2013 QS Asia University Rankings

Even if I’m busy usually, I will at least post updates on university rankings when I get wind of them!

Results for the annual QS Asia University Rankings~

(I will only talk about Korean universities!)

The top ranked Korean university this year is Seoul National University at #4, followed by KAIST at #6 and POSTECH at #7. SNU remained at #4 position, but KAIST and POSTECH did climb up the rankings by 1 and 2 places respectively. These are the only 3 Korean universities in Top 10.

Yonsei is #16 this year, Korea University at #19 and Sungkyunkwan at #21.Both Korea University and Sungkyunkwan also made improvements in the rankings this year while Yonsei maintained its position.

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2012 Joongang Ilbo Korean University Ranking

Again I’m a few weeks behind on this but whatever! The university rankings this year are out!

The headlines this year: Yonsei > Seoul National > Sungkyunkwan > Korea univ. A huge change in rankings.

(photo source: http://gall.dcinside.com/list.php?id=skku&no=155094)
Yes the rankings did change a lot this year. And caused a really huge commotion on my facebook that day.

In first place we have KAIST (as usual) with 241 points followed by POSTEC (also the usual) with 233 points.

Rankings 3 to 6 had a huge shift.

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QS Asian University Rankings 2012

I know I’m a little slow on this but it seems like this year’s Asian University Rankings have been released!

That QS Asian University Rankings was first started in 2009, in partnership with Chosun Ilbo in Korea to rank universities in Asia.

I’ll just cover the Korean universities within the top 100^^

Seoul National University (SNU) is ranked at #4, an improvement from the rankings in 2011!

The next Korean university in the list is KAIST, ranked at #7. POSTECH follows closely at #9.

This is followed by Yonsei University in #16 position.

Korea University was ranked at #21 and Sungkyunkwan University at #24.

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Struggling to study in Korea – my thoughts

Let me start by saying that this post is entirely my own opinion and does not reflect the position of anyone else or any other institutions. Also, what I’ll be talking about is based on my own experience here in Yonsei UIC so I know that I can’t generalise for all universities across Korea. But I would just like to clarify that while there are many reports about Korea being “racist” or unaccepting of foreigners and so may affect some of your decisions to come here to pursue your studies, my experience here so far is a different story.

A few weeks ago, my friend posted this link on Twitter and so being an international student studying in Korea myself I was curious as to what other international students here thought about studying here.

The article here:


The author of this article is an Indonesian student in her freshman year at KAIST. She also happens to be a Muslim who wears a hijab (a headscarf). In the article, the main problems she mentioned include:

1. Language barrier

2.  “Koreans don’t seem to feel comfortable with questions, and are slow to criticize

3. Tendency to be unaccepting of other cultures

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Joongang Ilbo Korean University Ranking 2011

Okay I know that they released this last month (my professor was talking about it hehe) but I was too lazy/busy that I forgot to post it 😛

In 1st place we have KAIST with 293 points!

2nd place was POSTEC with 275 points. Both KAIST and POSTEC are more “science” centric universities.

In 3rd place there’s SNU with 252 points, 4th is Yonsei (Seoul) (yayye!!) with 251 points!

5th is a tie between KU (Anam) and Sungkyunkwan University which was 6th last year but caught up with Kodae. Both have 245 points.

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Tertiary education in Korea can get very expensive, especially for private universities. Tuition fees in Yonsei are about SGD$17,000 (KRW 15,310,400) a year! Even in public universities like SNU, it costs about USD$12,000 a year…

But don’t worry if you cannot afford the tuition fees, there are scholarships awarded by the Korean government and the universities that will help you lighten your financial load.

1. Korean Government Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded by the Korean Government to encourage overseas students to study in Korea, and also as a signal of goodwill to countries that South Korea enjoys bilateral ties with. However, it is on the condition that the student will have to take his/her course in Korean. (I’ve tried asking via email last year, but they said that you have to take a Korean language course for the first year, then complete your undergraduate studies in Korean as well) They will cover your tuition fees, accommodation, allowance, etc. Each country has a quota for the number of scholarships that can be awarded, because only a total of 100 scholarships will be awarded each year. For Singapore, our quota is 1 T____T The full list of countries can be found here: http://www.niied.go.kr/

Also, they require you to start in Spring (based on my friend’s experience), so for Singaporeans, you’ll have to leave for Korea even before getting back your A Level results.. :/

2. Scholarships from the university

Many universities (in fact, almost all) offer merit-based scholarships for international students. Depending on the university, some not only cover the tuition fees, but also give allowance. For example, Yonsei offers scholarship to their international students based on merit, but it only covers the tuition fees. KU’s scholarship covers the tuition fees and they give allowance to the international student as well. On a sidenote, KU really does offer many scholarships with more detailed information about the requirements compared to the rest of the universities.

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Korean Universities

The first step to studying in Korea: learning about Korean Universities!

The best university in Korea is no doubt Seoul National University (SNU). Many Korean high school students dream of entering this university! My friend’s Korean friend even retook his Korean SATs just to attempt to enter SNU! In that year he went to some kind of camp/dorm with only a bed and a desk (the bare essentials) so that he can concentrate on studying. Unbelievable.

Seoul National University

Next in line would be between Yonsei University and Korea University. According to QS World Rankings, Yonsei University is ranked before Korea University though. Both are private universities, with higher tuition fees compared to public universities (such as SNU). Compared to SNU, YU and KU are located closer to downtown Seoul (YU in Sinchon and KU in Anam). YU and KU also offer courses in English too, unlike SNU. YU has Underwood International College, a liberal arts honours college that conducts courses in English. KU also has an International Studies division that offers courses conducted in English. Traditionally, there has also been this rivalry between these 2 universities, and every year there’s a Yon-Ko games mostly made up of competing sports such as hockey and baseball. SNU, KU and YU are regarded as the 3 most prestigious universities in Korea, gaining the acronym “SKY”. There are many notable alumni from these 3 universities.
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