Education Should be Prioritized in Asia

    A broker surnamed Gang received 7 million won from a Chinese surnamed Jang and helped her get admission to a language program at a university in Cheonan. The police are now extending their investigation to detect further illegal admissions in colleges and graduate schools. A total of 89,537 international students attended Korean universities in 2010 with most from China, with 57,783, followed by Japan, with 3,876 and Mongolia with 3,333. The number of foreign students is expected to hit an all-time high of 100,000 in 2012, according to the ministry.

     I myself taught foreigners (other than the South Koreans themselves) as part of my duties as an English instructor at Mokpo National University. I was amazed that the number of foreign brides marrying Korean (mostly farmers) is now over 210,000. One privilege that is extended at that university to Chinese nationals, while not in the admissions process, is extra English help at no charge. Meanwhile, the University of California is reporting a big jump in the percentage of out-of-state and international students who have been admitted for undergraduate studies. University officials said in late April that they’ve admitted a record 80,289 freshmen at one of the public system’s nine undergraduate campuses to start next fall.  UCSD admitted the largest number. 

    Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to Seoul, and Lucy Koh, a federal judge in the United States, are both from immigrant families. The erstwhile leader of Dartmouth College Jim Yong Kim, Ph.D. and M.D., was recently confirmed as World Bank President. 


    —Richard Thompson

    Alumnus ‘83

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