Statistics Korea recently announced that the number of population in the age group of nine to 24 fell from 14,209,000 to 8,765,000 from 1982 to this year and the number of population in the group of six to 21 is estimated to fall from 8,047,000 to 6,249,000 from this year to 2029.
According to the Korean Educational Development Institute, in the meantime, the number of high school graduates added up to 566,545 last year to slightly exceed higher education institutions’ admission quota of 506,286, which includes universities’ 313,233 and colleges’ 168,014, and the number of high school graduates fell from 632,983 to 583,707 from 2014 to 2017. In short, the quota is about to exceed the number.
The college entrance rate is dropping these days. Specifically, it decreased from 83.8 percent to 69.7 percent from 2008 to 2018.
Under the circumstances, South Korean universities and colleges are facing more and more difficulties. Most of them cannot but resort to tuition fees, yet the South Korean government has suppressed a rise in tuition fees for 10 years. Besides, the institutions have to reduce their entrance fees to zero in stages.
In December last year, the Ministry of Education reported to the National Assembly that the quota is likely to exceed the number by approximately 56,000 in 2021 and 38 universities and colleges may have to be closed down within three years.