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Title [Guidance] Korean Education System④ : Micro-Degree Programs
Date 2023-07-12
Views 646
ㅇKorean Education System④ : Micro-Degree Programs


Micro-Degree Programs Introduced to Expand Diverse Learning Opportunities for College Students

Advance Notice of the Partial Revision of the “Enforcement Decree of the Higher Education Act”
Establishing a legal basis for micro-degree programs to expand educational opportunities for college students and adult learners in various specialized major areas and ease their burden of completion.
Facilitating collaboration between universities by providing grounds for the expansion of combined bachelor’s and master’s programs, which are currently only offered within a single university, to be conducted between separate universities.
The Ministry of Education (Lee Ju-ho, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education) provides advance notice of the partial revision of the Enforcement Decree of the Higher Education Act, which includes the establishment of a legal basis for micro-degree programs and the operation of inter-university combined bachelor's and master's programs. The announcement period will take place over a period of 40 days from December 9 to January 18, 2023. The revision establishes a legal basis for the operation of micro-degree programs which will provide educational opportunities in various specialized fields such as promising industries and interdisciplinary studies, with the aim of ensuring students' right of learning choice and alleviating the burden of completion.
Examples of Micro-Degree Programs
University A Within a regular degree course such as “Computer Science” or “Business Administration,” specific micro-degree programs are established for specialized fields such as “Android App Development” or “Supply Chain Management.”
University B The Department of Food and Nutrition and the Department of Exercise Prescription establish the combined and integrated course “Diet Management and Counseling” to provide students with opportunities to study meal plans for healthy weight management and maintenance.
Micro- or nano- degree programs, terms which are widely used in academic papers and universities, utilize intense and specific curricula to develop competency and education certification by subdividing content in major areas of study into small units.
Upon this revision, micro-degree programs will be made available to adult learners, including those enrolled as part-time students. This expansion aims to enhance the role of universities in lifelong education and validate the learning experience both domestically and internationally by issuing relevant documents and certificates upon the completion of micro-degree programs. Furthermore, universities will have the opportunity to collaborate with other institutions, research organizations, and industries to jointly operate micro-degree programs, and may include the names of collaborating institutions or organizations in the program titles.
A legal ground will be established on which current combined bachelor’s and master’s programs within universities will be extended to inter-university cooperation. Through this initiative, universities can enhance cooperation and collaboration between institutions by combining their bachelor programs with outstanding master programs of other universities.
As the criteria for allocating extra slots for transfer students having been revised*, local universities will have grounds to bypass administrative measures when admitting transfer students in excess of admission quotas for each recruiting unit as stipulated by their regulations.
*To foster demand-specific talents and promote specialized education, an improvement has been made to allow local universities to autonomously allocate slots for transfer students beyond the shortfall number of each recruiting unit within the range of total admission quotas for transfer students (effective from November 15, 2022).
In order to address the shortage of nursing personnel, the ratio of undergraduate transfer student admission quotas beyond the designated quota of the nursing department has increased over the past five years (2019-2023) from 10 to 30 percent. This expansion will be further extended for the next five years (2024-2028).
The total number of undergraduate transfer students by year and academic year, which is in excess of the designated quota, will be maintained within the range of two percent of the respective year's admission quota. The number of undergraduate transfer students for each recruiting unit cannot exceed four percent of the total admission quota. However, the nursing college is an exception to the rule, and is allowed up to a maximum of 30 percent.
Organizations, institutions, and individuals can submit comments or opinions regarding the revision through the “Integrated Legislative Opinion Center” website ( or by postal mail, fax, or email until January 18, 2023.
Kim Il-su, Director of the Higher Education Policy Office, remarked, “By establishing a legal basis for micro-degree programs, we expect that these programs will be stably operated at the university level, strengthening the role of universities in fostering talents that align with social changes and technological innovations.”
[Source] Micro-Degree Programs Introduced to Expand Diverse Learning Opportunities for College Students | Written by Ministry of Education
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