Korean Universities Lag in Reputation Among Employers

      June 15, 2016 11:09

      The reputation of Korean universities among employers has not improved for several years, according to the Asian university rankings by the Chosun Ilbo and Quacquarelli Symonds.

      Employer reputation is an indicator based on a global survey of how Korean and foreign firms assess university graduates. Some 44,226 personnel managers around the world were asked to make a list of universities from which able employees graduated.

      Graduates from the top 10 Korean universities barely managed a combined average ranking of 29.8th this year, a little higher than last year's 31.2th but way behind Japan's 25.5th and with Chinese universities in hot pursuit at 31.4th.

      The top 10 Chinese universities ranked a poor 81.4th in employer reputation in 2010, far below Korean universities, but they almost closed the gap this year.

      Students attend a job fair for foreign companies.

      One reason is that the English proficiency of Korean graduates is much poorer than their paper scores would suggest.

      An executive from a financial firm in Hong Kong said, "Korean university graduates are no different from graduates of Hong Kong or Singaporean universities in abilities, but they lag far behind in English proficiency."

      One important factor affecting employer reputation is internationalization, and Korean universities did not distinguish themselves in that area. Internationalization is measured based on the proportion of staff and students who are classed as international.

      Korea University of Foreign Studies topped the list in Korea but ranked 13th in Asia. Next came Hanyang University (18th), Korea University (25th), Yonsei University (32nd). Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST, 46th) and Seoul National University (60th).

      Top Asian universities with a high internationalization score include many in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

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