4,957, or about 7 percent, of South Korea's 77,697 full-time faculty members are foreign, the figure is up threefold in less than a decade, according to the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. That already puts it well ahead of neighboring Japan's 5 percent (out of 353,000 full-time professors), despite a much longer history of foreign hires there.It also notes that "an Education Ministry survey of 288 foreign academics last year found [that foreign professors' stays] averaged just four months." Despite some negatives, the article notes that foreigners are very willing to come to Korea to work due to the job situation in their home countries. It also looks at another familiar topic:
One indication of South Korea's lingering fears about an influx of foreigners can be found at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, where $100-million in government money has been spent developing robot English teachers. Prototypes of the robot are operated remotely from the Philippines, keeping the "moral problems" associated with non-Koreans at arm's length, says Mun Sang Kim, director of the institute's Advanced Robotics Research Center.While I and others have made this point before, I believe this is the first time I've seen someone connected with the robots actually openly state that the "moral problems" of foreign teachers is the reason for the robots (and here I thought it was to "reduce discrimination suffered by the underprivileged [...i]n rural areas or remote islands" by giving them access to 'foreign' English teachers). The government connection - as a source of funding - is also made clear. This shouldn't be surprising, especially considering Lee Myung-bak's cabinet and its concern about the 'cleanliness' of foreign teachers.
"There are some problems and some accidents in hiring native speakers at the schools right now," he says. "For example, the immigration system in Korea is not good enough to examine whether the foreign visitors are clean or not, or they did some crime," he adds. "That's the reason why the government thinks about such robot systems. They don't have any such social problems, they don't do the drugs."