An increasing number of foreign students are staying on and looking for jobs in Korea after they finish their studies, and businesses and regional governments are seeking out foreign employees. The Daejeon city government was the first to hold a recruitment drive for foreign students last November.
In a survey of 373 Chinese students at Korean universities last year, the Institute for International Trade found that one out of every five respondents, or 17.8 percent, expressed the desire to find a job with a Korean company after graduation. Of those who wanted to work here, two-thirds said they would consider working for small and medium-sized enterprises -- whereas Koreans tend to prefer big corporations.
There is an increasing demand for talented foreign manpower in the wake of the globalization of the Korean economy, and foreign students are lured by higher salaries here than in their home countries.
According to data released by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the number of foreign students has risen by 35.5 percent on annual average from 23,000 in 2005 to 84,000 in 2010. The ministry expects the number to reach nearly 100,000 in 2012.