This paper discusses controversial issues within higher education policy in South Korea. It is broadly acknowledged that educational policy reforms must balance the competing and often intersecting interests of a wide variety of stakeholders, and as a result of these dynamics controversy regularly emerges in the wake of new policy. This is evident in South Korea. If we can recognize the differences and the features of their opinions in their own context, it could be useful for us to be able to grasp the current state, the dynamism and the future direction of Korean higher education in some degrees.
The paper consists of five chapters, covering recent controversial policy issues while also offering for readers some basic information regarding the key features of South Korean higher education. Chapter one discusses the ‘Part-time Lecturer Law,’ which was recently introduced to improve the treatment of early career faculty. Chapter two gives information on the college student support system, in the context of declining employment prospects for recent graduates. Chapters three and four overview the college entrance examination reform as a political issue, with which society has long been concerned. The last chapter examines the ‘National University Upbringing Business,’ which the government expects to play an important role in the development of local areas. In combination we provide an understanding of how higher education has changed through public debate, focusing on each stakeholder’s view.