A Briefing on Korea's Higher Education Reform


Yesterday the Australia-Korea Business Council in collaboration with the Australian Embassy in Seoul, delivered a highly successful webinar on Korea’s Higher Education Reform, and the Glocal University Initiative. We believe that this webinar has opened a space of mutual interest for cooperation not only with Glocal universities but also with other universities in Korea and Australia. Over 50 participants tuned in for the webinar, to learn more about the growth and development of academic collaboration between our two countries. A big thank you to our speakers Professor Wooseung Kim, Professor Kent Anderson and Professor Chung-Hwan (Steve) Jeon for sharing your insights with us! 

Here are our key takeaways from the event:

Glocal University 30 Project

  • The college entrant population in Korea is greatly declining and is expected to be half of what it is now by 2038
  • Out of 89 locations with population decline, 85 were non-metropolitan areas. In 2021, 75% of the unfilled students were from universities in the non-metropolitan areas.
  • It is urgent to support competitive regional universities so it attracts talented students to study and work in non-metropolitan areas
  • The significance of the Glocal University 30 Project is to break down the walls between universities and aim for mutual growth of universities in non–metropolitan areas through partnerships with the government and the industry
  • Aim is to select 30 Glocal universities by 2026. 10 have been selected in 2023 and supports all selected universities with approximately 76M USD over 5 years
  • The Glocal University project is part of the Regional Innovation System & Education (RISE) System which is led by the local government to support and promote universities and industries in the non-metropolitan areas

Pusan National University (PNU) and the University of Newcastle (UoN)

  • University of Newcastle’s distinctive strength is energy and material science research and is concentrated on two areas.
  • Pusan Clean Energy Research Institute (PCERI) in PNU and Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), Global Innovative Centre for Advanced Nanomaterials (GICAN) of UoN has played a central role in the cooperation between the two universities for the past 15 years
  • PNU has also started the Global Hub Centre supported by the Korean government with the University of Newcastle - Global R&D Hub for Green Energy
  • PNU’s new vision for the future education is the Edu-TRIangle: education, technology, regional government + global issues - building an education city
  • PNU has not only provided a lot of research but also industry academic cooperation especially providing advanced manpower, master and doctoral courses needed by industries
  • Lessons for successful glocal partnerships: long term, people and diaspora, complementarity and reciprocity, constant and focused, progressive development