Published : 2012-12-27 19:49
Updated : 2012-12-27 19:49
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said Thursday that the number of Korean students studying science and engineering abroad continues to increase, but has been offset by a high inflow of foreign students.
Citing data by Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute, the ministry said that the number of undergraduate Korean students who went overseas to study science and engineering doubled to 24,674 in 2011 from 2003.
However, the inflow of foreign undergraduates into Korean universities grew eight-fold to 8,696 in the same period.
Also, the number of Koreans going abroad for master’s and Ph.D.s reached 12,240 in 2011, up 2.4 percent from 10,866 in 2006. Meanwhile, some 6,000 foreigners entered Korea for higher degrees in science and engineering in 2011, up about 15 percent from about 3,000 in 2006.
The institute began gathering data on Korean students overseas for their master’s degrees and Ph.D.s in 2006, it noted.
The ministry said that a majority of Korean students abroad expressed their wishes to come back home and continue their research.
In a survey of 403 students, about 61 percent said they would like to return to Korea within five years and engage in research. Over 70 percent wanted to come back to secure jobs in science and engineering in the long run.
Almost 90 percent of those surveyed said that they went abroad to study as schools overseas offer more advanced courses than at home.
The U.S. has been the top destination for about 70 percent of Koreans abroad to pursue degrees in science and engineering, followed by Japan and Europe, according to the institute.
The ministry aims to implement policies favorable to Korean students abroad so that they can come back to Korea after their studies in an effort to boost research and knowledge sharing in the country.
“We will devise a policy to further encourage Korean science and engineering students to return to this country,” an official of the Science Ministry said.
Its policy will include promoting long-term research, overhauling the research environment at universities and helping to create jobs.