South Korea unveils 5-year plan to attract 300,000 foreign students

South Korea’s Ministry of Education on Wednesday unfolded a five-year plan which has a goal to attract 300,000 international students to handle the country’s quickly reducing school-age population and polish the competitiveness of local universities already reeling from enrolment shortages. To bring more foreign students to enrol in South Korean universities, the Education Ministry plans to revise the International Education Quality Assurance System, which states clearly that more than 30 per cent of foreign first-year students must be level-two or level-three holders of the Test of Proficiency in Korean (Topik).

The ministry will also be working on lifting the need whilst polishing education on Korean language and culture. It will be working on the idea of making Topik exam accessible online. It will also collaborate with the Culture Ministry to cater to increasing requirement for Korean language learning. Understanding the very long decline in birth rate, resulting to labour shortages and a workforce impacted by brain drain, the ministry said it would attract foreign students that are very good in science, technology and engineering to boost the nation’s high-tech industries.

To get wonderful talent, the ministry aims to increase  state scholarships for students from nations with a lot of demand for financial collaboration  with South Korea. These involve Poland – known for its aerospace and defence industries – and the United Arab Emirates, which has a large nuclear energy sector.