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Gyeongju University
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shimokitazawa wrote:
These are typical requirements for applicants now in Japan. Will Korean universities follow suit?

Will they follow suit? Maybe. But look at this post (read 80,000+ times):
http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php?ChronicleUser=mqj4gkp5lcto4jstuo95l935s5&topic=51472.0
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shimokitazawa wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
Seriously this, if true (government raising the bar) is a good step.


In Taiwan, the government took the following action: They made it illegal for universities to hire any full time native speaking English instructors who did not hold a relevant master's degree. All foreign EFL teachers who held only a B.A. degree, or no degree at all, were slowly phased out of the system.

Now, after a Taiwanese university has hired a foreign English teacher, the universities have to apply to the Ministry of Education for a "Certificate of Lectureship" for the new instructor. This teaching license is later issued to the English teacher and permits them to legally teach at any college or university in Taiwan. There's no way of getting around it.

Taiwan, additionally, refuses to recognize any master's degrees obtained at distance or through online study. That would eliminate about 90% of the TEFL teachers in Korea with master's degrees since nearly everyone I know here has obtained his / her degree either online or through distance study.

So, the wonderful thing about such a system is that it completely eliminates *most* of the backpackers, short-term stayers and under-qualified TEFL'ers from the competition. I'd like to see the Korean government take the same measures and have more control over universities regarding the kinds of people they hire. This would benefit those who are truly qualified.

Although only anecdotal, I think it speaks to the changing hiring trends here at Korean universities. A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend who teaches at a university just outside of Seoul. He said a few teachers' contracts were not renewed for 2012. Not because they weren't doing their jobs or were unreliable, but because they only had B.A. degrees.

This is the situation now. If one doesn't have a master's, and a relevant degree at that, it's going to get a lot more difficult to find university teaching work and to keep it. So you do what you gotta do to stay competitive, because it won't get any easier to find or keep these jobs. Of course a University can still hire someone with a B.A. degree and no publications, and many do. However, with so many foreigner EFL teachers having the proper requirements and looking for work it`s much simpler now to hire those that are qualified.

It might even become more like Japan at some point where universities begin demanding a high degree of Korean language proficiency, a minimum of 3 publications and a doctorate. This is the standard at many Japanese universities these days and actually has been for a long time. Even for part-time university positions in Japan, foreigners are expected to have publications - usually a minimum of 3.

Here's an advert I saw recently for an English teaching position at a lower ranked university in Tokyo.

Contract: 1 year, renewable 4 times
Salary: ¥6 Million a year
Research Budget: ¥280, 000 a year
Koma: 10
Qualifications: (1) Sufficient Japanese proficiency for conversation, making administrative papers, and supervising entrance examinations, (2) Must have more than two published books and research papers on related field of study.

These are typical requirements for applicants now in Japan. Will Korean universities follow suit?


That sounds pretty interesting and thanks for posting it. The only problem with this is the "refulas of online degrees" because thats missing the boat more and more! These days, online degrees, including MAs in EFL, second language teaching and so on are more and more popular and many are of great quality. Turning away people with such degrees is not a good policy in my opinion.

Will Korea do the same thing?

Why not? It would be a good step but to force Universities to do this, the government would have to put in place similar mechanisms (like the ones you outlined for Taiwan) and link these things to funding more directly.
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r122925



Joined: 02 Jun 2011

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that there's nothing wrong with online degrees, as long as the University is legit. Let's hope Korea doesn't go down the same road as Taiwan in that regard.

On the other point, I'm sure all the Korean universites would love to hire people who are highly qualified, published, lots of experience, fluent in Korean, etc... But how many of those positions would be filled with the current pay scales, benefits, and treatment that are common for foreigners at Korean universities? They would have to treat these people like real professors, not Enlgish clowns. And so far I haven't seen any evidence than Korea is headed in that direction.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

r122925 wrote:
I agree that there's nothing wrong with online degrees, as long as the University is legit. Let's hope Korea doesn't go down the same road as Taiwan in that regard.

On the other point, I'm sure all the Korean universites would love to hire people who are highly qualified, published, lots of experience, fluent in Korean, etc... But how many of those positions would be filled with the current pay scales, benefits, and treatment that are common for foreigners at Korean universities? They would have to treat these people like real professors, not Enlgish clowns. And so far I haven't seen any evidence than Korea is headed in that direction.


