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South Korean Education: Examination Hell or Model for the World, Spring 2020

Course Number: EALC_E 342 (IU), KOR 01:574:390 (RU), KORE3070:0001 (UI)

Course Schedule: T/TH 3:00-4:15pm (CT) 4:00-5:15pm (EST)

Instructor: John Finch

Hosting University: Indiana University

Course Description: This course examines the role of education in contemporary South Korean society. Building on a historical legacy of two thousand years of formal education, South Korea has transformed itself from post-war devastation into one of the world’s most successful modern nations. And simultaneously, the meritocratic aspect of Korean education enabled individuals from humble backgrounds to achieve success.  As a nation, Korea has exceptionally high enrollments in tertiary education, and maintains a system of high quality universities. However, while the benefits of Korea’s obsession with education have been substantial, there is also a significant downside to the hyper-competitiveness that has overtaken the Korean education system. Not only does the Korean education system impose unmanageable amounts of stress on students, but it has also become less open, so that individuals without substantial family resources have little opportunity for social mobility.

Participating Universities:  Rutgers University & University of Iowa

Academic Calendar: Unless specified by the course instructor, the course will follow the host campus’ academic calendar.