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Education Reform in Korea

  • Randall S. Jones
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    The rapid expansion of education in Korea is exceptional and has played a key role in its economic development. Sustaining Korea’s growth potential in the face of demographic headwinds requires further improving the education system to boost productivity growth. One priority is to upgrade early childhood education and care (ECEC). Korea also needs to address the overemphasis on tertiary education, in part by improving vocational education, to reduce the mismatch problem that limits labour participation of youth. Tertiary education needs restructuring to improve quality. In addition, the large share of private spending in education increases the impact of socio-economic factors on educational outcomes. Education reforms are thus needed to promote inclusive growth, notably by: i) improving the access of low-income children to high-quality ECEC; ii) reducing reliance on private tutoring, notably at hagwons, by improving university admission procedures, expanding the quality and diversity of schools and upgrading vocational education; and iii) expanding loans to university students with repayment contingent on income after graduation. This Working Paper relates to the 2012 OECD Economic Survey of Korea (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/Korea). La réforme de l'enseignement en Corée L'expansion rapide de l'enseignement en Corée est exceptionnelle et elle a joué un rôle clé dans son développement économique. Maintenir le potentiel de croissance de la Corée face à l’obstacle démographique nécessite la poursuite de l’amélioration du système éducatif dans l’optique de stimuler la croissance de la productivité. Une priorité est d’améliorer l’éducation et l’accueil des jeunes enfants (EAJE). La Corée doit aussi s’attaquer au problème de la survalorisation de l'enseignement supérieur, notamment sur le front de l’enseignement professionnel, et remédier ainsi à l’inadéquation entre l’offre et la demande de travail qui bride le taux d’activité des jeunes. L’enseignement supérieur doit être restructuré pour gagner en qualité. De plus, le pourcentage élevé des dépenses privées d’éducation accroît l’impact des facteurs socio-économiques sur les résultats des Coréens en termes d’instruction. Des réformes de l’éducation sont ainsi nécessaires pour promouvoir une croissance solidaire, en particulier : i) améliorer l’accès des enfants de familles défavorisées à des services d’EAJE de qualité ; ii) moins recourir aux cours de soutien privés, en particulier dans le cadre des hagwons, en faisant évoluer les procédures d’admission à l’université, en rehaussant la qualité et la diversité des écoles et en améliorant l’enseignement professionnel ; et iii) accorder davantage de prêts aux étudiants dont le remboursement est fonction du revenu perçu après l’obtention du diplôme. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Corée, 2012 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/corée).

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 1067.

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    Date of creation: 27 Jun 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1067-en
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