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Plan to Attract Foreign Universities Scrapped

Posted September. 09, 2005 07:43,   


The plan to attract prestigious foreign universities to free economic zones (FEZ) in Korea, including the FEZs in Incheon, Busan, Gwanyang of Cheonnam Province, and Jeju international city have been scrapped.

Consequently, it will be difficult for Koreans to study at foreign universities at a relatively low cost in Korea even after the “special act on the establishment and operation of foreign educational institutions,” which will allow Koreans to study at branch schools of foreign universities, is enacted at the end of this November.

The deputy prime minister and minister of finance and economy Han Duck-Soo, who is attending the APEC finance ministerial meeting on Jeju island, said on August 8, “The government had a plan to attract foreign universities in FEZs and other areas, but it decided to give up the plan because of the excessive financial burden the plan would impose on central and local governments.”

The minister added, “For now, there is no other choice but to improve education quality by introducing programs of foreign universities through alliances between domestic and foreign universities.”

The government’s original plan was to provide land to foreign universities including Stanford University and George Washington University and leaving the construction costs of the buildings and interior facilities to the schools. However, the foreign universities voiced concerns that the risk of investment was too high.

Therefore, the government is now considering plans to encourage domestic universities to develop educational programs in cooperation with foreign universities, or to attract colleges instead of universities.

Another plan is to attract specialized colleges instead of universities. The “free economic zone planning team” of the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE) is planning to build a Dutch college specializing in logistics in Gwangyang, and a college specializing in tourism in Incheon.

Meanwhile, the plan to attract foreign primary, secondary and high schools is making progress.

The MOFE said that primary, secondary, and high schools will be built on Yeongjongdo Island in Incheon with $20 million (about 20 billion won) from the Shanghai British International School of the United Kingdom’s Nord Anglia Education Group.