Red tape cut for foreign-run schools

  • Published : Oct 12, 2010 - 18:27
  • Updated : Oct 12, 2010 - 18:27

Restrictions will be eased on foreign schools that wish to open branches in Korea.

The Education Ministry on Tuesday put on public notice the revision bill of the special ordinance on foreign schools, which officials said will take effect as early as this year.

The ordinance involves regulations on foreign nationality schools in Jeju Free International City and other special free economic zones.

According to the revision bill, foreign schools are to be granted governmental approval to open a branch school here, should they satisfy the qualifications required in their homeland, said officials.

They will no longer be required to abide by the local standards on the school grounds, buildings, and staff.

“It is often inappropriate to apply the local regulations to foreign schools, which are operated under totally different systems,” said a ministry official.

Many foreign schools adopt an integrated grade system including primary, middle and high schools, and do not need to build separate sports fields for every one of them, the official said.

Also, the number of teaching staff may be different from local Korean schools because of the difference in the curriculum.

Special regulations on foreign universities have also been alleviated, as the revision lowered the minimum scale of the facilities.

Under the present law, universities are required to provide facilities which may accommodate 1,000 people or more, but the revision bill lowered the figure to 400.

The government’s screening processes, too, will pick up more speed, said officials.

Chadwick International, a branch of the renowned American school, recently opened its doors in the Incheon Free Economic Zone and others are preparing to follow suit.

Amid the rush of foreign schools into the country, the ministry has recently said that it would set up a website to openly provide information on all foreign schools.

By Bae Hyun-jung (