Document Details

Title Online higher education in South Korea: The cyber-universities 20 years on
Author Richard Garrett, Director and Rachael Merola, Sr Researcher - The OBHE


South Korea took an interest in online learning early on. As part of a wide-ranging Cyber Korea strategy in the 1990s, turning the country into the most wired nation in the world, the government encouraged universities to establish online or so-called cyber-universities. An emphasis on lifelong learning, to help the country cement its rapid economic rise, positioned cyber-universities as a way to reach working adults and experiment with new technology.

Today, Korea enjoys a particular combination of circumstances. Young adults boast the top tertiary education attainment rate in the OECD but live in a country where graduate unemployment is seen as too high. Korea is rapidly ageing. This means a surfeit of universities and worries about return on investment. At the same time, tens of thousands of Koreans still study abroad, and the government is trying to create a regional hub for foreign higher education institutions.

In a country with excess higher education capacity, where does online learning fit in? How have cyber-universities fared over the past twenty years?

Date 02/10/2017
Region(s) Asia
Countries South Korea
Theme(s) Transnational Education (TNE) Models
Topic(s) Online Learning

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