Sunday, December 28, 2014

Korea's investment in education

My research with Korean colleagues documents the manner in which this nation rose from the ashes of the Korean war and, beginning around 1980, harnessed the digital network revolution for national socioeconomic development.  However, it did not accomplish such remarkably rapid development on the strength of technology alone.   The number one success factor for Korea was its dedication to and investment in education.  There are many indicators of that sustained commitment to education, but today one of the most important is research and development.
South Korea now leads the world in R&D intensity, a measure of gross investment in R&D as a percentage of gross national product.  As shown in the accompanying chart (click to see a full-size version) from the OECD, this nation's rise began shortly after the turn of the millenium.  My point is simply that this sort of government-led planning has paid dividends for Korea in the past.   If overall levels of investment in R&D produce the expected results, then the outlook for this nation in 2015 and beyond looks bright.

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