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Korean Council for University Education-Chairman’s Welcome

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Chairman’s Welcome


Higher education must prepare for the future.

Korean institutions of higher education face a host of challenges. They have been placed under financial stress after years of tuition freezes; are forced into academic restructuring due to a continual decline in the number of college-age freshmen; and are reorganizing academic curricula in response to the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution. Universities are sparing no effort to ensure that they survive and thrive at a time when enormous social changes are taking place. As such, KCUE (Korean Council for University Education) plans to focus on the following initiatives in order to provide a clear direction for higher education in the future and enable universities to further contribute to national development.




First, a Committee on Future Higher Education is needed in order to orient tertiary learning for the road ahead. As the fourth industrial revolution unfolds, the job market will undergo a radical shift. The new Committee will establish the direction for higher education in the future, and work hand-in-hand with universities to ensure organizational readiness.

Second, KCUE urges the government and legislature to play a decisive role in providing financial support for higher education. In order to help universities overcome the financial predicament they have found themselves in since the policy to reduce university tuition by half was adopted in 2011, and secure the financial resources necessary to invest in infrastructure for higher education moving forward, the government and National Assembly must take the lead in enacting legislation to ease the financial burden on higher education.

Third, Korean universities offer a wide range of programs irrespective of institution type, locality and size. Universities need to select and concentrate on specific areas that leverage their strengths - either as private or public, large-scale or small-scale, or metropolitan area-based or regional-based institutions. KCUE stands ready to help universities identify and strategize plans for specialization.

Finally, an information network encompassing universities and organizations overseas is needed to help Korean universities internationalize and gain global competitiveness. As we move forward, we recognize that progress is only possible through competition and cooperation at the international level. By keeping up-to-date with and conducting research on leading global universities and organizations, KCUE will be able to expand opportunities for international collaboration by Korean universities and increase overseas job opportunities for Korean graduates.

Reorienting higher education towards the future is a task that cannot be achieved by universities alone. The government and National Assembly must broaden their outlook and provide necessary levels of support. Universities, for their part, must actively engage in the process. Here, the role of KCUE is crucial than ever. KCUE will focus on the role as a channel of communication between the government and universities, as a facilitator and coordinator of discussions among member universities, and as an institution developing balanced and rational policies that serve to advance higher education in Korea. To make this possible, we are waiting for your infinite support from and encouragement, especially from government ministries, the National Assembly, and member universities.

Thank you.


April 8, 2017

Chang Hosung
President of the Korean Council for University Education