Study in Korea: Korean Universities AIM to Top up 2,00,000 Overseas Students

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New funding and policy initiatives by the Government in support of the goal including easing visa restrictions for overseas students. Also, increase in employment opportunities and expansion of English taught programmes.

According to the data released by Korea Immigration Service, higher institutions in South Korea hosted more than 2,00,000 for the first time in February. Also, South Korea is expanding overseas student enrollment from 85,000 to 2,00,000 at present by 2023. This target also aims to reverse a trend of declining foreign enrollment from a record-high of 89,537 students in 2011 to 84,891 last year. 


Approximately; 2,05,167 overseas students at higher education institutions in Korea including those on long-term Korean language programmes. The February total represented a 5.4 per cent of total increase as compared to the previous month. However, rising student numbers from China fuelled much of this growth. Also, Chinese students accounted for 76% of foreign enrollment in Korea by the year 2010 with the regional markets notably – Mongolia, Japan and Vietnam. 

The government is planning a package of new initiatives in support of its 2,00,000 student target, including the following:

  • Expansion of English-taught programmes, particularly in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
  • Funding of 18.8 billion won (US$16 million) in 2015 to support recruitment and marketing efforts of Korean Universities.
  • New regulations permit Korean universities to open new programmes and departments exclusively for foreign students. 
  • Increased employment support for overseas students who wish to stay in Korea to work after their graduation. 
  • Funding of a six-week scholarship programme that will bring students from other Asian countries to study in Korea. 

Moreover, by Visa type 1,46,053 students, out of these 71.1 who enrolled were on D-2 student visas for academic study whereas, other 59,091 students held D-4-1 visas for studying the Korean language. 

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