One in three students interrupts studies

Nearly one million university students have taken sabbaticals or a year off from their studies, according to figures released by the Korean Educational Development Institute, or KEDI, reports The Chosun Ilbo. KEDI said 932,703 students had taken an extended leave of absence as of 1 April. This represented one in three of the 2.98 million university students nationwide.

Sabbaticals are becoming increasingly commonplace as students either attempt to get a leg-up in a ferociously competitive and over-saturated job market by getting certificates related to their future jobs and seeking work experience or internships, or to save money to pay for exorbitant tuition fees.

Since the number exceeded 900,000 for the first time in 2001 it has not retreated below this level. A survey by the Chosun Ilbo of 8,069 departments in 216 four-year universities over the past month also found that 95 of the institutions, or 44%, see more than 30% of their students take a leave of absence.
Full report on The Chosun Ilbo site