Educational Crisis and Its Development Directions:
The Case of South Korea


by Professor Yang-Taek Lim

Dean of College of Economics and Finance

Hanyang University, Korea



Key words : Education, University, College, A knowledge-based Society, Competitiveness


I. Introduction


As human society steps towards a knowledge-based society, the required human abilities are changing. In the agricultural society, people who were physically strong and skillful were successful in the society. In the industrial society, people who had their own specialties or were good at businesses would succeed. In a knowledge-based society, a successful person is the one who owns 'knowledge'. Hence the word ‘knowledge’ means the ability to understand and manage information as well as to create 'new things', which will determine competitiveness.


How should individuals react to informationalization when human society progresses to a knowledge-based society? Hence, individuals in the society must strive to maintain their own competitiveness by acquiring additional ‘knowledge’ to enhance the ability to create ‘new things’. People must continue to strive to find new methods of working. Due to informationalization the method that an individual uses will quickly be revealed to others and it may easily be copied, Then, that method will no longer be competitive, and individuals will strive to create yet other new methods in order to maintain their own competitiveness.


What is the most effective method of maintaining knowledge? Among all of the institutions available, the university/college is the best place for developing knowledge effectively. That is why people in a knowledge-based society always attempt to maintain their knowledge with the support of the university/college. Recently, the university/college has been required to carry out not only the function of cultivating knowledge for undergraduate students, but also that of continuously maintaining knowledge for university/college graduates.


In the period of global village as a unified world, any individual or any nation cannot exist alone. Especially in a knowledge-based society, one cannot survive even though one is equipped with his or her own outstanding individual knowledge. It is because individual ability is not sufficient for competition without teamwork.


In the era globalization, collaboration should be ultimately formed between teams in the dimension of the global village. In the 21st century, we really need the people who are able to work together in this international dimension and to harmonize competition and mutual concession. Where does the wisdom of working together come from? It comes not only from the culture which provides a human being with the foundation of his or her growth, but also from the ability to understand and accept diverse, different cultures in the global village.


If the globalization trend is maintained and reinforced, the gap will be reduced between various cultures, which function to increase a sense of identity. But it will take us a long time to do so and, above all, it is uncertain that human beings will develop such a solid state of globalization. Furthermore, if a culture attempts to control or assimilate other cultures, such an attempt may bring about the reversal of the globalization process or its interruption. Therefore, globalization might be built on the assumption that different cultures exist in their various patterns. Globalization requires all the members of global village that they should be equipped with the ability to understand and accept various cultures.


In the globalized world, university/college education will cultivate a student's ability to understand and accept diverse cultures. The ability for working together does not just come from wisdom. It is also a matter of custom. It is necessary to work together as a daily experience. If they fall into the habit of collaborating with others having different cultures through university/college education and life, they will succeed in the globalized world. For this purpose, the university/college for the 21st century should teach students how to form good habits of collaboration through curricula or extra-curricula activities.


For example, the US focuses on communicative abilities, learning skills and self-development. Germany emphases the ability to understand various cultures, interpersonal relationships, foreign languages, learning technology and methodology and using media. England stresses communicative, information-processing and problem-solving abilities, interpersonal relationships, mathematical ability and foreign language skills. In Australia, the following abilities are emphasized: communicative skills, information-application, problem-solving, cooperation, planning and management skills, technical engineering, and understanding of various cultures.


II. The Role of the University/college in a Knowledge-based Society


As Pasinetti (1981) proclaimed that knowledge by learning is the clearest source of growth. A major source of learning in a given society is the university/college. A university/college creates knowledge  through education and research. Knowledge may also be created and maintained by business enterprises or governments, but such knowledge is very specific and limited. Hence, the university/college in a knowledge-based society is a key source of its competitiveness. A society can stay competitive only when knowledge is continuously created by the university/college.


(1) The government proposes to expand the opportunity for further and higher education. While a demand for learning is diverse and highly specialized, and while the necessity for re-education increases, the university/college is required to play a vital role in lifelong learning. In the future, the university/college will expand its function as a place for teaching undergraduates, the university/college graduates, and those who missed the opportunity for the university/college education. Gradually, the proportion of the non-degree learners to undergraduates will increase.


(2) The government proposes to reinforce a connection between learning and work places. A knowledge-based economy is a unified economy of working and learning. The government pays much attention to encouraging and supporting highly-qualified people to update their knowledge through continuing professional development and to apply it to their jobs.


