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Universities to be checked for overseas student facilities

Universities here educating students from abroad will undergo inspections to determine their ability to manage and care for their international academic community, according to the education ministry on Monday.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology plans to prevent poorly managed universities from enrolling foreign students for the sake of receiving more tuition.

Officials are worried that universities are accepting foreign students mainly for financial reasons, without facilities catering to foreigners or adequate cultural programs to bring Korean and foreign students together.

According to the officials, such universities are tainting the image of Korea’s higher education system among international communities.

The ministry will certify universities that have been deemed accommodating to foreign students after inspections.

This year’s inspection will cooperate with the ministry’s current university restructuring plan and center on the universities found to be less competitive and underperforming.

The committee, comprised of 13 professors and experts, will oversee inspections starting September on four-year universities and vocational colleges which have applied for certifications.

Committee members will first determine if the universities have the basic foundation for handling overseas students and then onsite inspections of the facilities.

Universities certified to accommodate international students will be given the chance to be a part of the Global Korea Scholarship, a government funded program that provides financial support to foreign students. Certified schools will also receive priority consideration for job fairs as well.

By Robert Lee (robert@heraldcorp.com)
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