○ Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education LEE Joonsik and the acting president of National Institute of International Education (NIIED) OH Soonmoon announced that 273 students (52 Ph.D’s, 156 MA’s, 65 BA’s) in the Global Korean Scholarship (GKS) program are graduating from 60 universities across the nation at the end of February.
-New graduates are from 75 countries, in which 136 students (50%) are from Asia, 46 students from Africa (17%), 38 students (14%) from Central and South America, and 32 students (12%) from Europe.
-By majors, 162 students (59%) received a degree in liberal arts, 93 students (34%) in engineering, and 18 students (7%) in arts and physical education.
○ The Korean government has offered GKS program since 1967, inviting students from all around the world, providing tuition and monthly allowance, and assisting them to pursue their studies in universities and/or graduate schools in Korea.
-As of 2016, a total of 3,259 students study in 75 universities in Korea.
-About 3,000 students who graduated from this program are now leaders in diverse fields serving as Ministers, professors, businessmen, journalists, government officials, and so forth.
○ At the farewell party held at the NIIED on February 25, 2017, Zune Nilar Htay from Myanmar (Daejeon University, MA in Political Science) said,
“I was glad that I was able to donate part of my scholarship to UNICEF every month, and I hope I could become a diplomat in Myanmar and further develop diplomatic relations between the two countries.”
○ A senior graduate of GKS, Kadir Ayhan (Turkey, Seoul University, Ph.D in International Studies), who came to the farewell party to congratulate recent graduates indicated,
“I stayed in Korea upon graduating and led diverse activities including holding a forum and establishing a juridical person to promote academic and cultural exchanges between Korea and many other countries. I recently got a position as a professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.”
○ The acting president addressed that “Korea has become a country that provides support to other countries in the international context through these students who are going back with experience in Korean education.”
○ The Ministry of Education and NIIED plan to strengthen the network among alumni through various efforts such as appointing an honorary ambassador, supporting overseas alumni association, holding professional development with alumni, and so forth.