(3) The government proposes to set up and operate individual learning accounts. This is a new strategy for mainly supporting lifelong learning for laborers - a program for supporting the investment in learning that the Department of Education in England is currently carrying forward. This system will allow England to positively encourage and support lifelong learning for laborers.


(4) The government proposes to expand investment in learning for adolescents. With the rapid increase of knowledge and information in a modern society, we are forced to learn more and more. It is true that the government has allowed every school to establish its own curriculum. But the government will determine the common curriculum for all citizens, which should be completed by every school. And the government will make great efforts to give adolescents the opportunity for continuous learning after graduating high school.


(5) By setting up Adult Learners' Week, the government will exert all possible efforts to emphasize the importance of adult education and to develop basic knowledge for comprehension and mathematical principles. Adult Learners' Week is to be held from 17 May 1999 to 23 May 1999, and its title is designated as "It's Never Late”. This program is to emphasize the necessity for adult education and to inspire and motivate learners.


III. Korean Education System


Korea has a single-track 6-3-3-4 school ladder system which maintains a single line of school levels in order to insure that every citizen can receive elementary, secondary, and tertiary education without discrimination and according to his or her ability. Korea’s school ladder system has preserved, with minor revision, the original form of its single-track system adopted at the time of the promulgation of the Education Law in 1949. However, an increasing demand for a more flexible school ladder system is rising due to the rapid expansion of pre-school education and lifelong education, along with the universal enrollment of elementary and secondary education and mass access to higher education.


Korea has achieved a remarkable success in expanding all levels of education during the last half a century. Universal primary education was accomplished by the late 1960s. Compulsory education has extended to the middle school. Literacy rate at the present time is about 98 percent. High school enrollment has reached a highest point in the year 2005, having about 92 percent of age cohort enrolled in the high school. The expansion of tertiary education was also prominent. Currently, more than 65 percent of age group is enrolled in some types of higher educational institutions. In spite of the impressive achievement in educational expansion, however, education in Korea is confronted with serious problems, which are explained below.


First, Korea’s education is still suffering from the shortage of teaching staffs and school facilities. While Korean government has tried to secure financial resources for the upgrading of the quality of education and a balanced development of various aspects of education, a majority of students, parents and teachers are not satisfied with the current education. The average number of students per classroom and the ratio of students to teaching staff in all levels of education are the highest among major OECD countries. The student-teacher ratio the in tertiary education level is especially high. A recent statistics have shown that the average number of students per faculty is about 71 for two-year colleges and above 45 for four-year universities (MOE & HRD and KEDI, 2005).


Secondly, another serious problem that Korea’s education is facing is excessive private tutoring and concomitant increase in private educational expenditure. As the competition for university/college entrance examination becomes intense, private tutoring has enormously increased throughout all levels of schooling. It is not unusual even for an ordinary primary school student in Korea to attend two or three different types of private tutoring institutes after school. According to a survey, Korean students spend about 22 hours per week for private tutoring. The number and length of private tutoring increase as students move upward in the school ladder system, reaching its peak in the 12th grade.


As private tutoring becomes an ordinary way of life for a majority of students in Korea, the financial burden for households with school age children has concomitantly increased. According to a news media, about one fourth of total households with school age children in Korea spend more than 20 percent of their annual income for private tutoring only in 2005. As a nation, it is estimated that the amount of money spent for private tutoring is about 1.5 to 2 percent of GNP in the same year.


Thirdly, the wide spread of private tutoring has also made a devastating impact on formal schooling. Since most students are not interested in school activities that are not helpful to improve the test scores for university/college entrance, the significance of formal school curriculum were reduced to the preparation for the entrance examination. Periodical revision of the curriculum seems to have little effect on the normalization and revitalization of teaching and learning activities in schools. As the effectiveness of school instruction for university/college entrance examination becomes questionable, students and parents are increasingly dissatisfied and distrustful of schools and teachers, resulting in so called “the collapse of school education.” According to the results of the PISA(Programme for International Student Assessment) 2003, 28 percent of Korean students agreed with the statement that schools have done little to prepare them for life and 10 percent of students considered schools a waste of time (OECD, 2004).


