Number of higher education institutions in South Korea 2009-2019, by type

In 2019, Korea had 203 universities and 127 community colleges. Generally, a university has a four-year curriculum, and a community college has a two- or three-year curriculum for a technical training course.

Change in the number of universities

The number of universities in 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 Korea are also divided into public and private institutions. Public institutions include national universities and public universities that carry out various government-supported projects. The most famous Seoul National University was one of the national universities but was then converted into a corporation. This transition was made to ensure the autonomy of the university. 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.

Number of higher education institutions in South Korea from 2009 to 2019, by type

Exclusive Premium statistic

You need a Single Account for unlimited access.

  • Full access to 1m statistics

  • Incl. source references

  • Available to download in PNG, PDF, XLS format

Single Account

$39 $59 per month *
in the first 12 months
33% discount until March 31st
*Duration: 12 months, billed annually, single license

Access to this and all other statistics on 80,000 topics from

$468 / Year
$708 / Year

Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date

October 2019


South Korea

Survey time period

2009 to 2019

Supplementary notes

According to the source, distance universities, open universities, corporate universities and graduate schools are not included in the figures.

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.
This statistic is not included in your account.

Single Account
The ideal entry-level account for individual users
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references
$59 $39 / Month *
in the first 12 months
Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Higher education in South Korea"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.