Transformation of Korean Higher Education in the Digital Era: Achievements and Challenges

Authors

  • Haejoo Lee Korea National Open University
  • Romee Lee Korea National Open University

Keywords:

adult learners, COVID-19, digital divide, digital teaching and learning, higher education institutions, Korean higher education

Abstract

This essay addresses the transformation of Korean higher education (HE) that has occurred since COVID-19, with a focus on the digitization of teaching and learning. Digitization has impacted both remote and traditional universities and colleges. While remote higher education institutions (HEIs) have been quick responding to the changed situation, traditional universities and colleges have also been searching for various instructional methods in their online as well as traditional classrooms, experimenting for the best methods for learners. National policies have also supported this digital transformation of HEIs which has had results of the engagement of more adult learners in HE gaining credits, certificates, and academic degrees online. While new ways of being ‘learner-centered’ have been intensively explored in these processes, some concerns such as the competency gap of institutions and instructors, and the deepening digital divide among learners have emerged, which needs attention from policymakers, researchers and practitioners in HE.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Haejoo Lee, Korea National Open University

HAEJOO LEE, PhD, is a professor at Koran National Open University, Department of Education and a Dean of its Seoul Regional Campus. She has been in coworking with adult education scholars in the world including Canada, Mexico, and Ireland regarding the themes in distance education area. Her research also includes civic education and multicultural citizenship education. haejoole@knou.ac.kr.

References

Auh Y. & Jeung H. (2021). A global inquiry of higher education: Challenges and opportunities in post pandemic. Journal of Educational Innovation Research, 31(3), 213-247. http://dx.doi.org/10.21024/pnuedi.31.3.202109.213.

Bae, Y. (2021). LiFE and the lifelong educational transformation of universities. Adult and Continuing Education, 12(2), 63-84. http://dx.doi.org/10.20512/kjace.2021.6.30.63

Byun, K., Jon, J. E., & Kim, D. (2013). Quest for building world-class universities in South Korea: Outcomes and consequences. Higher Education, 65, 645-659. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-012-9568-6.

Chang, R. (2020). Corona 19 edutech shi-dae, Hankok-bal cyber daehak ashinayo? [COVID 19 & Edutech era, do you know Korea's cyber university?]. Brain, 82, 48-49.

Cho, J. (2015). Responses to globalization: Internationalization and institutional reform in two different types of universities in Korea [Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park]. Digital Repository at the University of Maryland.

https://drum.lib.umd.edu/handle/1903/16650

Choi, S., Seo, Y., Han, H., Park, I., Choi, Y., Lee, D., Chae, S. & Kim, S. (2018). Analysis and study on demand of adult learners for university lifelong education. Jincheon: Korea Educational Development Institute.

Chong, H. & Woo, S. (2022). Analysis of the effect of learners’ preference for online classes on online course satisfaction. Korean Journal of General Education, 16(2),257-273. http://dx.doi.org/10.46392/kjge.2022.16.2.257

CU info (2023). Cyber University Comprehensive Information. http://www.cuinfo.net/home/index.main.action

ET News. (2021, August 26). Daehaksaeng 10 myung jung 4myung bidaemyeon sunho [4 out of 10 college students prefer non-face-to-face classes].

https://www.etnews.com/20210826000017

Glaser, B. & Strauss, A. (1967). The Discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Sociology Press.

Jun, S. (2023). Perspective chapter: Current practice of massive open online courses in South Korea, In S. Gounder (Ed.), Massive Open Online Courses - Current Practice and Future Trends, IntechOpen, https://doi.10.5772/intechopen.1001588

Jung, J. (2021). Education and social stratification in South Korea. Social Science Japan Journal, 25(1), pp.173–176, https://doi.org/10.1093/ssjj/jyab040

Kalenzi, C., Back, D., & Yim, M. (2020). The future of online education: lessons from South Korea. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/11/lessons-from-south-korea-on-the-future-of-online-education/

Kang, S. (2020). Diagnosis and task of the national distance education system in response to COVID-19. Jincheon: Korea Educational Development Institute. https://www.kedi.re.kr/khome/main/research/selectKediBriefForm.do?selectTp= 0&board_sq.

Kim, H.W. & Kim, S.Y. (2023). Gender differences in willingness for childbirth, fertility knowledge, and value of motherhood or fatherhood and their associations among college students in South Korea. Arch Public Health 81, 110. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13690-023-01127-x

Kim, Y. (2020). In the post-COVID-19 era, embrace lifelong education edutech! Seoul: NILE. https://www.nile.or.kr/contents

KNOU Weekly (2020, March 6). Jeonguk daehake bangsongdae gangi musang gaebang [Free opening of KNOU lectures to universities nationwide. https://weekly.knou.ac.kr/articles/view.do?artcUn=916.

Korean Statistical Information Service (2022). E-learning industry survey. https://kosis.kr/statisticsList

Korea Education and Research Information Service (2020). Education Information Technology White Paper. https://www.nile.or.kr/contents

Lee, K., Fanguy, M., Bligh, B., & Lu, X. S. (2022). Adoption of online teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic: a systematic analysis of changes in university teaching activity. Educational Review, 74(3), 460-483. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2021.1978401

Lee, S. (2021). Analysis and overcoming measures of crisis in local universities through social big data analysis. Comparative Government Review, 25(2), 215-252. http://dx.doi.org/10.18397/kcgr.2021.25.2.215

Lee, S. (2022). An analysis on crisis of local universities and overcoming measures: Focused on the analysis of convergence education trends based on social big data. Korean Comparative Government Review, 26(3), 49-76. http://dx.doi.org/10.18397/kcgr.2022.26.3.49

Lee, Y. & Shin, D. (2020). An investigation of the implementation of online classes in the untact era caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Journal of Curriculum Evaluation, 23(4), 39-57. Http://dx.doi.org/10.29221/jce.2020.23.4.39

Lee, H. (2022). Godeung gyoyuk jeongcheck-gua KNOU ei yukhal. [Higher lifelong education policy direction and the role of KNOU]. Institute of Future Distance Education. Korea National Open University.