Being tired of endless and futile competition and of high cost of private tutoring, more and more students and parents are seeking for alternative educational opportunities abroad. The percentage of middle school students leaving Korea for their study abroad, for example, has rapidly increased from less than 0.05 percent in 1995 to about 0.29 percent in 2004. The cost of sending students abroad, for both a long-term study and short-term language training, was more than 4.5 billion US dollars per year in the early 2000s. Also, an increasing number of households with school age children are trying to immigrate to foreign countries such as the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand where their children can get better education with less competition. Immigration expos and agencies arranging abroad study programs are becoming a lucrative business in Korea. As a result, Korea showed the greatest educational deficit among OECD members during the time period of 2002~2004 (Korea Times, February 7, 2005).


The increasing private educational expenditure may have caused the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots in social classification system. According to a latest newspaper report, the private educational expenditure spent by the upper 10 percent of households is almost eight times more compared to that spent by the lowest 10 percent of households (Joongang Il-bo, August 9, 2005). As the academic achievement and the chance of getting into prestigious universities are likely to be influenced by students’ family background, Korea’s educational system is apparently becoming an institutional mechanism through which social class is legitimately reproduced.


Fourthly, in Korea, there are very popular words that every pupils heard so many times in their teens and believed the words : “you can enjoy life after you are accepted to university, so just study hard now.” Every time they felt tired studying and preparing for university entrance, such words encouraged them to go on. However, barely a month after entering universities, they realized that it was just an old fantasy about campus life. The reality is entirely different.


The image of blissfully-idle university/college students is a thing of the past. On campuses today students seem to study so much harder than in the past. The overheated atmosphere in university/college libraries show present-day students’ enthusiasm. Even freshmen, unlike in the past, never skip a lecture or homework. They really study hard and worry how difficult their first university/college exams will be.


On the surface, this change in campuses seems quite a positive development since in general, a hard-working student is well regarded. However, such a tendency also reveals an aspect of an excessively competitive society. Moreover, today’s students are really passive, just adapting themselves to their circumstances. Most of the hard-working students on campus are striving to achieve the same things: getting a job or passing examinations for higher office. They are not hard at work in pursuit of learning. Instead of intellectual goals, what they want are only good grades and brilliant careers. This is why the atmosphere in the library cools down as soon as universities/colleges exams end. Students greatly value a chance to join a good company that pays high salaries, and competition for such a chance is keen. Thus, it is hard to praise the intentions of today’s hard-working students.


Where then do their long-cherished childhood dreams go? The author thinks that today’s competitive society made them lose their own dreams. However, society shouldn’t shoulder all the blame. Students’ passivity bears scrutiny. Living in a society where only winners thrive, students become blind to where they are heading and what they really want. Instead, they do what the competitive society compels them to do. They have been so driven by the spirit of competition that they can not distinguish their own desires and values from what society tells them. What makes their situation worse is that they do not even bother to criticize the harsh competitive system in which they struggle, tired as they are of it. They just accept what they are dealt, and make desperate efforts to survive in this society like cowards.


In the 18th legislative elections held on April 9, 2008, the turnout of voters in their 20s, which includes most university/college students, were the lowest on record. This shows how much today’s students are indifferent toward social issues. One might say they are busy chasing good grades, although there might be another reason for the lowest turnout. This passive aspect of today’s students differentiates them from students in the past. Students in earlier years were much more critical of social problems. They knew more about what they want out of life, although they seemed to care less about learning. And they played an important role as they spearheaded movements for advancement and change in our society.


However, even if students in the past cared much about social issues and tried to bring about social progress, many problems are arising in today’s society led by them. What will the society of the future that we shape be like? The author is very worried about it.


IV. Suggestions for Reform in the Korean Education System


1. Provision of Autonomy to School


The Korea Ministry of Education, Science and Technology under the Lee Administration recently announced a plan to give the schools more autonomy. The plan has generated a considerable amount of controversy. Some opponents are rallying in protest. The government’s April 15 measure to give schools autonomy is a new opportunity to improve education in Korea. The education offices and schools must now work together to establish a new education system as soon as possible. Schools are not objects for experiments, after all. Each school must consider students first and implement curricula that will benefit students the most.


The central government has provided local education offices with the authority to oversee schools in their districts, but the local offices must not rule over schools as supervisors. Instead, local offices must ensure that schools have autonomy and support their autonomy. In addition, local offices have to help build networks among schools that have know-how on school management, such as Nonsan-Daegeon Senior High School or Seo Girls’ High School in Busan. Other schools will follow their lead.


