[Photo by Yonhap]
The expansion of medical school quota in South Korea is expected to trigger more students to retake college entrance exams to get into medical schools.
In April, the Ministry of Education will finalize the quota for medical schools at university for 2025 after announcing its allocation plan. Increased quotas is expected to mainly benefit small medical schools with under 50 admissions and those in non-metropolitan regions.
Currently, there are 17 medical schools that have fewer than 50 admissions out of 40 nationwide medical schools.
Cram schools and the private education industry are already ramping up programs aimed at supporting medical school expansion. Especially in non-metropolitan regions, they are garnering attention from parents interested in regional medical school admissions.
Under the enforcement decree of the law to promote regional universities and talent, regional medical schools must enroll at least 40 percent of students from their local regions.
“The expansion of medical school quotas effectively means the expansion of regional talent admissions, resulting in enhanced anticipation among parents,” said Lim Seong-ho, head of the test preparation institution, Jongno Academy.
Some anticipate a surge in students relocating from Seoul to middle schools in regional areas to pursue regional medical school admissions.
In 2024, the competition ratio for such admissions was one-third of the nationwide competition. The latest quota expansion presents an advantageous opportunity for aspiring medical students.
However, the fervor for medical school is expected to take a toll on engineering and science fields.
A recent analysis from Jongno Academy revealed a significant dropout rate in natural science departments at major Seoul universities, notably with Yonsei University’s Integrated Science and Engineering Division reporting a dropout rate of 15.6 percent.
By Seo Jeong-won, Ji Hye-jin, and Chang Iou-chung
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]