Number of higher education institutions in South Korea 2009-2022, by type
Change in the number of universities
The number of universities in South Korea increased significantly until 2000 but has since gradually declined. This is largely related to the government's policy of university restructuring due to a decrease in the school-age population. Especially in the case of community colleges, the number has gradually decreased since 2005 as they were merged into universities run by the same corporation or reorganized into four-year universities.
Public vs. private universities
Higher education institutions in South Korea are also divided into public and private institutions. Public institutions include national universities and public universities that carry out various government-supported projects. Seoul National University, a national university located in Seoul, is one of South Korea's most prestigious universities. In the case of private universities, university administration is more flexible and sometimes is operated together with private companies. For example, Sungkyunkwan University was acquired by the Samsung Group.