The central government must not become complacent now that it has handed off its duties to local education offices and schools. The central government is still duty-bound to support underprivileged schools and students in farming and fishing villages and poor districts in urban areas. State-owned research institutes, such as the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation and the Korean Educational Development Institute, can identify examples of successful schools and help publish guidelines or organize consultations on how to run schools.


The purpose of giving schools autonomy is to create greater diversity in education. From now on schools don’t need to have standardized curricula and can offer choices. But new curricula must be drawn according to students’ demand, not according to the arbitrary and unilateral decisions of the head of the school. This is why schools that have autonomy must be kept in check and monitored through school evaluations. Autonomy and responsibilities come hand-in-hand. However, it may be questioned whether the Korean society has an environment in which school principals have the authority and accountability to run the schools and teachers can devote themselves to education, according to their conscience and conviction. The various educational demands of the students, parents and communities have never been sufficiently reflected in the operation of the schools.


So far, the Korea Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has issued various orders about the specifics of school operations, according to the Korea Elementary and Middle School Act. The principals were considered to be competent when they followed orders properly. In reality, many of Korean teachers feel sorry for the students because they could not afford to spend more time for them. Instead, the teachers have to deal with filling out more than 5,000 official documents every year.


Now, the Korean schools have to change and we should let them change. If Korea keeps the structure in which the central government gives orders and supervises details, then hoping Korean schools will provide a diverse and quality education is like looking for fish in trees. Therefore, we should not argue with the idea that giving schools autonomy means regulations on education will be lifted. It is reasonable to discuss how we can minimize the adverse side-effects and confusion that autonomy can bring to education and seek solutions.


The latest hands-off plan of the Korean government doesn’t mean the central government should slack off in its responsibility to educate the public. There should be sufficient administrative and financial assistance to reduce the gaps between schools in terms of their educational finances and facilities. Moreover, autonomy does not mean the central government’s responsibilities are simply handed over to the municipal and provincial boards of education. There would be no improvement if the boards of education were given expanded authority without making any substantial changes to the schools.


As schools are given increased autonomy, principals should feel more responsibility and reasonably accommodate the educational demands of the students, parents, the local community and educational groups to enhance satisfaction and create a happy learning ground for the students.


We are truly working for the sake of the students when we lift the various restrictions that have mummified the schools. Narrow thought holds that giving schools autonomy means every school in the country must implement advanced classes and additional periods all at the same time. The point is that schools can reflect in their curriculum the opinions of the students and parents, as well as in after-school programs and sample tests.


The Korean government’s plan should provide an opportunity for schools to resolve the various educational demands of the students and ultimately reinforces public education. The teachers are playing the central role here, and their efforts are as important as ever. The educational authorities should also provide appropriate measures to accommodate the added burdens on the teachers.


2. Some Directions of University/College Education System


As previously discussed, the 21st century will be the century of the knowledge-based and globalized society. Therefore, university/college education should be reformed in such a way that it can educate students who can meet the demand of the knowledge-based and globalized society. Therefore, the author would like to suggest the following direction of university/college education reform for the 21st century.


(1) University/college education should provide teachers and students with teaching and learning methods, which are needed to develop the creativity of students. The methods include discussion based class, learners' leading class, frequent reports and presentations, study group activities, etc. In other words, university/college education should not teach summarized information but train the students to produce new information and utilize various and abundant sources of information. The primary ability requires in a knowledge-based society is not just to adapt ourselves to given circumstances but to solve problems in various ways in the face of new situations. In the future, society will be changing so quickly that people will be challenged in their everyday life or working environments by different situations or problems, which we haven't experienced. In this respect, university/college education should provide creative knowledge in a specialized area based upon a wide range of general education and fundamental academics.


(2) University/college should not be little the importance of humanities such as the study of history, philosophy, religion, literature and arts, which are essential to cultivate a student's ability to understand cultural differences and collaborate based on mutual understanding. To the contrary, many universities/colleges in the world tend to focus excessively on commercial utility, and the students have accordingly neglected the studies of the liberal arts. The university should place more importance on the humanities such as history, philosophy, religion, literature and arts, which are essential to cultivate students' ability to understand cultural differences and to collaborate with others based on the mutual understanding. All students have to learn the wisdom of understanding a variety of different cultures through the thorough study of the humanities in both quantity and quality.


