VNKR Alumni and the impacts of “Korea experience” in career development
Le Tien Dung, PhD
This mini survey was designed to collect information of the former Vietnamese students in South Korea during a period from 2000 to 2007. The secondary objective was to evaluate the “impact of Korea experience” on Career Development of the Alumni by asking a self-evaluating question. Finally we ask if the alumnus is interested in participating in an Alum Club. The result shows that Chungbuk National University, Cheongju contributed the highest number of alumni (19.4%) among all the Universities in Korea, Deajeon is the City that contributed the highest number of alumni among all the cities. Most of the alumni majored in science and engineering (30% of them majored in Biology). 90% of the alumni pursued their study in Korea as graduate students. The funding of the studies of the alumni was mostly from Korean side (85%), 1% was funded by a scholarship from Vietnamese government. More than 90% of the alumni considered their training in Korea to have positive impacts on their career development. 87% of the alumni said that they would participate in the Alum Club if it is formed, most of the 13% who said no is, in fact, pursuing further study in a third country (out of Korea but not yet in Vietnam).
1- Methodology (Questionnaire):
To minimize the concerns of the alumni regarding their personal data, we keep the questions for personal data at minimum, however, we still have to ask enough information to distinguish the alumni from one another, and to verify that there is no fake record. Thus, we asked for their full name, date of birth, gender and, of course, an active e-mail address.
- When did you come to Korea?
- How long was your study in Korea? These questions are to learn about the period in which the most number of our alumni were staying in Korea.
- At which University/School/Institution did you study? To identify the Institutions that contribute the most in educating Vietnamese students during this period.
- Subject of your study? To know the field in which our alumni is dominate
- What degree(s) that you earned from your study in Korea?
- Sponsors of your Study in Korea? To identify the sources of funding for educating the alumni
- Did you get a job after returning from Korea?
- Your current job, and your Employer? (this question is used to cross-check the answers for others question – verification purpose)
- How do you evaluate the "Korea Experience" in the development of your professional Career?
- Will you actively involve in the activities of the Alumni Club if it is formed?
- Your other comments & suggestions
To facilitate the assessment of the survey data, we provided each question with “options” to answer the question. The survey was conducted in a closed manner, in which only invited persons will be able to answer the survey, however the non-invited persons can also response to the survey after a preliminary registration.
Over a period of 02 months we have had 98 responses [cut-off date Oct 15, 2007], which is 68% of the e-mails sent out. In the total number of alumni that responded to the survey, 59% are males and 41% are females.
This total 98 alumni had spent 310.5 person-years in South Korea. The average time for their training in Korea is 3.1+/-1.7 years, the person stayed longest is the one who obtained MS, PhD, and postdoc training at Chonbuk National University, guess who? (it's cuong_bom). He has been staying there for 8 years still there. The shortest stay responded is 6 months, a person very popular within VNKR community, a former Moderator of VNKR forum, guess who? (it's NORE).
1- VNKR alumni, where did they study?
In order to know which University had contributed the most in educating our Alumni, we asked the Alumni to give the name of the Institutions where their training took place. The responded data showed that Chungbuk National University contributed 19.4% of our current alumni, then comes Chungnam National University (11.2%), the third ranking goes to Korean Institute of Science and Technology with 9.2%. See below for details. According to geographical areas, Deajeon, which is a Science City, contributed the most number of alumni among those responded to this survey taking 25.5% of the total number. 23.5% of the total responses come from those having been trained in Seoul City.
Table 1. Universities/Institutions where VNKR Alumni pursued their studies
Chungbuk National University, Cheongju
Chungnam National University, Daejeon
Paichai University, Daejeon
Sung-Kyun-Kwan University, Suwon
Seoul National University, Seoul
Pusan University of Foreign Studies, Pusan
Korea University, Seoul
Ulsan University, Ulsan
Sejong University, Seoul
Pusan National University, Pusan
Yonsei University, Seoul
Sunmoon University, Cheonan & Asan
Seoul Women's University, Seoul
Pukyung National University, Pusan
Pohang University of Technology, Pohang
Kyungpook National University, Daegu
Kyunghee University, Seoul
Korean Development Institute (KDI), Seoul
Joong'ang University, Seoul
Inje University, Pusan
Chonnam National University, Gwangju
Chonbuk National University
2- VNKR Alumni, what did they study in Korea?
