22 September 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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SOUTH KOREA: Universities brace for fewer students

Private universities in Korea are preparing for declining revenues due to a persistently low birthrate, mirroring the situation in Japan, which has seen a string of bankruptcies among private colleges due to the same problem, reports The Chosunilbo.

According to Statistics Korea, the number of 18-year-olds in Korea inched up from 624,000 in 2005 to 701,400 in 2010 but will start dropping this year. Shin Hea-yong, a mathematics professor at Chungang University, said: "The number of high school graduates has risen over the past few years, but will start declining for the next 10 years, and universities are scurrying to recruit new students."

By 2018, some universities could face closure due to a dearth of students, because the number of high school graduates will decline by around 52,000 from the 580,000 students currently enrolled in universities and two-year colleges. With the university entrance rate at 80% among high school graduates, that boils down to around 420,000 students. If these students fill the 350,000 slots at four-year universities, there would only be 70,000 left for two-year colleges, which have up to 220,000 places to fill.
Full report on The Chosunilbo site
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