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Universities in Seoul struggle to attract new students

Posted February. 21, 2023 07:42,   

Updated February. 21, 2023 07:42


This year, 30 universities in Seoul recruited 767 new students, which is about twice the number of last year's recruitment (386). According to analysts, the decline in the school-age population and the application concentration to medical schools are posing recruitment challenges for universities.

Starting Monday, 164 universities across the country began recruiting an additional 17,561 new students to fill their school quota. Out of these, the number of recruits, excluding overseas Koreans and foreigners, was 17,439, around 520 fewer than the previous year. More than 89% of the vacancies were reported in regional colleges. It is the largest number observed since Jong-no Academy began analyzing the number of additional recruitment in 2019.

Even the top universities in Seoul are struggling to attract new students. For instance, this year, Hanyang University is recruiting 28 additional students. It was six additional students last year. Even departments designated by the government as promising fields for the future, such as the Department of Convergence Electronic Engineering (two vacancies) and the Department of Future Automotive Engineering (one vacancy), still remain open for new students. Meanwhile, Chung-Ang University and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, which did not have any additional recruitment last year, are now recruiting 14 and 24 additional students, respectively. Other universities, including Hongik, Kookmin, Soongsil, Sejong, Dongguk University, Sookmyung Women's University, and the University of Seoul, have also enlarged their recruitment size.

The scale of additional recruitment by universities in Seoul this year is the largest in the past five years. The figure in other capital areas such as Gyeonggi and Incheon exceeded the 1,000 mark, from 933 last year to 1,093 this year.

Given the number of additional recruits will be confirmed on Wednesday, the total figure may rise. "there has been a rise in the number of test takers who move to other universities due to factors such as integrated college entrance exams, cross-application to other disciplines, and concentration to medical schools."Lim Seong-ho, CEO of Jongno Academy, commented. "With the declining school-age population trend, the shortage of new students at universities in the metropolitan area, including Seoul, is expected to become increasingly severe."

Sung-Min Park min@donga.com