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ERIC Number: EJ847848
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun-26
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
South Korea Powers Ahead with Globalization Plans
McNeill, David
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n40 pA1 Jun 2009
For government officials in South Korea, it's a vision worth savoring: Within the next decade, South Korea becomes Southeast Asia's top higher-education destination, poaching thousands of Chinese, Indian, and Japanese students from American universities and overtaking rivals Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. The higher-education system's historical insularity fades away. A handful of South Korean universities climb into the premier global academic league. Local students elect to stay at home to attend a branch campus of an American college. Grandiose visions of the future often evaporate in the heat of an economic meltdown, and this one has its share of skeptics. Yet amid the wreckage of Asia's worst slump since World War II, the South Korean government is powering ahead with plans to transform the nation's higher-education system. South Korea has signed pledges of cooperation with American colleges and lured hundreds of foreign professors to what was once considered an educational backwater. The government believes it can propel its best universities into the world's top 50 and stem the flow of students out of the country. These plans, including a state-backed project to build a new "global" university from scratch in partnership with up to half a dozen American institutions, will not be affected by the recession, claim their architects. South Korea has pledged about $600-million over the next five years to its World Class University project, a ministry-of-education-led bid to raise the quality of research at 30 universities. Nine Nobel Prize winners, including the 2006 chemistry laureate Roger D. Kornberg, are among the 81 foreign researchers set to take positions in the country. BrainKorea21, a project aimed at creating "centers of excellence" in information technology, bioengineering, and other "knowledge-based" fields, has been promised $2.3-billion before 2012, in addition to the $1.4-billion invested from 1999-2005. Critics remain unconvinced, however, that these strategies will help South Korea overcome a crippling handicap in original research.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Korea