From 2023 when current high school sophomores go to college, medical schools and law schools in local cities are obliged to select students from local cities. From 2028 when current 6th graders go to college, students should graduate from middle schools and high schools in non-capital regions to apply for universities as a local student.
The Ministry of Education announced Sunday the “Second Scheme to Foster Local Universities and Regional Talents.’” Based on this, medical schools, oriental medical schools, dental schools, pharmacy schools and nursing schools must select students from regional areas to a certain ratio. The same rules are applied to law schools and graduate schools of medicine, dentistry and oriental medicine. Then graduates from middle schools in the Seoul metropolitan area cannot go to autonomous private high schools in regional areas to apply to local universities as a student in a regional area.
Selecting students from regional cities was only a recommendation to universities and specialized graduate schools until now. They are supposed to select 30 percent (15 percent in Gangwon and Jeju) of high school graduates from their region. It is only a recommendation, but some regional universities have been voluntarily selecting students from regional cities. The selection ratio to be adjusted based on the scheme will be decided through a presidential executive order in the future.
Criteria of “regional” talents will also be strengthened from 2028. From that point, students need to graduate from a middle school in a non-capital area and a high school in a region where the university they apply to is located to be recognized as a student from a regional area. Their address should also match with their middle and high school. Some doubt the effect of the scheme that intends to support local universities having difficulties due to low birth rate and seek balanced growth of regional areas.
The government will also promote a structural reform such as reducing an entrance quota of universities to the level that they cannot receive financial supports from the government. It will operate an insolvency organization within this year to facilitate liquidation of local universities in a critical situation. "We believe that five to nine percent of the universities are in a critical situation such as delayed payment of wages,” said an insider of the ministry.