To learn in what areas our alumni had been trained in Korea, we asked about their majors. According to the responses, our alumni studied mostly in Biology during their training in South Korea. 30.6% of the alumni majored in Biology, the major that attracted the second most number of alumni is Computer Sciences (11.2%). Table 2 shows the details.
Table 2. Majors of VNKR Alumni while studying in Korea
Engineering majors (civil, electrical)
Korean Language and Literature
3- VNKR Alumni, what degree did they earn from Korean Universities?
98 alumni in this survey earned 99 degrees and 11 non-degree programs including 04 postdocs. More than 65% of our alumni earned a Master degree from Korean universities, 58.12% earned an MS degree while the 9.18% earned an MA degree. 22% of our alumni earned a PhD degree. It should be noted that some of our alumni earned more than one degree in Korea. Only 11.6% of our alumni earned a Bachelor degree from Korea. Thus, it is obvious that our alumni are mostly professionals in science and engineering.
Table 3. Types of degree that VNKR Alumni earned while studying in Korea
Types of degree
Master of Science
Master of Art
4- Funding sources for VNKR alumni’s training in South Korea
Most if not all of the funding for the training of VNKR alumni in Korea was not from Vietnamese government, actually only a single response was from an alumnus that funded his training by a scholarship from Vietnamese government, an additional 10.2% funded by themselve, the rest was funded either through TA/RA, Korean government or Korean companies.
Table 4. Funding sources that supported the studies of VNKR Alumni
Scholarships from Korean Universities
Scholarships from Korean Companies
Scholarships from Vietnamese Gov.
5- The “Impact of Korea Experience” in career development of the VNKR Alumni
According to the data, 90% of the Alumni got a job or continued their training in other countries. Many of them continued their higher education in Japan, USA, Canada, UK and European countries. A significant number of our alumni got a job with Korean companies which have its business running Vietnam such as POSCO, Hyundai, SAMSUNG and several other small companies. Most of the alumni who had an appointment with Vietnamese national research Institutions and Universities before their training in Korea returned to their original employers.
Asking to judge the “Impact of Korea Experience” in their career development, the answers are very positive. More than 90% of the alumni consider that their “Korea Experience” has a positive impact in their career development. However, there is still 5.1% of the alumni think that it would be better for their career if they hadn’t been to Korea, 04 alumni said that the “Korea Experience” neither has a negative nor positive impact to their career.
Table 5. Self-evaluation of the impacts of training in Korea on career development
My job now is not related to my training in Korea
Worse, I wish I weren’t there!
6- VNKR alumni, they all want an Alum Club
According to the responses, 87% of the alumni said that they will actively involve in the activities of the VNKR Alum club. Half of the 13% of the alumni who said “no” to the alumni club is, in fact, still in other countries (they are out of Korea but is not yet in Vietnam). In this prospective, it is the right time to prepare for the establishment of the VNKR Alumni club in the near future.
7- Some special messages from VNKR Alumni
(From a person having been trained at Korea University) looking forward to meaningful activities from this group. will try my best to make a small contribution...
(From a person trained at Sunmoon University) Y tuong thanh lap hoi cuu SV o Han rat hay, mong rang moi nguoi se giup do nhau nhu khi van con dang song o Han
(From a person obtained her Bachelor degree from Paichai University now work for a Korean Company in Vietnam) Hoping to contact with students who have been studied in Korea ^^
(From a golden card ITer) De nghi lam Survey cung nhu cac giao tiep khac bang tieng Viet :D
 Dr. Le Tien Dung is affiliated with the Vietnam Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam and an alumnus of Chungbuk National University, South Korea (2001-2005, PhD program in biochemistry and molecular biology, supervised by Prof. Jung-Do Choi).