The region of South Korea might make it to the headlines, for the most part, due to the factors affecting its political climate. Yet, as outsiders may find hard to believe, their education system is one of the best and at par with other technologically advanced nations in the region. Putting a stamp of authority on this is the signature of their great universities, that has again made it to the best universities list by Reuters, in the latitude of Asia-Pacific. Coming in at the number one spot is a household name in education, KAIST University. This award has in fact been claimed by them the second year running. The acronym stands for the Korea Advanced Institute of Learning and Technology. With the campuses of this institution located in Daejeon, Seoul & Busan, the name itself is looked up to and talked of with respect in the country.
Reuters creates the list of such great universities by considering the number of patents and inventions brought about by an institution. And needless to say, KAIST stood the test of both, with its alumni registering more patents than all of the 74 remaining entries of universities on the list.
The institution that locked horns with KAIST and came in at the second position was Seoul National University. This particular brand of education has been in existence since the year 1946 and was marketed as the country’s first university. In the present age, it is operating 16 colleges, professional schools which are 10 in number and to top it all off, a graduate school.
The relationship between South Korea’s educational authorities and the industries is well known to every citizen. For instance, the list to have made it to the fourth spot, POSTECH (Pohang University of Science & Technology) was founded by a South Korean Steel Company, POSCO in the year 1986. The campus lies only a few minutes from the headquarters and spans over 400 acres.
The quality of education could be understood from the fact that out of the top 20 positions, 8 are occupied by the South Korean names. In fact, 4 of the top 5 winners are South Korean. A total of 22 universities have made it to the list of great universities in Asia Pacific region. China had the maximum number of entries on the list, a grand total of 25 universities, however, when compared to numbers with South Korea, it lags behind in the quality of education imparted in the students. The way nations organize their education system also reflects on this list. India, for example, is the second most populated country in the world but could only manage one name that of the Indian Institute of Technologies at number 71. Why is that so? Because they grouped all of the IITs under one roof and Reuters didn’t know, which patent was coming from which university.
But it has to be said of China, with a number of people populating it, it has to do well with the total number of universities on the list.