A slew of universities based in Europe and the United States are set to open their South Korean campuses at the Incheon Free Economic Zone (FEZ), 40 kilometers west of Seoul, starting next year, the government said Thursday.
The State University of New York at Stony Brook is slated to open graduate school classes at the Songdo Global University Campus (SGUC) in the Incheon FEZ starting in September, said the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
The Virginia, U.S.-based George Mason University and Belgium's Ghent University also agreed to start undergraduate courses by September 2012 and September 2013, respectively, the ministry said.
Air view of foreign universities in Incheon Free Economif Zone
The Incheon FEZ authorities have been seeking to build offshore campuses of prestigious overseas universities at the SGUC in a bid to enhance the quality of South Korea's education and attract more foreign investors to the free economic zone.
They have already inked deals with several U.S. universities -- the State University of North Carolina, Delaware State University, and the University of Southern California -- to open courses at the SGUC in the next few years.
The ministry said it plans to attract more universities, including the University of Utah and the University of Illinois.
Currently, foreign educational institutions that open branch campuses in South Korea are eligible for subsidiaries from local governments, upon acquiring approval for school establishment from the education ministry. (Yonhap News)