They would be treated either like guest lecturers (rates are not that great for those anywhere unless they are already well established) or create more tenure track positions for foreigners.

They can find people because look around, its not like western economies are booming right now!

By the way, many Universties treat their foreign instructors quite well and nowhere near like English clowns and they do so even if lots of them are hired with unrelated MAs....lets not over dramatize here.
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r122925



Joined: 02 Jun 2011

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatrickGHBusan wrote:

They can find people because look around, its not like western economies are booming right now!


Sure, Western economies aren't booming... but if there's such an abundance of qualified people out there, why are universities still hiring people with BAs? Or with completely unrelated MAs? Or limited experience? Or no Korean ability? I could go on and on.... If there's so many qualified people out there, why aren't they being hired now?

I'll admit the universities are being a bit more selective now than they have in the past, but it's still nowhere near the level of Japan or Taiwan.

This is just something that always gets to me when I hear Koreans complain about unqualified foreign teachers (at any level). It's the Korean universities that are doing the hiring. They're getting what they are willing to pay for. If it takes the government to step in and make some new rules, all that says to me is that the universities weren't making an effort to hire quality professors on their own. It seems they are more concerned with keeping the costs low rather than raising the quality.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

r122925 wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:

They can find people because look around, its not like western economies are booming right now!


Sure, Western economies aren't booming... but if there's such an abundance of qualified people out there, why are universities still hiring people with BAs? Or with completely unrelated MAs? Or limited experience? Or no Korean ability? I could go on and on.... If there's so many qualified people out there, why aren't they being hired now?

I'll admit the universities are being a bit more selective now than they have in the past, but it's still nowhere near the level of Japan or Taiwan.

This is just something that always gets to me when I hear Koreans complain about unqualified foreign teachers (at any level). It's the Korean universities that are doing the hiring. They're getting what they are willing to pay for. If it takes the government to step in and make some new rules, all that says to me is that the universities weren't making an effort to hire quality professors on their own. It seems they are more concerned with keeping the costs low rather than raising the quality.


Correction, some Universities are hiring foreign instructors with unrelated BAs and experience. There is a difference between instructor, guest lecturer and professor of course.


The Korean language ability criteria will not be enforced in my opinion because for the most part the foreigners are hired to teach english at the University. Speaking Korean would be an asset for those people of course. If you want to speak about guest lecturers in other subjects or actual professors (not to be confused with those foreigners who are hired as instructors but whose Uni calls professors), then Korean language ability can become more relevant.

Universities in Korea deliver education to their Korean students and until recently (in historic terms) had no need for foreign teachers. Recently however they have integrated more and more foreign instructors into their staff including some guest lecturers for some non EFL courses. Now, a typical guest lecturer in Canada need to have or be near completion of a PhD degree in that subject, with a MA he or she would not typically get a job as a guest lecturer. In Korea, a MA will do in many cases but the market will evolve in time. Japan is into the next phase for example, Korea may get there or do things differently.

I would leave the other places that hire english teachers out of this dicussion however because thats not a valid comparison...a Hakwon and a University fill very different mandates for example.

Good discussion by the way!
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 14 Dec 2007
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick,

When you use the terms (1) Instructor, (2) Guest Lecturer, and (3) Professor, are you translating terms from Korean to English?

I ask because schools can give foreign teachers any title they want and of course that will be reflected on the contract. Other titles may include: (1) Invited Foreign Teacher, (2) English Instructor, (3) Special Project Teacher. in the end, they all amount to what is essentially Adjunct status in the university.

For example, I applied for a teaching post back in 2008 and negotiated a higher rank - Associate Professor - but my compensation was still the same as those who held the title of Instructor.

There are over 400 universities in South Korea. I'm willing to bet that 99% of the positions held by foreign English instructors at Korean universities are Visiting Instructors, regardless of their academic background, number of publications and experience.

PatrickGHBusan wrote:
...many Universties treat their foreign instructors quite well.


This comment needs further clarification. What do you mean by by "treat them well"? A slave is still a slave even when their Master doesn't whip them. The fact is, academic apartheid exists in Korea. Most foreign instructors are not part of the "family", if you see what I mean.

Now if what you mean is that unqualified foreign TEFL teachers can come to Korea and obtain teaching jobs with university conditions, yes, I agree with you in that many are treated well. However, most foreign teachers who have high qualifications are unfortunately not often treated well by Korean universities. There is a huge disparity in terms of compensation, benefits and support between local and foreign instructors at universities.

