KOREA to host 200,000 foreign students

KOREA targets to host 200,000 foreign students by 2023

Several years back, Singapore and Malaysia were among the first Asian destinations to position themselves as regional hubs for students, but several other countries in the region have since rapidly increased their foreign enrolments. South Korea now hosts 123,850 foreign university students according to South Korea’s government-affiliated National Institute for International Education.

In 2017, 70,230 international students in South Korean universities were enrolled in degree programmes, while another 51,860 were enrolled in non-degree studies. South Korea’s target is 200,000 international students by 2023, and that goal will be well within reach at anything close to current growth rates.

The growth

South Korea has  introduced a series of policies and strategies designed to support the  growth trajectory;

  • New regulations to permit Korean universities to open departments and programmes exclusively for foreign students;
  • An expansion of English-taught programmes, particularly in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math);
  • Increased employment supports – including eased visa restrictions – for foreign students wanting to stay in South Korea to work after graduating;
  • Funding of 18.8 billion won (US$16 million) in 2015 to support the marketing and recruitment efforts of Korean universities;
  • Funding for scholarship programmes for students from other Asian countries.


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