Project Details

Privatisation of education in South Korea: Case study of the “free-semester programme” initiative

This is a case study of privatisation of secondary education in South Korea as manifest in the design and implementation of the “Free-Semester Programme” initiative. The private sector has long participated in, if not intruded, public secondary education in South Korea. Besides the much-debated shadow education and traditional outsourcing of ancillary school services (e.g. catering and transportation), an emerging branch of educational outsourcing provides core educational services, including after-school programmes and extra-curricular activities conducted by charity and for-profit companies as well as freelancers, and even teacher professional development. Despite its significant presence and role in public education, private-sector involvement is not officially encouraged by the South Korea government as revealed by my initial review of the major nation-wide educational policies issued in the past 5 years. However, a number of executive plans produced by regional educational offices express a welcoming attitude towards what private-sector companies and personnel are capable of and willing to offer in the provision of public schooling. This can potentially raise a number of concerns surrounding a central question: for what reasons and through what processes is privatisation of education brought to figure and function in public schooling? This study will contribute to the current debate of quality and equity of privatisation of education in public schools, impact of policy ensembles, and more broadly, quality of education sought by many governments around the world as a strategy to increase the competitiveness of the polity in the globalized world.

Commencement Date : 2015/4
Completion Date : 2016/5
Chief Investigator(s) : Dr CHOI, Tae Hee 崔太僖 [EPL]
Keyword(s) : privatisation of education   South Korea   Free-Semester Programme  

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