South Korea plans to spend about US$4.2 trillion over the next five years to bolster its education system and boost its public sector to improve competitiveness and boost economic growth.
In an effort to boost competitiveness, the South Korean government will target education spending to 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, compared with 6.4 percent in 2025, according to the government’s national plan for 2020.
The South Korean education system is already one of the most efficient in the world, with an average of 80 percent of students achieving at least a bachelor’s degree and 60 percent achieving a master’s degree, according the Korea Institute for International Cooperation.
The country has the third-highest percentage of students in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) among nations with the fastest-growing economies.
The government aims to reach the goal by 2020, and it has put a $1.3 trillion budget into education for the next decade.
The spending plan will include funding for basic education, which will include training for teachers, administrators and other staff members, as well as for college students.
The goal of creating an international education-industrial complex has been one of South Korea’s signature policies, and the new plan is aimed at achieving the ambitious goal.
The country is already investing heavily in its education sector.
On April 12, the government announced a $2.4 billion plan to improve educational infrastructure, including in schools, the creation of a new National Institute of Education for Education and Training and a $7.2 billion infrastructure fund to expand the country’s technology infrastructure.
The plan also includes $1 billion for a national scholarship program to provide scholarships to students with disabilities.
A high school diploma is one of many benefits South Korea hopes to provide to the nation’s citizens.
“We want to raise standards of education for all our citizens, but especially for the children, so they can go to college, go to the workforce, go on to work for a small company or start a business,” President Moon Jae-in said in a speech at the launch of the new education plan.
“Our goal is to make education more affordable for the entire South Korean society, and we want to help everyone go to university and to be able to build a future.”
This story was updated on May 12 to clarify that South Korea will spend $4.02 trillion over five years in education, not $4 trillion as previously stated.