Handong in the News
Handong In The News
Lowest college dropouts ranking 1st Seoul University, 2nd Handong University
writer: 영문 관리자   |   date: 2017.06.26   |   count: 282


This article is translated from Joongang Daliy (original in Korean).

To read original article, please click HERE.


‘Indirect scale’ of student satisfaction and student dropout rates.

In 2016, the ‘dropout rate’ was analyzed according to the information from universities.

The rate of dropout and returning college is inverse to the proportion of student satisfaction.

The Colleges of education and Colleges in Seoul have a low dropout rate but, the Cyber university and “non-Seoul” universities are high.


Only one local university is among the top 10 of low dropout rates

Handong Universiy located in Gyeongbuk Pohang, has lower dropout rate than Yonsei and Korea University compared to a ‘non-major’ system, team meeting activated ‘education-centered university.’



The Ministry of Education and the Korean Council for University Education has a total of 84 reports published annually through the ‘Higher Education in Korea’, and the university information service website. They offer a wide range of information, including number of students, faculty’s thesis record, condition of education like tuition and scholarship level, entrepreneurship and employment status, as well as research competitiveness, student welfare or educational achievements.


The evaluation of each university is best when it comes from the students who attend these colleges. For example, there is no information to show how much a student is satisfied in a class or with the education they are receiving. Most of the items that the public knows about are the number of people, the money the school has, the area of the school, and the number of materials aggregated. The items that are available as a measure of the satisfaction of the students is the ‘dropout rate’.


The dropout rate is the percentage of registered students who either drop out of their school or have not returned. This means that if a student has a high satisfaction with his or her college and a prospect after graduation then, the dropout rate must be low. On the other hand, if the satisfaction is low and the output after the graduation will be negative then, the student will leave the school. This is the same as a Korean Proverb that says: “If you don’t like the temple, you’re leaving.”



Seoul University has the lowest dropout rate (1.1%) of the 137 universities nationwide (over 5,000 students, not including the cyber-university and University of education.) [Joong Ang photo]


The Colleges of education and Colleges in Seoul have a low dropout rate but, the Cyber university and “non-Seoul” universities are high.


A research done on the 253 national 4-year university (2016 notification) in ‘Higher Education in Korea’ says that among 18 million students there are 247 registered students who have stopped their studies and are considered dropouts. This dropout rate is every 7 out of 100 people (7.4%). There is a significant difference in the dropout rate depending on the type of school. For example, in Universities that specialize in the training of teachers, the dropout rate is 0.6% which is almost zero. This proves that there is a close relationship between the prospect of graduation and the dropout rate.


However, students in an online-based university or cyber university, has one of the five students (18.5) who have stopped studying. There is a lot of ‘salardent’ (Salaryman + student) who have both an academic life and a working life. Korea National Open University also has a high-dropout rate. It seems that it’s not a matter of student satisfaction, but due to its unique strict management system.


Area-based deviations also appear. In general, except for Educational and cyber university, the universities in Seoul have a 2.7% of dropout rate. However, ‘non-Seoul’ universities have 4.5% drop out rate and Private University’s dropout rate is higher than National University’s.


‘Dropout’ University Student

7 out of 100 students are dropouts. Unit: %, student number in ‘( )’

All University

Registered students

Total 2,474,866

Type of stopping study

Unregistered 45.7 (83,788)

Dropout 31.7 (58,113)

Not return 18.9 (34,615)

Academic probation 1.9 (3,477)

Etc. 1.9 (3,437)



The Colleges of education and Colleges in Seoul have a low dropout rate but, the Cyber university and “non-Seoul” universities are high.

Educational college

General university

Cyber university

Korea National Open University



National and ‘In Seoul’ university is low, private and ‘Non-Seoul’ university is high

Lowest dropout rate

Seoul National University

Handong University

Yeonsei University (Seoul)

Korea University (Ahnam)

Inha University

Myongji University (Seoul)

Sungkyunkwan University

Sogang University

Hanyang University (Seoul)

Hanyang University (ERICA)


*2016 university information

(137 4-year university, over 5,000 students, except cyber university and Korea National Open University)


The lowest dropout rate is Seoul University, how about the 2nd place?


Seoul National University has the lowest dropout rate among 149 four-year universities that have more than 5,000 students. Only 239 students (1.1%) dropped out of about 2 million registered students. Companies for college entrance examination assume that most of the dropout students will be apply to the medical college or dental college. Nine universities among ten lowest dropout rate are located in Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi. However, the 10 universities that have high dropout rate are ‘non-Seoul’ and private colleges. We have a glimpse of the ‘university rankings’ that are focused on metropolitan area.


The only university in the top 10 of the provincial and low-dropout is Handong Global University. Handong Global University, located in Pohang, Gyeongbuk. Handong Global University is the 2nd lowest university with a low dropout rate of 1.3% following Seoul National University. This rate is lower than Yonsei University Seoul campus (1.6%) or Korea University Ahnam campus (1.7%) which many students admire.


Students are having a team meeting in campus, located in Pohang, Gyeongbuk. In Handong Global University, team meeting is active. Each team contains 40 students from various grades and majors, and a team professor. [Handong Global University]


Why is the student’s dropout rate low compared to other general provincial universities? Handong Global University is a private college founded based on the Christian spirit and it was founded in 1995. The history of university is not that old, so this may be the first you may hear of Handong Global University, but the university is often referred to as a very ‘education-centered university’ in Korea by the academic scholars or the faculties. Unlike the large metropolitan university focusing on a ‘research-centered university’, Handong Global University focused on undergraduate education.


Byun Gi Yong (pedagogy), a professor of Higher Education Policy Research Institute of Korea University, has researched various side of Handong Global University by the request of the Ministry of Education. In a report published in 2015, researchers concluded that a ‘non-major system’ and ‘team meeting’ is the core system. The freshman of Handong Global University enroll declared as non-majors and learn basic subjects of several majors or basic liberal arts for one year. It’s time to explore various majors and future careers interest.


From sophomore year, students select their majors based on their aptitude and decision. Students then have a passion for their studies through the process of navigating majors and future careers. The researchers analyzed in the report that ‘a powerful learning motivation of Handong Global University students is based on their vocation.’


 Handong Global University students are concentrating on the team project. Most of the classes in Handong Global University are provided with team-teaching or discussion. [Handong Global University]


Another feature is an active team meeting. A team of more than 40 students with various grade and majors and one professor. It’s a kind of mentoring community, where students can get the most information. Most of students are living in dormitory, so it becomes ‘another family’ to them.


Classes are usually taught in a ‘team-teaching’ style through discussion, and team projects. Professors are also passionate about student education. Unlike a large university in the metropolitan area where the research achievements is a standard of promotion or employment, Handong Global University focuses on teachers’ efforts and competence of student education as an assessment standard. Professor Byun Gi Youn and researchers stated in the report that “excellent undergraduate education is possible when there is the existence of ‘motivated students’ and ‘professor as a model’.”


Of course, it seems not easy to apply to another university. The professor and student community of Handong Global University have a strong religious character (Christianity). It seems to be difficult to apply discussion-based class to a large university with a large number of students. However, the case of Handong Global University implies many things to other provincial university where they are struggling with a reduction of the number of students. Would a university, that offers excellent education and satisfaction, survive in an era of named as the ‘population cliff’?

facebook 공유하기 twitter 공유하기 kakaostory 공유하기
Handong Global University 558 Handong-ro Buk-gu, Pohang Gyeongbuk 37554 Republic of Korea
Tel. +82-54-260-1111
ⓒ 2015 Handong Global University, All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy