Smaller universities merge for survival

The government of South Korea wants to shut down universities that cannot attract enough students. As a result, universities and colleges in South Korea are merging and reorganising as they fight for survival, writes Tomoko Tamasita for The Asahi Shimbun.

South Korea saw an increase in the number of universities in the 1990s in response to societal demands for a better educated populace. At the same time, though, another problem emerged – some of these new institutions were just not cut out to survive as universities. In 2004, the government introduced a restructuring plan to tackle the issue of ‘bad universities’.

According to a South Korean research institute, five universities have been forced to close their doors since 2004, while an additional 40 have been pegged for restructuring. After peaking in 2012, the number of high school graduates in South Korea began falling to hit 630,000 in 2013. At that time, there were 560,000 university places waiting for them. However, in 2018 the number of places will come close to topping the number of school-leavers.
Full report on The Asahi Shimbun site