(3) It is needed that students practice collaboration with other people through their university/college life in order to develop the ability of cooperation in the global village. The effective way of achieving this ability is to participate in extracurricular activities. Students can develop their ability of collaborating with other people who have different backgrounds through these activities through activities such as pursuing their hobbies, participating in public service or labor service corps; and the protection of the environment.


(4) Universities/college in the 21st century have to expand their role in a society by providing an educational opportunity to the persons who need reeducation and retraining after graduating from university/college, and also to the people who have lost their opportunities to attend school when they were school aged, through various programs such as university/college degree programs, graduate degree programs, and non-degree programs. Furthermore, they need to continue to change their curriculum in the continuing education programs to meet the demand of contemporary society.


(5) It is more effective to adopt a multilateral cooperation strategy with a group of the university from various countries in order to pursue university/college education reforms to meet the demands of the 21st century in the global village today. A greater synergistic effect of educational reform can be expected through international exchange of students and professors, international collaboration of the research on effective teaching method, exchange program of extra-curricular activities, and exchange programs of continuing education by this multilateral cooperation.


Finally, in an attempt to resolve the crisis of university education, the author would like to assert that the Korean society may consider the entrepreneurial academic paradigm’ of the ‘triple-helix(of university–industry–government relations) in which the university plays an enhanced role in technological innovation in a knowledge-based society for a ‘third-mission’ of economic development (Etzkowitz et. al., 2000) in addition to research and teaching (Readings, 1996).[1] The ‘third mission’ implies improving regional or national economic performance as well as financial advantage of a university and that of its faculty. In connection with the ‘third mission’, it is worthwhile to note that there is a shift underway from the economics of the production function to the socio-economic processes of the contemporary innovation system with universities as part of a new knowledge infrastructure. This transformation has been analyzed by Smith (1997) on the role of university R&D in the ‘knowledge infrastructure’ for production. Based on the preceding discussions, the roles of the university can be summarized by supply of high-quality human capital to a given economy’s ‘production function’, thereby enhancing total factor productivity of a given society and expanding its employment.

Table 1.  Summative Chart of the University–Industry–Government Relationship




Academic culture

∙ Academic autonomy

1. Quality

2. Freedom to publish

∙ Revision of academic norms

Academic function: teaching, research and extension

Inputs: government funds and industry sponsorship

Outputs: knowledge production

∙ Time to research

∙ Commercialization of PSRS

1. Types of commercialization

2. Problems with commercialization

3. Results of the academic–industry technology transfer

∙ Niches of market

∙ Exploitation of knowledge-based (academic expertise)

∙ Internal policy of patents

∙ Stability in the execution of research

∙ Use legal instruments to encourage cooperation

∙ Evaluation of teachers that works with cooperation

New University

∙ The 21st century university

1. Entrepreneurial university

2. New university mission :

economic development

3. New organizational structure: mixing disciplinary infradepartments,

Interdisciplinary centers,

new disciplines,

self-generation institution,

social space increased


Intermediate offices

∙ Function:

Connect teaching, research and extension resources administration internal marketing and communication external marketing administration of the interaction process

∙ Organizational structure




Relationship evaluation

∙ Typology               

Industry culture

∙ Industry goal

Industry function : national development

Inputs: knowledge

Outputs: new products

∙ Generation of dynamism

∙ Larger and faster technological innovation

∙ Niches of market

∙ Magnification of knowledge-based

∙ Internal policy of patents

∙ Sponsorship

∙ Use fiscal incentives to encourage cooperation

∙ Evaluation of employees that work with cooperation








New Industry

∙ The 21st century industry

1. Industry-based science

2. New industry mission

3. New organizational


cooperation projects, entrepreneurial centers of high technology in the vicinity of universities




∙ Function:

Connect in-home P&C with university P&D resources administration internal communication to evaluate possibilities of interaction and industry possibilities administration of the interaction process

∙ Organizational structure

Relationship evaluation

∙ Typology

Public policy

∙ Government goal strengthen economy

1. Profit

2. Royalties

∙ Revision of industry norms

∙ Recognized economic

Development as academic (extension) and industry function

∙ Give support to research directed to market

∙ Give support to technological innovation integrated to academic research

∙ Give support to university and industry identify niches of market

∙ Economic development

∙ Government policy of patents

∙ Give support to sponsored research

∙ Give legal instruments and fiscal incentives to encourage cooperation

∙ Evaluation of university and industry results

New Government

∙ The 21st century government

The new university and industry need a new

government administration

where scientific and

technological infradepartments and

structure are integrated

to the productive structure





∙ Function:

Stimulate interaction university– industry








Relationship evaluation

∙ Typology

Source : Henry Etzkowitz, Andrew Webster, Christiane Gebhardt, and Branca Regina Cantisano Terra (2000).

