Overseas Korean students decrease for third straight year

2014-12-07 13:55

The number of South Korean students studying abroad decreased for the third consecutive year this year, the education ministry said Sunday.

As of Apr. 1, 219,543 South Korean students were studying degree courses at foreign institutions, down 3.3 percent from a year earlier, said the ministry.

After peaking at 262,465 people in 2011, the number had declined by 8.9 percent in 2012 and 5.1 percent in 2013.

Countries that showed the sharpest fall over the past three years were New Zealand, Britain, Australia, Japan and the United States.

The number of South Korean students in New Zealand fell 65.4 percent from 10,289 in 2011 to 3,556 this year, while the figure for Britain and Australia declined 60 percent and 58.4 percent respectively.

The United States, a country with the largest number of South Korean students, saw a 2.1 percent fall in the number during the same period.

In contrast, China and the Philippines were found to have more South Korean students than before.

A total of 64,465 South Korean students were staying in China this year, up 8.1 percent from 62,957 in 2011. The number of South Koreans studying in the Philippines increased more than two folds from 3,238 in 2011 to 7,073 this year.

"Unlike in the past, the number of South Korean students abroad appears to be declining continuously as advantages for those who earn foreign university degrees weakened and demand for local university graduates increased in the job market," a ministry official said. 

The number of foreign students studying at South Korean universities also fell from 89,537 in 2011 to 84,891 this year. It, too, is the third consecutive year that the number has declined, the ministry said. (Yonhap)

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