Ministry of Education (2017). Middle-aged life model building plan. https://www.moel.go.kr/policy/policyinfo/aged

Ministry of Education (2021). University's systematic management and innovation support strategies. https://www.moe.go.kr/boardCnts/viewRenew.do?boardID=294&boardSeq=84467&lev=0&searchType=null&statusY

Ministry of Education (2022a). Local government-university cooperation based regional innovation project. https://www.moe.go.kr/boardCnts/viewRenew.do?boardID=294&boardSeq=90505&lev=0&searchType=null&statusYN=W&page=1&s=moe&m=020402&opType=N

Ministry of Education (2022b). Regional lifelong education vitalization support project promotion plan. https://www.moe.go.kr/boardCnts/viewRenew.do?boardID=338&boardSeq=90393&lev=0&searchType=null&statusYN=W&page=1&s=moe&m=0304&opType=N

Ministry of Education (2023a). Higher education. https://english.moe.go.kr/sub/infoRenewal.do?m=0305&page=0305&s=english

Ministry of Education (2023b). University disclosure data. https://www.academyinfo.go.kr/intro/intro0300/intro.do

Ministry of Education (2023c). modureul wihan matchumgyoyuk online gonggaesuup MOOC ye daehaeseo alaboja! [Let’s learn about online open courses MOOC for customized education for everyone!] Official blog of the Ministry of Education. http://blog.naver. Com/moeblog/221936287511

Ministry of Education (2023d). Lifelong Education. https://english.moe.go.kr/sub/infoRenewal.do?m=0307&page=0307&s=english

NILE (National Institute for Lifelong Education) (2023). Retrieved from http://www.kmooc.kr/#none

NILE (National Institute for Lifelong Education) (2022a). 2021 pyungsaeng kyoyuk baekseo [White Paper on Lifelong Education]. https://www.nile.or.kr/contents

NILE (National Institute for Lifelong Education) (2022b). Hakjeom eunhaengje [Credit bank system]. https://cb.or.kr/creditbank/eduIntro.

Nam, I. (2011). Hangukeu sahuikyungjejeok yanggukhwawa gyoyukgyeckcha [A study on socio-economic bipolarization and educational inequality in Korea]. Hyonsang-gwa-Insik. 35(3), 15-38.

Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (2016). Digital government strategies for transforming public services in the welfare areas. Paris: OECD.

Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (2021). Education at a Glance. OECD Indicators, Paris: OECD.

Park, J. (2006). Cyber daehakei baljeon bangane gwanhan yeongu [Strategy for the growth of cyber university]. Korea Business Education Review, 10(1), 215-240.

Shaughnessy, H. (2018). Creating digital transformation: Strategies and steps. Strategy & Leadership, 46(2), 19-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/SL-12-2017-0126

Shin, S. (2022, March 29) corona sidae, ganguisil anpakwi gyoyukun eddeke byunhatna? [In the Covid-19, how has education changed inside and outside the classroom?] http://www.snujn.com/news/55802.

Statistics Korea (2023). Basic education statistics: Overview of remote and cyber universities. https://www.index.go.kr/unity/potal/main.

University News Network (2020, December 1). Corona 19 balpan K-MOOC seongjangse [COVID-19 stepping stone ‘K-MOOC growth trend’…diversity and completion rate failed to meet expectations]. https://news.unn.net/news/articleView.html?idxno=500423

University News Network (2021). Sungkyunkwandae, global MOOC platform Courserawa partnership chegyeol [Sungkyunkwan University signed a partnership with Coursera, a global MOOC platform]. http://news.unn.net/news/articleView.html?idxno=507553

University Distance Education Center (2022, August). 2022 Digital Transformation: University Distance Education Innovation Conference. 2022. 8. 12.

Yang, E. (2020). The design fallacy of LiFE project. Journal of Lifelong Learning Society. 16(4), 1-34. http://dx.doi.org/10.26857/JLLS.2020.11.16.4.1

Yoon, S. & Lee, H. (2022, October 22). A qualitative study on the academic difficulties and overcoming experiences of middle-aged college students. [Paper presentation]. 2022 Korean Society of Educational Gerontology Conference. Seoul Global Center: Korea.

Yoon, H. (2022). A study on edu-tech activation methods for learners in university education. The Journal of Humanities and Social science, 13(1), 3135-3148. http://dx.doi.org/10.22143/HSS21.13.1.222.

Yonhap News TV (2014, September 19). Yonsedae, online gonggaegangei site Coursera wa content jegong hyeopyak [Signed an agreement with Coursera, the world's largest MOOC]. https://www.yonhapnewstv.co.kr/news/MYH20140919016300038

Yonsei University (2022, January 21). Yonseidae deung 17gae daehak online gongdong-gangei network changlip [17 universities, including Yonsei University, established online joint lecture network]. Yonsei News. https://www.yonsei.ac.kr/sc/intro/pressrel.jsp?mode=view&article_no=201554

Downloads

Published

2024-05-22

How to Cite

Lee, H., & Lee, R. (2024). Transformation of Korean Higher Education in the Digital Era: Achievements and Challenges. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 16(2). Retrieved from https://ojed.org/index.php/jcihe/article/view/5847

Issue

Section

Empirical Article