There are many highly qualified foreign instructors teaching at Korean universities earning half the salaries of similarly or lesser qualified Korean teachers and who receive none of the academic or administrative support and benefits that Korean teachers receive. Further, the course load for the foreign instructor is often double.

Consider an average Korean instructor's contract:

Salary: 55 - 66 Million won a year
Bonus: 2 - 3 months salary, twice a year
Annual Research Budget: 4 - 6 Million won a year
Teaching Load: 5 - 7 hours a week

There's no comparison. I've worked alongside foreign PhD holders and well published M.A holders who were earning their 2.5 million won a month, teaching 18 hours a week, and doing compulsory summer and winter English courses during university vacations. They also received little to no support for research, either.

And to make matters worse, many qualified foreign instructors are told that they can only stay for 1 - 2 years before being punted back out onto the street to look for another job. Korean instructors are granted permanent employment from Day 1. Unfortunately, many Korean universities have instituted caps on the number times contracts can be renewed for foreign instructors. Mainly this is done to skirt Korean employment laws so that universities can keep foreign teachers in a kind of "Adjunct" or part-time status and not have to offer them permanent employment (which means more money for the university).

PatrickGHBusan wrote:
The Korean language ability criteria will not be enforced in my opinion because for the most part the foreigners are hired to teach english at the University.


The main issue here regarding sufficient Korean language proficiency is not so that foreign instructors can communicate with local professors but so that they can participate in department meetings and activities. This may involve not only speaking and listening during meetings but being able to read and also prepare any administrative forms or navigate the university website for personnel and admin purposes. Also, the ability to communicate with Korean administrative staff and students is important. This is why Japanese universities require applicants have a command of the Japanese language, not necessarily to talk to fellow Japanese teachers.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK..Academic Apartheids?

Slaves?


Whips?

Here I though I was involved in a reasonable debate....my mistake.



By the way, how many non residents or non citizens do you see getting PERMANENT positions as Teachers in other countries? Seriously now...

See ya.
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 14 Dec 2007
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatrickGHBusan wrote:
OK..Academic Apartheids?

Slaves?


Whips?

Here I though I was involved in a reasonable debate....my mistake.



By the way, how many non residents or non citizens do you see getting PERMANENT positions as Teachers in other countries? Seriously now...

See ya.


Thanks for reading, Patrick.
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r122925 wrote:
I agree that there's nothing wrong with online degrees, as long as the University is legit. Let's hope Korea doesn't go down the same road as Taiwan in that regard.

On the other point, I'm sure all the Korean universites would love to hire people who are highly qualified, published, lots of experience, fluent in Korean, etc... But how many of those positions would be filled with the current pay scales, benefits, and treatment that are common for foreigners at Korean universities? They would have to treat these people like real professors, not Enlgish clowns. And so far I haven't seen any evidence than Korea is headed in that direction.


http://chronicle.com/article/South-Korea-Brings-in-Foreign/126508/

Here ya go

Quote:
As a tenure-track assistant professor, Ms. Son has a salary similar to what she would earn at some colleges in the United States ($43,000 to $50,000 a year)


Quote:
The government's World Class University Project, which received 825 billion won ($752-million) last year, has fueled the process, pushing colleges to hire "outstanding foreign scholars." Seoul National University alone invited 59 foreign professors last year. Foreign hires are now a key criterion for government financial support, say experts[


Quote:
The cost of recruiting from abroad has also come under fire in the South Korean news media. With salaries often pegged to the dollar, universities must find 80 million won (about $71,000) a year for a foreign hire, nearly twice the annual salary for a Korean professor at a public university.


Of course it's not all cherries and roses.

According to the article the average stay of a foreign professor at a university is four months. One guy (who was hired as a full professor) left after a month ( apparently due to culture shock).

But there are foreigners who are hired as full professors and with tenure-track positions...you just need more than a B.A and having English as your native language.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shimokitazawa wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
OK..Academic Apartheids?

Slaves?


Whips?

Here I though I was involved in a reasonable debate....my mistake.



By the way, how many non residents or non citizens do you see getting PERMANENT positions as Teachers in other countries? Seriously now...

See ya.


Thanks for reading, Patrick.


Sadly I read it all.
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Who's Your Daddy?



