SEOUL, Apr. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of university graduates who entered technical colleges in South Korea surpassed 1,500 this year, the highest figure to date.
A total of 162,290 students entered the 136 technical colleges located across the country, with the average acceptance rate being just below 12 percent, according to the Korean Council for University College Education (KCUE) on Wednesday.
More students entered technical colleges after earning a university degree this year, with the figure standing at 1,537, up 5.8 percent from the previous year.
Though their share is not considered large, given the total number of admissions, the KCUE argues numbers of so-called ‘U-Turn’ students are on a steady rise, citing figures from 2016.
When broken down by subject, nursing, healthcare, and practical arts were among the most popular.
The acceptance rates for nursing schools were the lowest, with only one in every 15 applicants accepted.
Other competitive fields of study included makeup, hospitality, and baking.
All nursing school positions were filled this year, while drone courses proved a hit, with admissions reaching 93 percent, up 23 percent year-on-year.
The share of students aged over 25 entering technical colleges remained around 11 percent, similar to last year’s figure.
Park Hyun-sook, a 51-year-old mother, applied to study medical welfare at Taegu Science University with her daughter.
“In this aging society, I wanted to gain professional knowledge in the field of medical and social welfare and help unfortunate people. That’s why I applied together with my daughter.”
The secretary-general of the KCUE believes stiff competition in the job market is driving people towards technical colleges.
“As the unemployment crisis continues to worsen, more people are focusing on building on their capabilities and qualifications by opting for a practical course to get a job, rather than the name value of the university,” said Hwang Bo-eun, who heads the KCUE.
“From now on, we’ll provide sufficient information so that the growing public interest can lead to admissions.”
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)