Universities attracting foreign students for survival

The decreasing population due to the lowest-ever birthrate in South Korea has already caused multiple social problems and the low number of students at universities is a prominent issue. It has naturally led many universities to turn their eye towards a new business – attracting students from outside the country, writes Kim Jae-heun for The Korea Times.

The 2018 statistics on overall enrolment of new undergraduates in the country show the lowest numbers since 2010. Only 311,125 freshmen entered college this year, according to the Ministry of Education. The total number of students currently at universities also was the lowest in eight years, 2.03 million, which is 20,583 down from 2017.

Since 2013, the government has cut down on recruitment at substandard universities as part of its college restructuring plans to cope with the decreasing number of students. This trend has brought an alarming decline in local universities’ income on tuition fees and has led many universities to try to attract students from outside the country. Between 2006 and 2017 the number of foreign students rose from 32,557 to 123,858, up 280%.
Full report on The Korea Times site