August 07, 2019 13:22
The college-age population has declined drastically as the country's birthrate dropped to one of the world's lowest.
By 2024 there will be 124,000 or a quarter fewer freshmen than at the moment, according to a projection from the Education Ministry on Tuesday.
"It'll be inevitable to adjust the university quota because of the rapidly declining population," the ministry said.
The college-age population will shrink by about 152,700 over the next five years from 526,267 in 2019 to 373,470 in 2024.
Supposing the quota of 497,000 for academic year 2018 is maintained, universities will suffer a massive shortage of new students.
But the ministry said that it will revoke the current system whereby the lowest-ranked degree mills are forced to cut their intake by 10 to 35 percent based on evaluation and allow universities to slash their own quota, staring in 2022.
Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae told reporters, "When the Park Geun-hye administration forcibly cut the freshmen quota by more than 40,000, it caused more problems than benefits. The government can't simply cut 124,000 places on its own."
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