From Brain Drain to Brain Competition

Sunwoong Kim

in American Universities in a Global Market

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780226110448
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226110455 | DOI:
From Brain Drain to Brain Competition

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PhDs are the core resource in research and development activities, and where and how they work will determine the effectiveness of not only the higher education sector but also the national innovation system as a whole. The decision of those people to stay or return to their native country will depend on several professional and personal considerations. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the changes in government policies, institutional arrangements, and market forces in the Korean higher education system, and relate them to the employment choices and career patterns of US-trained Korean academics. Korea is an interesting country to study the employment and residence choice of the US-trained highly skilled knowledge workers. The desirability of staying in the United States after graduation has changed significantly due to the Korean government's policy, as well as the forces of internationalization in higher education and the globalization of the professorial market. The chapter highlights the structural characteristics of the academic job market and explains why the Korean model of brain gain worked but could not be sustained. It also discusses the emerging trends of increased competition and the mass internationalization of higher education since the Asian economic crisis. In the new phase of brain competition, Korean academics will have more cooperation and competition with their US colleagues in joint research projects.

Keywords: Korean academics; brain drain; brain competition; economic crisis; higher education

Chapter.  15723 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Economics

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