Korean STEM doctorate students in the U.S. are staying

July 16, 2014

One in two international students from Korea pursuing a doctorate in science and engineering in the U.S. are not planning to return to Korea, a report shows.

According to a report released Sunday by the Korea Higher Education Research Institute, 44.6 percent of students enrolled in U.S. science and engineering doctorate programs from 2008 to 2011 indicated they would be staying after obtaining their doctorates in science and engineering.

Although the percentage — 45.7 percent from 2000 to 2003 and 43.5 percent from 2004 to 2007 — remains constant, the total number of graduates has seen a 37.5 percent jump from 3,541 to 4,868 from 2000 to 2011.

Of those graduates, 1,618 chose to stay in the U.S. from 2000 to 2003, and 2,171 from 2008 to 2011.

Korean students who obtain science and engineering doctorates in the U.S. and who decide to stay come third only behind Chinese and Indian students in numbers.

Within the majors, 61.4 percent of those with a doctorate in biology chose to stay put, followed by those in natural sciences with 57.7 percent, health with 49.5 percent, mathematics and computer sciences with 43 percent and engineering with 41.7 percent.

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