Gov’t unveils evaluation of int’l student colleges

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Gov’t unveils evaluation of int’l student colleges

A new government certification program will evaluate how well the nation’s colleges support their international students and penalize schools that fail to do so, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology announced yesterday.

The government’s initiative comes in light of worries that some schools lure international students to fill their coffers and classroom seats yet fail to provide them with adequate academic and social support.

At the end of the year, the certification will be used to name the bottom 10 to 15 colleges that fail to meet standards. In turn, the ministry will prohibit visa issuance for international students at those schools.

Next year, the ministry plans to increase the number of schools that will face visa restrictions to 30.

Schools certified as being capable of supporting international students will receive government benefits, including financial support for international student scholarships.

Financial support for international students will only be provided to schools that meet the certification standards, the ministry said.

Furthermore, the ministry by the end of the year will conduct on-site evaluations of the bottom 15 percent of colleges, whose names will be kept confidential, based on the certification program, according to Kwon Min-kyung from the ministry.

Starting next year, the ministry said it will publicly name the country’s best and worst colleges with regards to international student support.

Until then, the ministry will only disclose a list of the best schools, which it plans to do next month.

The ministry’s new certification program will begin today and evaluate 196 four-year and junior colleges nationwide that admit international students. Schools must apply to be certified in order to be evaluated.

The criteria used to evaluate schools includes retention rate, diversity of nationalities and whether international students received excessive tuition breaks from schools hoping to fill their seats.

Four-year colleges with fewer than 20 international students along with junior colleges with fewer than 10 international students will not be eligible to apply for the certification.

In addition, 17 colleges previously deemed to be poorly managed, whose students face restrictions on government student loans starting next year, and colleges with more than a 20 percent dropout rate for their international students will not be eligible.


By Yim Seung-hye [sharon@joongang.co.kr]

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