Colleges Lack Tens of Thousands of Students

  • By Kwak Soo-keun, Park Se-mi

    May 21, 2021 10:33

    Universities and vocational colleges fell a record 40,586 students short of their enrollment quota this year, about three times as many as last year's.

    The freshmen enrollment rate fell to 91 percent, down six percentage points on-year.

    The Education Ministry on Thursday told schools to slash their recruitment quota voluntarily by next March or face having it cut by the government. It also warned that it will adopt a "three-strikes" rule for schools that consistently fail to meet their recruitment target.

    Schools of higher learning are expected to face a student shortage of a whopping 100,000 in 2024 unless their quotas are slashed.

    This year's shortfall had been expected, though not on this scale. The previous government cut admission quotas based on evaluations of schools, but the Moon Jae-in administration only told schools to use their own discretion.

    Admission quotas were cut by a mere 18,902 over the past four years although the school-age population dwindled by about 130,000 over the period. During the Park Geun-hye administration, admissions quotas were cut by 52,040 while the school-age population dwindled by some 70,000.

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