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UK universities urged to compete for Korean students

UK universities urged to compete for Korean students

A new report has urged UK universities to tap into the growing market in South Korea for overseas education. 

The report, produced by the British Council and the British Embassy in Seoul, urges the UK sector to compete with American Ivy League institutions and build close links with South Korea, where families spend a great deal on education. 

Doing so would enable UK institutions to benefit from fee income from Korea's students, from its sizeable science investment and from closer ties with its future leaders, the report says. 

South Korea, with a population of about 49 million, has 105,000 students studying abroad, the report notes. That total is exceeded only by China (450,000 students) and India (150,000), both nations with populations of more than a billion. 

The report published in International Focus, the UK Higher Education International Unit's electronic newsletter, looks closely on the so-called "Sky" triumvirate of the nation's leading universities (Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University), a group now augmented by the specialist science and engineering institution, KAIST. 

The report argues that UK universities could tap into the demand from the chaebol for well-connected graduates who are fluent in English. British institutions could offer “an 18-month course beginning with language training and leading to an MA following their first degree”, it says. 

The report adds: “This could be taken immediately after Sky-KAIST graduation when the Korean network has been sufficiently embedded.” 

Posted by Jacqui Fox

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