More Foreigners Study in Korea But Fewer Koreans Abroad

  • By You So-yeon

    December 02, 2019 10:47

    The number of foreign students in Korea has surpassed 160,000, a record high, while the number of Koreans studying abroad has hit a 12-year low of 210,000.

    A total of 160,165 foreigners were studying at universities here as of April this year, according to data published by the Education Ministry on Sunday. In 1988, just before the Seoul Summer Olympics, their number stood at a mere 1,000, but it grew rapidly to 10,000 in 2004 to 100,000 in 2016.

    That was mainly due to Korean universities launching aggressive recruitment campaigns to attract foreign students as domestic intake dwindled because of the low birthrate.

    Most came from China with 44.4 percent (71,067), followed by Vietnam with 34,426 (23.4 percent), Uzbekistan with 7,482 (4.7 percent) and Mongolia with 7,381 (4.6 percent).

    Meanwhile the number of Korean students abroad dropped to the lowest point since 2007 with just 213,000. Most study in the U.S. with 54,555 or 25.6 percent, followed by China with 50,600 (23.8 percent), Australia with 18,766 (8.8 percent), and Japan with 17,012 (7.7 percent).

    Oh Jong-woon at Jongro Haneul Education said, "The number has dwindled because studying abroad no longer offers good value for money and the recession has also taken a toll" on parents' finances.

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