Reading List Education Market Overview South Korea EDUKWEST

Reading List: Education Market Overview South Korea

South Korea’s education system has been the envy of many western governments. The country managed to transform itself from mass illiteracy to global economic powerhouse in less than two generations. Its students consistently rank in the top 5 for PISA test results, and the country has a 93% high school graduation rate. 82% of these graduates go on to university.

But these impressive statistics come at a price, financially and psychologically. Parents spent up to 25% of their income on private lessons in one of the over 100,000 ‘hagwons’ across South Korea. Those are attended by three out of four children, many of whom essentially study from early in the morning until late at night. This constant pressure increasingly leads to tragic events, like nervous breakdowns and even suicide.

The government is aware of these issues and is slowly setting rules to protect students from harm, yet it also does not want to risk the nation lost its competitive edge. Plans to switch schools entirely to digital textbooks this year have been put on ice, and the government also forbids hagwons to offer classes after 10pm.

But the shadow education system in South Korea is deeply entrenched in society with top tutors being treated like rockstars and some of them earning like those. In 2009 parents across the nation spent a total of $19 billion for private tutoring, which breaks down to around $220 per student per month.

This Reading List: Education Market Overview South Korea offers you a selection of over thirtyfive news articles, reports and opinion pieces about the education and tutoring market in South Korea from the perspectives of the different stakeholders.

As a bonus we added a selection of articles covering the market in North Korea.

Coming at a price of 17,50 EUR for an individual or 35 EUR for an enterprise-wide license, this means that you get the entire list of articles along with our key insights and takeaways at the competitive price of 50 cents per article.

Picture by Craig Nagy via Flickr


Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at