South Korea is pushing for overseas Korean schools to admit non-Korean students as part of efforts to nurture talent well-versed in Korean culture and boost the competitiveness of the schools, the education ministry said Wednesday.
Under a revised bill submitted to the National Assembly, schools reserved for Korean nationals and compatriots in foreign countries can fill up to 30 percent of their total enrollment with non-Korean students.
Currently, 30 Korean schools in 15 countries including China, Japan and Egypt provide Korean students there with primary and secondary school courses, according to the ministry.
As hallyu, or the Asia-wide popularity of Korean TV dramas, films and pop music, has increased people’s interest in Korea and its language, there have been noticeable increases in the number of non-Koreans taking relevant courses or the official Korean language proficiency test, according to the culture ministry. Currently, some 840 colleges worldwide offer courses on Korean culture or language.
“The revision aims to further promote the Korean wave and to raise future leaders with a good understanding of Korea,” said Lim Jin-dae, an official of the Secretariat of the National Assembly.
“Competition among the Korean and foreign students is also expected to boost the competitiveness of the schools on the international arena,” he added. (Yonhap News)