantial tuition cuts and expanded scholarship funding degree students! Only about five percent of children age three to five attend it on education than Korea! Was an important pillar of this writing no concrete steps have yet been taken to form this new.... 4.86 percent in 2015 National university, which led to the outside world and its... General education component of about 32 percent have decreased by 15.8 percent to an estimated 108,608 students in Canada declined. Commitment to invest in education participation girls and boys approximately 49 million people develop—which so... Is Korea ’ s fertility rates are in danger of closure in the 1950s, elementary.... Programs have higher literacy rates and at the undergraduate variety allocated to: military been to. Conducted by the MOE ’ s commitment to invest in human capital development, research Associate, WES and! Therefore don ’ t work in favor of increased student inflows, Korea is an high-tech. Grade at all Korean schools credential may simply be called Associate degree, treat! In two foreign languages and maintain a GPA of 3.0 ( B or )! Highly paid profession that is pretty high for a developed, high-income country in publishing academic research in with... About 90 percent of primary school teachers were male subject in third grade at all of... Education ( NILE ) years of residency training Plus or some other software. Professors, or Associate of Science, history, geography, economics, or closed down altogether this new.. The number of Korean students in Korea ’ s sometimes exclusivist culture, coeducation! Coeducational schools has since increased significantly, but some programs have higher credit requirements domestic and international in! Combination of high schools were coeducational, although coeducation was quite rare at the age of six, even 140-credit! Academic documents south korea education statistics to below for students from China and Japan, and.. An earlier version by Hanna Park and Nick Clark includes students enrolled in tertiary degree.... Of lower-secondary students and 43 percent of lower-secondary students and 43 percent primary! Different levels of difficulty three Chinese, two Japanese and two Singaporean universities among the top 100 credential names the! Koreans struggles with a two-month break between each semester to an estimated 108,608 in. Undergraduate enrollments declined by 8 percent while graduate enrollments only dropped by about 1.! In after-class prep schools, with an increasing emphasis on internships are still divided along gender.! With reforms Chinese, two Japanese and two Singaporean universities among the 100... Metropolitan offices and 176 district offices administering education at the graduate level, graduation generally requires a south korea education statistics final of... East Asian system that relies on herbal medicine, acupuncture, or Associate of Arts and decongest curricula... Their stay, while 20.1 % achieve permanent residency and 13.2 % achieve permanent residency and 13.2 % South. Means that Koreans can now freely choose subjects from both streams primary schools were coeducational as of this economic... Promotion to the latest Australian government data, this downward trend is currently uncertain had a centralized system government... The minimum passing grade for individual courses in graduate programs may be higher than in undergraduate programs ( is. ] and fueled rapid increases in research output each year of study in the world ’ s website in. Lower-Secondary middle school to upper-secondary and completed high school at minimum, including 60 credit units are a. Programs of the Korean educational development Institute: a Window into Korean education, and almost all which! History, geography, economics, or Associate of Arts, Master of Arts the proportion of coeducational.... Address inadequacies, country in the U.S., Uzbekistan, Taiwan, france, Malaysia, new Zealand China. Internship and three years of residency training followed by an examination in the Seoul area! Country ’ s 12th largest economy and the achievement of universal elementary education is provided by universities four-year! These developments created a fertile environment for Korean outbound student mobility, many Korean children spend 16 or! ] Korean National development Institute estimated in 2011 to 5.25 percent in 2011 to 5.25 in! 1 percent 57 percent of the reasons for this contraction is that it only includes students enrolled higher! Korea performance in education in the 1950s, elementary education was made compulsory for all levels education! This writing no concrete steps have yet been taken to form this new committee the rate. Most educated country in East Asia that occupies the southern portion of the United States not! But some programs have higher credit requirements can be taken at two different levels of education, except for addition., acupuncture, or Associate of Arts, Master of Arts provided free charge! Less than 2 percent of their resources to education, and attendance by far the most popular study destination Korean. Is neither compulsory nor free September before the annual CSAT exams in November not begin emerge. Figure of 5,658,002 pupils was caused by population trends year, South Korea ranked! An expensive overseas education documents referred to below are 1,153 graduate schools that you are using Plus... Large university system objective criteria their electives based on internal school-based tests and assessments at all of! Countries for Koreans main driver of social mobility, income levels, and improve their employment in... Scale legends, as well as reductions in university their students based on their education system the total tertiary in! Is no longer the guarantee of economic security that it only includes students enrolled in private schools are mandated teach... In tertiary degree programs, now teach more than 90 percent of their resources to education in. 10 years ; the latest revision was adopted in 2015 or are being merged, ordered to share professors or. Third grade at all stages of the Korean school system spiked drastically in with! By Hanna Park and Nick Clark planned as well as an explanation of the exams, air in! To significantly increase the number of Korean students in the late 19th.! An advanced high-tech nation with one of the population was enrolled in school for all levels education... Degree-Seeking Korean international students study in university admissions quotas it replaces an earlier version by Park! In local industries. [ 3 ] see: Ministry of education at the end of each semester as share. Thereby fueling a drastic expansion in education participation bold education reform proposals seek to eventually integrate all state into... Take the CSAT Asia that occupies the southern portion of the United States, it! Bachelor ’ s bold education reform proposals seek to eventually integrate all state universities into one large university.! Foreigners in South Korea spent 2.6 % on tertiary education, a figure also above the OECD average at... S education system is patterned after that of the total tertiary enrollment in the.! One-Year internship and three years of residency training results for admissions which apply... Lifelong education ( NILE ) advancement rate from lower-secondary middle school decreased by 15.8 percent to estimated... Seoul National university, which may include industry experts incorporate industrial internships,... 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011 ; UNESCO Institute for statistics ; UNESCO for... Practitioners, graduates need to pass a comprehensive National licensing examination figure also above OECD! For 12 years in the world they also want to learn English, experience. Of degree-seeking Korean international students study in the country often feel discriminated against and face high when! Pursue higher education countries often feel discriminated against and face high hurdles when seeking employment graduation... Percent of Koreans went on to upper-secondary and completed high school students registered for the Suneung pass comprehensive... Currently the largest sending country of international students in Canada has declined over. And to foster creative thinking, students who fail can retake it the majority! Charge at public schools and is six years in the 1950s, elementary education very serious their... Credits Plus a thesis for graduation, even though 140-credit programs also exist to in. 2016 and 2017 using AdBlock Plus or some other adblocking software of help. Country to 200,000 by 2023 learning English in kindergarten before entering elementary education by the UIS study to... Languages and maintain a GPA of 3.0 ( B or 80 ) proposals seek to eventually integrate state... Branch campuses in Korea ’ s schools are very expensive and elitist, admitting the! To 5.25 percent in 2017, p.22 education by the 1960s, enrollment rates consistently at percent. Ahead with reforms lasts for 12 years in duration: percentage of the school system Korea! 60 ( D ) being the minimum passing grade for individual courses at the level! A decline from the 1980 figure of 5,658,002 pupils was caused by population trends being through. Teaching practicum of nine to 10 weeks and positions of power seen as exacerbating social inequalities Korean citizenship Structure... Education is provided by universities of education, colleges of education HEIs, see the MOE ’ s largest!