V. Concluding Remarks


Educational crisis is the most serious and scary one that South Korea faces (Lim, 1995 and 2000). The public education stopped being effective from a long time ago. Therefore it is the most urgent task for Korea to normalize the ‘failing education system’. Now Korea needs to move from an age to ‘collect’ human talents to an age to ‘cultivate’ them in a knowledge-based society.


Under the previously-described situation, every Korean talks about the importance of education. However, almost all of the people are increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of Korea’s public education. More and more citizens feel that the current education system only brings about pain, not hope. The Korean society might detest schools and the teachers, but the author strongly believes that education is future and hope for Korea. While the fetters of discontent have been locked for decades, no clear solutions have been suggested.


Korea ranks the lowest among the OECD countries in terms of educational competitiveness. The competitiveness of university education especially may be a measurement for the nation’s future competitiveness[2] as universities are the source for knowledge growth and human resource cultivation. The Korean universities have physically grown on scale, but not so much in terms of education quality.[3] Since 2001 where supply exceeded demand,[4] these universities have been threatened with extinction. Professors at the universities outside Seoul are busy helping the graduates-to-be find jobs or recruiting freshmen enough for the university’s survival, leaving their classes to part-time lecturers.





Brooks, H. (1993), “Research Universities and the Social Contract for Science”, In Empowering Technology, ed., L. Bramscomb, Cambridge : MIT Press (pp. 202~234)

Etzkowitz, Henry, Andrew Webster, Christiane Gebhardt and Branca Regina Cantisano Terra (2000), “The Future of the University and the University of the Future: Evolution of Ivory Tower to Entrepreneurial Paradigm”, Research Policy, Vol. 29 (pp. 313~330)|gn|jdaily

Krimsky, S. (1991), “Academic–Corporate Ties in Biotechnology: a Quantitative Study”, Science Technology and Human Values, Vol. 16 (pp. 275~287)

Lim, Yang-Taek (1995), “Crisis in Korean Peninsula and Choice of Korea”, Collected Papers of Northern Studies, Issue 1, Seoul : The Korea Association of Northern Studies, October.

Lim, Yang-Taek (2000), “Development Strategy for Korea-Chinese Economic Cooperation in the 21st Century,” paper presented at International Symposium: Chinese Association of Social Science, Beijing, November.

OECD (2004), “OECD Economic Survey of 2004: Electricity Sector”, Paris: OECD.

Pasinetti, L. L. (1981), Structural Change and Economic Growth, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

Pelikan, J. (1992), “The Idea of the University: A Re-examination”, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Readings, W. (1996), The University In Ruins, Cambridge : Harvard University Press.

Smith, K. (1997), “Economic Infrastructures and Innovation Systems”, In Systems of Innovation, ed., Edquist, C., London: Pinter.


[1] However, many academics and others view such an ‘entrepreneurial’ academic paradigm as a threat to the traditional integrity of the university (Pelikan, 1992). Some critics believe entrepreneurialism should be resisted (Brooks, 1993) or at least encapsulated in a special class of institutions of higher learning, fearing that an intensive pecuniary interest will cause the university to lose its role as independent critic of society (Krimsky, 1991).

[2] The international comparison of nation and university competitiveness showed the following result that US ranks 1st and 4th ; Hong Kong 2nd and 21st; Singapore 3rd and 7th; Island 4th and 3rd:, Canada 5th and 8th; Finland 6th and 1st; and Korea 29th and 52nd, respectively (IMD, 2005; a total of 60 countries).

[3] Korea ranks 4th in terms of university graduate ratio among those in the age group of 25 to 34 years old, but ranks 52nd in terms of university professor competitiveness among 60 countries. As for research, SCI (Science Citation Index) ranked 13th in 2003, which measures the number of papers published in the journal. But Korea ranked 34th in terms of the number of quotes per paper which measures paper's quality.

[4] As of 2007, there are 201 universities (4 year course) and 153 community colleges (2 year course) in Korea.

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