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Study Korea 300K Project aiming to attract 300,000 Foreign Students by 2027

Jun 24, 2024

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In a strategic move to further strengthen its global standing in higher education, the South Korean Government has announced an ambitious plan that aims to attract 300,000 foreign students by 2027.  Named as the ‘Study Korea 300K Project’, the plan highlights new measures to welcome a massive influx of international students at this leading Asian study destination. 

Until June 2023, South Korea experienced a staggering surge in international enrolments with 207,125 foreign students enrolling for the academic year. It indicated an impressive 17.6% year-over-year growth. With the new goal of 3,00,000 foreign student enrolments, a significant 30% increase is anticipated over the next five years.

Aiming to be one of the world’s top 10 study abroad destinations by 2027, the Government of South Korea has announced various initiatives for international students. These initiatives will be highly beneficial for students looking forward to studying in South Korea as well as for Recruiters in the sector. 

Strategic Expansion of Scholarships & STEM Focus

A foundation step of the Study Korea 300K Project is the expansion of the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) program. The government plans to double the scholarships for students in STEM fields. Additionally, there is a concerted effort to encourage enrolment in universities outside the bustling metropolis of Seoul, aiming to distribute educational opportunities more evenly across the country.

Scholarship allocations will be strategically increased for students from specific countries. For instance, there will be higher quotas for Polish and Emirati students interested in defence and nuclear technology. Similarly, India and Pakistan will see an increase in scholarships due to the high demand for STEM programs. 

This strategy aims to diversify the international student community, which has been predominantly composed of students from China, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan, mainly enrolled in humanities programs.

Furthermore, the Government has allocated 6,000 scholarships exclusively for students pursuing non-science disciplines, ensuring a balanced approach to educational incentives.

Easing Language Proficiency Requirements

The government is also considering adjustments to the International Education Quality Assurance System, potentially lowering the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) requirements to Level 3. 

This change aims to make Korean higher education more accessible, though it has sparked some debate among university stakeholders. Critics argue that lowering language standards could impact the academic performance and integration of international students, highlighting the need for a balanced approach.

Additional Support Measures

Beyond the measures and adjustments mentioned above, the Government is introducing several other supportive measures. These include lowering the minimum bank balance required for student visas and increasing the allowable work hours for international students. 

These changes are designed to make studying in South Korea more financially feasible and enticing for prospective students.

Enhanced Employment Prospects & Pathways to Permanent Residency

To make South Korea an even more attractive destination for international students, the government plans to streamline and fast-track the process for obtaining permanent residency. 

International students graduating with Korean degrees will have their residency application period reduced from six years to three. This measure will significantly enhance the post-graduation prospects for international students. This initiative is designed to retain talented graduates within the country, contributing to the local workforce and economy.

The Study Korea 300K Project presents an unmatched opportunity for study abroad aspirants and recruiters. With substantial scholarships, improved work and residency options, and a strong emphasis on STEM education, South Korea is undoubtedly becoming one of the best Asian Countries to study for international students. 

South Korea’s proactive measures come at a time of intense regional competition as neighbouring countries like Japan and Taiwan also strive to attract international students, particularly in STEM fields. These countries are enhancing their educational offerings through expanded English-medium instruction and streamlined pathways to permanent residency, adding to the competitive landscape.

This is the moment to guide study abroad aspirants towards the countless educational and professional opportunities South Korea offers.  For any additional student recruitment support study abroad recruiters can connect to KC Overseas Education.

We at KC Overseas provide end-to-end Student Recruitment Services to Recruiters who collaborate with us, thereby making the process quite streamlined and hassle-free. 

By working together, we can better serve the evolving needs of International Students, ensuring mutual growth and success in this dynamic industry. So, let’s collaborate and share the best practices, to provide an enriching experience to study abroad aspirants.

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