SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — With the dwindling number of young professors, the average age of university professors is on the rise, a report showed Monday.
According to the National Research Foundation, there were 73,948 faculty members at four-year colleges in South Korea as of 2021.
Sorted by age, 16,247 professors were over 60 years of age, up by 11 percent from 2017, and accounting for 22 percent of the total, jumping from 19.7 percent in 2017.
In contrast, there were 6,445 professors under 30 years old, a drop of 6 percent from 2017. They accounted for 8.7 percent of all faculty, down from 9.1 percent in 2017.
In 2012, there were close to 200 more young professors than those over 60 years old. By 2021, professors under 30 accounted for a mere 39.7 percent of the number of professors over 60 years of age.
There were 22,431 professors in their 40s in 2021, down by 9 percent from 2017.
In a single research field, professors over 60 years of age spent 144.2 million won (US$114,730) each on an annual basis for research, which was 1.6 times more than what professors in their 30s spent.
However, they only wrote 0.26 papers published at SCI-grade journals, which was less than half of what those in their 30s wrote.
Among all academic publications, each professor who was 30 years old or younger wrote 0.88 papers, surpassing those over 60 years old (0.66).
Ashley Song (email@example.com)