Fulbright Forum – August 10, 2012

Stephanie Kim

Defining A Korean Model of University Internationalization

In the wake of the Asian financial crisis and of a continuing neoliberal trend in higher education reform that emphasizes deregulation, competition, and marketization, the Korean government has attempted to minimize the country’s educational trade deficit by pursuing measures that discourage students from studying abroad while encouraging foreign students to come study in South Korea. In effect, this policy shift underscores the need to raise educational and research standards at Korean universities and to create campuses with more international settings so as to better accommodate foreign students. One consequence is the emergence of international colleges housed within Korean universities that adopt a Western liberal arts model and are conducted entirely in English.

Stephanie’s Fulbright research provides an anthropological analysis of an international collegethat examines how various university stakeholders navigate their professional activities in the context of the university. It takes the integration of liberal arts education in South Korea as a point of entry to discuss the social, economic, and political debates surrounding university internationalization. Her presentation ultimately argues that the emergence of international colleges reflects a unique model of university internationalization that embodies the Korean attitude towards globalization.


Stephanie Kim is a Ph.D. Candidate in Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. As a Fulbright Junior Researcher, she is conducting dissertation research on the integration of a Western pedagogical model and its effects on Korean student culture. She holds an MS in Global Affairs from New York University, and a BA in English from the University of Michigan.