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Korean Language Institutes Seek Quality Foreign Students?

August 22nd, 2007 . by Gerry-Bevers

An August 22, Korea Times article, “Korean Language Institutes Seek Quality Foreign Students,” said the following:

The Korean Language Institutes Council will play a leading role in attracting talented foreign students. Choi Ju-youl, chairman of the council, told The Korea Times that Korean language institutes are a critical gateway for foreign students who hope to study at Korean colleges.

“Foreign students first look for Korean language courses if they want to study at Korean colleges. After completing their courses, many of them apply to Korean colleges. This is why we need to work on drawing excellent international students to our institutes for the development of Korean colleges,” Choi said.

Ignoring the labored logic in the above quote, I wonder how many of the Korean Language Institutes would turn down an applicant because they failed to meet their “high standards”? Moreover, are Korean colleges, even the better colleges, really that choosy when it comes to foreign applicants?

The way a school attracts quality students is to have quality programs, not vice versa, as the above article seems to be suggesting. The people in the article seem to think that getting good quality foreign students will somehow motivate Korean college administrators and professors to improve the quality of their curriculum and lessons or somehow improve the study environment.

I think the main problem in Korean colleges is that they have essentially become diploma-dispensing machines. Students do not have to really study too hard to get a diploma from a Korean college, so many students do not study hard, which probably causes many professors to ask themselves why they should waste their time preparing good lessons. Afterall, why study if you will be passed, regardless, and why waste your time preparing good lessons and good tests if the administration is pressuring you to pass students whether they do well or not?

In the Korean college classes that I teach I have found it hard to keep to a lesson plan because of all the out-of-class activities that Korean colleges allow. During a semester, I get several requests from different departments asking that I excuse their students from my class so that they can go on school trips, fulfill volunteer and work-study requirements, prepare for festivals, attend student council meetings, attend department volleyball or soccer games or just help the professors in their departments with various personal projects. Korean colleges seem more like summer camps than academic institutions, which makes me wonder how many of Korea’s colleges are really that much better than the diploma mills talked about in This Article.

If Korean colleges want to attract qaulity students, then they first must improve their curriculum and raise their academic standards. Then, they must start failing the students who fail to meet those standards. After word of that gets out, more quality students will start coming, and the goof-offs will start going elsewhere.

3 Responses to “Korean Language Institutes Seek Quality Foreign Students?”

  1. comment number 1 by: kojibomb


    I wonder how many of the Korean Language Institutes would turn down an applicant because they failed to meet their “high standards”?

    actually for foreigners, it is VERY EASY to get into Japanese or Korean universities…
    I had a prt dumb friend who had like low 70s avg but is attending waseda u right now… sad 🙁

  2. comment number 2 by: egg

    I guess schools have two rolls. One is seeking the truth. The other is providing white collor workers to the society.
    Saying about the latter, one of the main consumers in the market is companies. The probrem is, in our society they don`t seem to trust lessons which schools are providing. I guess they don`t think those lessons to be practical (I am talking about what companies believe and not the truth.) . They train their new workers themselves. They care only about the schools entrance exams, whether they were difficult enough, to decide the applicant`s general ability.
    To play the role effectivly, schools should care more what the consumers are demanding and try to build a stronger relationship with consumers. For example teaching economy is alright but before that, companies will thank schools more if they trained students how to analyze anual reports.
    At least in my days in my country, it was like that. I hope it has changed in my country and at the same time it does not apply to other countries too.

  3. comment number 3 by: GarlicBreath

    What I wonder is why doesn’t the USA seek “quality Coreans”? Looks like another Corean murder is running around killing people. Naturally she blames “Korean bias on the jury” on her conviction.
    Jee-Hyun Song came to the USA to study at Bethesda Christian University in Anaheim. Naturally she can’t speak any English. I think US schools need to do more of a backround check on Coreans that enter the school. True justice is not served. She should be hung for what she did.
    By the way it should be noted that Bethesda Christian University, is a corean degree mill.
    The USA really needs “quality Coreans” and not this Corean trash.