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Korea to lower barriers for foreign teachers

The Education Ministry on Sunday decided to lower the threshold for foreign part-time teachers to become college instructors, allowing them to compete on an equal footing with Korean teachers in seeking jobs at colleges.

The ministry said that it would seek changes in the laws to allow part-time foreign teachers who have worked for more than 15 hours per week at kindergarten or elementary, junior high or high schools to be eligible for teaching jobs at colleges. They need to have taught related subjects to have their experience acknowledged.

Under the current law, foreign candidates are unable to receive credit for their teaching experience at lower education entities when they apply for teaching jobs at colleges due to their part-time status.

In order to become a professor, a college graduate must have at least four years of experience in research and six years in teaching. An associate professor must have at least three years of experience in research and four years in teaching.

The changes to the relevant regulations are aimed at better managing the increasing number of foreign faculty in Korean education facilities and giving foreign teachers better access to teaching jobs at advanced education agencies, officials said.

“The revision is designed to resolve the fairness issue between Koreans and foreigners and to hire more qualified foreign teachers,” a ministry official said.

By Yeo Jun-suk (