Graduate Admissions’ Current Agenda
Graduate Admissions’ Current Agenda
  • Reporter Jung Han-kyu
  • 승인 2011.11.02 22:42
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▲ The background of the POSTECH global graduate admissions homepage(

The strategic graduate admission for overseas students began in 2009 when POSTECH allocated large budget into the three-year campus globalization plan. The primary purpose of its establishment is to offer a unique opportunity for its students to develop international scope. At the same time, it would provide an appealing option for outstanding overseas students to study at a respectable institution outside of their country.

Anyone would naturally guess that an institution needs a substantial amount of international mix in its student body to be considered as a world class university. Back in April of 2009 however, ratio of international students to the total enrollment of all graduate students (including Information Technology, Ferrous Technology, and Ocean Science & Technology) was merely 4.04%.

Determined to fix the rather disgraceful situation, the program started the admission process in 2009 for the incoming class of 2010. Because there is a restricting factor of long distance, the admission process for overseas students was designed to be even more scrutinizing and thorough to make sure that only the brightest of the brightest are accepted just as are Korean students.

No matter how rigorously overseas students are reviewed, however, there will always be some difference between selecting students through an interview and just document examination. To give it a hard name, it is comparable to buying a lottery ticket; you do not know what is in the pot until you purchase it. In other words, assessment of applicants’ potential by interview cannot be replaced by mere examination of documents because POSTECH is looking for extraordinary individuals that are beyond ‘paper smart’.

Since its launching, the number of international students is on the rise. Collected in the same setting as stated previously, the international student ratios in April of 2009 and 2010 are 4.89% and 6.36%, respectively.

One thing for certain is that the population of international students in the graduate student body has increased perceptibly. This is recognized by The Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Thomson Reuters, one of the world’s reputable educational institution evaluators. While POSTECH still needs to perform better in the international outlook category, its score improved in the ratio of international to domestic student subcategory.

Yet one cannot boast such improvement for an obvious reason. The fact is that graduate students will be accept every year for a few more years, and the ratio will be on the rise until the balance is achieved between the graduating and incoming students. The real question is how to improve the international population index after that. POSTECH could choose to enlarge the volume of the entire recruitment, or just raise the proportion of international students in the group of admitted students.

It is indeed a little bit premature to evaluate the progress of the graduate admissions because it has only been two years since it really has buckled down in the process. It is still going through trial and errors and improving the admission standards.

Ultimately, overseas graduate admission is needed to include a considerable size of international students in the student body for the sake of globalization. However, POSTECH should not forget that its main students are Koreans and should not neglect them in terms of financial support and welfare.

Even though its goals were rather near-sighted in the initial stages, POSTECH must now broaden its scope and prepare measures for the aftermath of reaching its goals. With the new president in the office, POSTECH now focuses less heavily in climbing up the rankings. Instead, it aims to educating distinguished, world class scientists. By doing so, the statistics will just follow up.