The Korea Foundation, the state-run public diplomacy agency, said Friday it will launch the third phase of the Global e-School, in which local universities provide online Korean studies courses to their foreign counterparts.
The foundation started the real-time video education program in 2011 in order to help make up for a shortage of teaching staff at foreign universities amid surging demand from students majoring in Korean studies there.
This year, nine universities in the country will join the third phase of the project that will last until 2021, a KF official said.
They are Seoul National University, Korea University, Sungkyunkwan University, Ewha Woman's University, Sookmyung Women's University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Hanyang University, Chung-Ang University and Kyung Hee University, the official said.
"This year, 60 universities in 21 countries will open 108 Korean studies classes with the help of Korean universities," the official said.
Among them are Korean Businesses and Their Management, which Korea University will provide to Peking University; Korean e-Government and Public Administration, Sungkyunkwan University to Thailand's Chiang Mai University; Korean Market Economy and Consumers, Sookmyung University to Vietnam's Hanoi University; and Korean Movies and Their Sociocultural Context, Hanyang University to Romania's University of Bucharest, according to the official.
The number of foreign students who took online classes soared from 739 at 19 faculties in 12 nations in 2011 to 4,322 at 101 schools in 35 nations in 2016, the official said.
The Global e-School has contributed to expanding the scope of overseas Korean studies from the humanities and language to politics, society and economy, KF head Lee Si-hyung said.
"We'll endeavor to increase quality classes and advance to regions where Korean studies are relatively inactive," he said. (Yonhap)