The government announced on Monday a set of measures to ease regulations on local universities as part of its plan to boost their international competiveness through enhanced autonomy.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said that it will soften rules on government subsidies to the institutions and allow private institutions for the first time to have residence halls off-campus.
The 32 guidelines for university reform were presented during a special committee meeting presided over by Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik and attended by Education Minister Lee Ju-ho along with high-level ministry officials.
“The new measures are necessary for more effectiveness in university management. We have to boost their competiveness to survive in the global society,” the prime minister said.
To attract more foreign students, the ministry will allow universities greater flexibility in student enrollment in postgraduate programs. Local institutions will also be able to have residence halls abroad to encourage joint degree programs with foreign institutions. Amendments also include easing building and university-owned land development restrictions.
The measures come in light of the anticipated decline in student enrollment.
The number of high-school graduates is expected to drop by nearly 40 percent from 670,000 in 2012 to 410,000 in 2024.
By 2018, the university entrance quota will exceed the number of high-school graduates, the ministry said, leaving universities in fiercer competition.
The government said it will submit the reform bill to the National Assembly by the end of the year.
By Oh Kyu-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org