Higher Education in Korea
The Korean education is a single-track system, which operates on 6-3-3-4 basis, with six years of elementary school, three years of middle school, three years of high school, and four years at the undergraduate university level . There are nine years of compulsory education, including the six years of elementary school and three years of middle school. One academic year has two semesters, the first semester is from March to August and the second from September to February. There are two vacations, in summer from July to August and in winter from December to February.
Higher education institutions in Korea are largely divided into junior colleges (2~3 year program), universities (4-year program) and graduate schools. In recent years, with the development of information and communication technologies, cyber universities that deliver education in the format of e-learning are also growing. Graduate-level programs (master's and doctoral degree programs) are generally provided at 4-year universities. But recently, separate 'graduate schools' are also being established to exclusively offer graduate programs with no affiliations to universities. By establishment type, Korean universities are divided into national universities, which are established and operated by the central government, public universities that are established by local governments and private universities which are founded by private non-profit educational foundations.
To promote quality assurance, the Ministry of Education imposes certain requirements for higher education institutions with regard to faculty composition, curriculum, facilities, degree conferment, etc. Therefore, all private universities, which take up the largest share of higher education institutions in Korea, are regular educational institutions which have fulfilled the ministry's established requirements and have acquired official accreditation.
The Ministry of Education and Korean universities have been actively promoting ‘Study in Korea’ with a view toward increasing international competitiveness, international exchanges and cooperation. As of April 2016, there are roughly 104,000 international students studying in Korea, among which 63,000 students are in degree programs.
Universities & Colleges
Korean universities and colleges offer the following courses.
|Degree Program||Foreign students can join a degree program offered during the regular semesters with Korean students. Degree programs are taught either in Korean or English, After completion, a degree is awarded.|
|Most higher education institutions offer student exchange programs based on academic agreements with universities overseas.|
|Summer/Winter Program||Universities run summer and winter programs offering regular courses and Korean language courses.|
|Courses taught in English||As many Korean universities are keen on internationalization, approximately 30% of courses are taught in English, some universities have a Department of International Studies, which teaches all the courses in English.|
|Korean Language Courses||
Many universities have Korean language institutes which offer Korean language courses.
Short intensive courses for three to four weeks aim to improve communication skills. 10 to 40 week intensive programs improve student-'s' communication skills through many practical assignments and cultural activities, which will also enhance the student-'s' understanding about Korea.
Graduate schools are divided into general graduate schools within universities which offer academic programs and professional graduate schools which offer practical skills. Master's programs require two or more years of study and 24 academic credits in general. Upon earning all required credits, students must pass a qualification exam, after which they should write and submit their master's thesis. Doctoral programs require three or more years of study and 36 credits in general. After earning all required credits, students must pass a comprehensive qualification exam and write a doctoral thesis. Graduate schools also offer post-doctoral programs for those who want to continue research after acquiring a doctoral degree.
General Information about academic affairs
|Course Registration||Every year students should register for courses of their choice.|
|Course Evaluation||All the end of a semester, students can make comments and evaluations for their enrolled courses.|
|During the vacation periods, students can take winter and/or summer school courses for a month, takingregular courses or re-takingcourses in which a failing grade was received.|
|Leave of Absence||After getting permission from a school for a leave of absence, students must leave Korea within 15 days of approval.|
|Re-registration||Students have to apply for re-registration to restart their studies after the leave of absence.|
|Academic Warning||Students receive an academic warning when not having met the minimum requirement of academic competency, which is usually maintaining a GPA of above 1.5~2.0 out of 4.5 but differs depending on specific school regulations. When three warnings have been given, students will be dismissed from the school, which can cause problems for visa extension.|
|Changing Major||Students can change their major with the school approval.|
|Double majors/Dual degree||
Students can apply for double major/dual degree programs.
If she/he satisfies all required condition, double degrees can be granted.
|English Courses||Some courses are delivered 100% in English. Recently many Korean universities have increased the number of English courses to, include more than 100 English courses offered per semester.|
|Dismissal||For various reasons, students can be removed from a school register.|
|Withdrawal||Students can withdraw from a school by submitting the required documents.|