Joined: 30 May 2010
Location: Victoria, Canada.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheUrbanMyth wrote:

But there are foreigners who are hired as full professors and with tenure-track positions...you just need more than a B.A and having English as your native language.


Yeah, a handful. There's probably a millionaire in Somalia living like a king too.
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 14 Dec 2007
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatrickGHBusan wrote:
Shimokitazawa wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
OK..Academic Apartheids?

Slaves?


Whips?

Here I though I was involved in a reasonable debate....my mistake.



By the way, how many non residents or non citizens do you see getting PERMANENT positions as Teachers in other countries? Seriously now...

See ya.


Thanks for reading, Patrick.


Sadly I read it all.


That's too bad you feel that way. I had no intention of being disrespectful towards you. I merely support equal compensation and benefits for similarly qualified native English speaking instructors at universities. Yes, I chose to use some dramatic language to illustrate my point.

Again, no intention to offend you and I apologize if I have.

All the best.
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 14 Dec 2007
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheUrbanMyth wrote:
But there are foreigners who are hired as full professors and with tenure-track positions...you just need more than a B.A and having English as your native language.


Most Korean universities have created a two-tiered system: One for local teachers and another, separate system for foreigner instructors. And that's why I referred to the situation above as a kind of academic apartheid.


Quote:
According to the article the average stay of a foreign professor at a university is four months.


The reality is that most qualified foreign university instructors are not given equal opportunity to participate in the Korean academic system. They can't compete for academic promotions, they don't receive equal compensation, their teaching loads are often double that of local teachers and they don't receive much in research support (if any at all). That, and most qualified foreign university teachers are often hired on non-renewable contracts so that universities can keep them under a kind of "Adjunct" status.

My argument is this: If they hire qualified foreign instructors then they should treat them equally.

Korean professors and administrators and the government need to re-think how they treat foreign academics and take steps to correct the above problems.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shimokitazawa wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
Shimokitazawa wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
OK..Academic Apartheids?

Slaves?


Whips?

Here I though I was involved in a reasonable debate....my mistake.



By the way, how many non residents or non citizens do you see getting PERMANENT positions as Teachers in other countries? Seriously now...

See ya.


Thanks for reading, Patrick.


Sadly I read it all.


That's too bad you feel that way. I had no intention of being disrespectful towards you. I merely support equal compensation and benefits for similarly qualified native English speaking instructors at universities. Yes, I chose to use some dramatic language to illustrate my point.

Again, no intention to offend you and I apologize if I have.

All the best.


You showed no disrespect towards me and I certainly am not offended in anyway.

I just found you used terms that laced your response with a shrillness and an overly dramatic tone that drained a lot of credibility from it (from my standpoint). I personally find the use of terms like slave, apartheid and other such terms to be idiotic and ignorant (no offense to you).

I will adress one point: most Universities will NOT hand tenure to foreign professors that are not either permanent residents or naturalized citizens of the country where the University operates. That to me is normal, much like most employers in most countries are forced to favor citizens over foreigners for job hires and have to prove that they cannot find a citizen locally to fill a position before they hiore a foreigner. That again is perfectly normal.

Now in more Korea-centric terms the vast majority of foreign hires at K-Universities are meant to fill English Instructor positions. As such, these positions have nothing to do with what a professor does or with his or her comparative qualifications. For example, the average foreign instructor is not required to have a PhD, to be published in his field, to do research and keep publishing.

Pay for guest lecturers and full professors will also be different just like it is back here because those are two different positions: one is basically an invited lecturer there for a term or two, the other is a permanent faculty member. Different ball of wax.

As for foreign professors with PhDs in the field they teach in, with publications and who engage in research, they will usually be hired as guest lecturers unless they have a residency visa (again this is nothing out of the ordinary). Compensation packages will then vary from Institution to Institution.

I know there are a few foreign tenure track professors who post here and they would know better than I do what the comparative compensation packages and benefits are. In my experience working at a University with fellow foreign english instructors and a couple of guest lecturers it certainly was NOT some sort of academic apartheid nor was it remotely close to slavery.

As a final point: foreign instructors are NOT professors even if the University sometimes refers to them as such in the hiring process. This means no one should compare them to full professors in terms of work conditions or compensation. Also most promotions withing Universities are offered to tenure-track professors which again is not big shocker and those people tend to be either residents or citizens....

So there you have it.
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