Korean Studies Programs Abroad Mushroom

  • By Yoo Seog-jae

    January 23, 2018 10:57

    The number of foreign institutions that run Korean studies programs more than doubled from 632 in 55 countries in 2007 to 1,348 in 105 countries last year. Back in 1990, there were only 151 in 32 nations.

    The figures come from a report by the Korea Foundation published Monday.

    The biggest growth happened in the Middle East, which saw a 3.8-fold increase from eight in seven countries in 2007 to 30 in 12 countries in 2017. In the U.S. and Canada, the lead is taken by the universities of California at Los Angeles, Hawaii, Michigan, British Columbia and Toronto, each employing more than seven full-time professors.

    The average number of students at Korean language departments at European universities soared from 20 to 100 over the decade. Korean language departments at Chinese universities mushroomed from 20 in 1995 to 271 last year.

    In Japan where there are about 1,000 academics teaching Korean studies, the scope of programs now encompasses demographics, politics, education and public administration.

    Disciplines under the Korean studies umbrella has expanded from language and arts to politics, economics and international relations as well as pop culture.

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