South Korea Hosts 200,000 Foreign Students

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By Education Today

Posted on May 11, 2023


2 min read

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The information was made public by the Korean Educational Development Institute in response to the nation’s immigration service’s declaration that Korea had reached 200,000 overseas students. By enrolling 205,167 foreign students in March 2023, the nation achieved its goal of hosting 200,000 foreign students by that year, which was set in 2015. By 2020, 200,000 university students were to be housed, according to a former ministry of education goal from 2011, but this goal was later altered. In April 2022, there were 166,892 students enrolled in Korean colleges, up just under 10% from 2021 when there were over 152,000 foreign students. 

The numbers demonstrate a recovery following the closure of borders during the Covid epidemic.”The resilience of Korean higher education is highlighted by the slight decline in student recruitment during the pandemic, decreasing to 153,695 in 2020, and 152,281 in 2021,” Kyuseok Kim, a team leader from the State University of New York’s Korea Campus, told The PIE News. These figures quickly recovered and exceeded pre-pandemic levels despite the global crisis, demonstrating the strength of Korea’s foreign education sector. 

On May 7, shortly after the data was made public, the nation’s ministry of education also declared it would establish a new section to serve international students. “The new division will cater to international students, partner with universities to create new programmes, and ease visa restrictions for international students,” a ministry official said. Several documents, particularly those demonstrating financial stability, are required as part of the current application procedure for a student visa. 

The section, which will initially have seven employees, has been established under the auspices of the nation’s Global Education Planning Bureau. KEDI records show that China sent the most students to Korea last year, accounting for 40% of the total. Surprisingly, Vietnamese students improved, making up just under 23% of the total, an increase of about 6% from the previous year.