Ministry looks to attract more overseas students

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Ministry looks to attract more overseas students

Korean universities will establish majors and departments targeted just for foreign students, according to the Ministry of Education, in an attempt to create a more appealing study environment for people from overseas.

The Education Ministry on Tuesday proposed measures to expand its higher education projects to attract more overseas students to Korea.

There are currently 84,891 foreign students studying in Korea, and by 2023, the ministry hopes to increase this number to 200,000.

The program will target both foreign students and Koreans abroad.

Currently, schools including Kyung Hee University, Hanyang University and Konkuk University have lectures tailored just for foreign students, and the ministry plans to use these classes as models for its new programs.

Specialized majors would provide key lectures and required courses exclusively for foreign students alongside regular courses taken by Korean students.

Those courses include technical subjects in areas that make Korea economically competitive internationally such as IT, shipbuilding, nuclear energy and automobiles.

Universities will also offer classes that teach professional skills helpful towards employment in fields like welfare, hairdressing and automobile maintenance.

They will also focus on areas that expand upon Korea’s rapid development, in which officials from developing nations have shown interest.

At the same time, the ministry will also push for scholarships for full-time college students enrolled in Korean-language programs.

Because most foreign students are attracted to major cities, the Global Korea Scholarship program will be offering incentives for students at provincial universities starting this year with the aim to attract them to schools outside the metropolitan area.

The ministry hopes that at least 5 percent of the entire student population in higher education will be comprised of foreign students by 2023, a ministry official said.

BY SARAH KIM, CHUN IN-SUNG [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]

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