Regional universities stand empty as student numbers fall

The South Korean academic year kicked off at the start of March, with students flocking to university campuses across the country in their thousands to resume their studies or begin their higher education journey. But the further you head from Seoul, the fewer students you are likely to see, reports Korea JoongAng Daily.

Regional universities across the country are struggling with a chronic lack of students, leaving courses undersubscribed and, in the most extreme cases, schools forced to merge with each other to stay afloat or even close their doors completely.

The campus of a four-year private university in North Gyeongsang stood completely empty when the JoongAng Ilbo visited on 6 March, the first Monday after the school semester began. Classrooms at the university were empty and dark. The school this year had places for 633 freshmen, but only 74 people applied. Among the 20 departments at the university, 11 didn’t get a single applicant. When the school tried recruiting 440 students during the additional college admissions period, only 26 applied.
Full report on the KoreaJoongAng Daily site