Isn’t it a pyrrhic victory?: over-privatization and universal access in tertiary education of Korea
- Kim, Ki-Seok; Woo, Yong-Je
- Issue Date
- Springer Verlag
- Asia Pacific Education Review, 10(1), 125-137
- Keynote speech of the 8 th ICER, ERI, Seoul National University, 2007
- This paper analyzes the Korean passage to tertiary education for all. With a specific focus on traditional form of higher education, it tries to answer the questions of how and why this extra-ordinary phenomenon happens in a short period time. Applying a historical sociology method, it attempts to explain the mechanism and consequences of the simultaneous transition to universal access to both the secondary and tertiary education. Over-privatization has been the primary mechanism behind the simultaneous transition since the late 1960’s. Such a heavy overflow of privatization in achieving universal access places a significant financial burden on families, particularly those of a disadvantaged socioeconomic status. The more financial resources that come from the private sector, the more difficult it becomes to attain equitable access. There is no sign of a narrowing in the gap which exist between regions, socioeconomic status, gender, and family background, all of which have led to the inequality of access to universities and colleges. My final reflections are put on a simple question: “is this a story of victory or a pyrrhic one?”
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