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VNKR Alumni and the impacts of “Korea experience”

Written by Le Tien Dung on .

This mini survey was designed to collect information of the former Vietnamese students in South Korea during 2000 to 2007. The secondary objective was to evaluate the “impact of Korea experience” on Career Development of the Alumni by asking a self-evaluation question. Finally we ask if the alumnus is interested in participating in an Alum Club.

VNKR Alumni and the impacts of “Korea experience” in career development[1]

Le Tien Dung, PhD[2]

Abstract

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).[3]

 

1- Methodology (Questionnaire):

Personal data:

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.

Survey questions:[4]

  1. When did you come to Korea?
  2. 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.
  3. At which University/School/Institution did you study? To identify the Institutions that contribute the most in educating Vietnamese students during this period.
  4. Subject of your study? To know the field in which our alumni is dominate
  5. What degree(s) that you earned from your study in Korea?
  6. Sponsors of your Study in Korea? To identify the sources of funding for educating the alumni
  7. Did you get a job after returning from Korea?
  8. Your current job, and your Employer? (this question is used to cross-check the answers for others question – verification purpose)
  9. How do you evaluate the "Korea Experience" in the development of your professional Career?
  10. Will you actively involve in the activities of the Alumni Club if it is formed?
  11. 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.

2- Results:

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

Answer

Count

Percentage

Chungbuk National University, Cheongju

19

19.39%

Chungnam National University, Daejeon

11

11.22%

KIST, Seoul

9

9.18%

Paichai University, Daejeon

6

6.12%

Sung-Kyun-Kwan University, Suwon

4

4.08%

Seoul National University, Seoul

4

4.08%

KAIST, Daejeon

4

4.08%

ICU, Daejeon

4

4.08%

Pusan University of Foreign Studies, Pusan

3

3.06%

Korea University, Seoul

3

3.06%

Ulsan University, Ulsan

2

2.04%

Sejong University, Seoul

2

2.04%

Pusan National University, Pusan

2

2.04%

Yonsei University, Seoul

1

1.02%

Sunmoon University, Cheonan & Asan

1

1.02%

Seoul Women's University, Seoul

1

1.02%

Pukyung National University, Pusan

1

1.02%

Pohang University of Technology, Pohang

1

1.02%

Kyungpook National University, Daegu

1

1.02%

Kyunghee University, Seoul

1

1.02%

Korean Development Institute (KDI), Seoul

1

1.02%

Joong'ang University, Seoul

1

1.02%

Inje University, Pusan

1

1.02%

Chonnam National University, Gwangju

1

1.02%

Chonbuk National University

1

1.02%

Others

13

13.27%

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

Answer

Percentage

Biology

30.59%

Computer Science

11.22%

Engineering majors (civil, electrical)

9.18%

Physics

7.14%

Korean Language and Literature

7.14%

Business

6.12%

Tele- Communication

5.10%

Education

4.08%

Chemistry

4.08%

Others

15.31%

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

Percentages

Master of Science

56.12%

PhD

22.45%

Bachelor

11.22%

Master of Art

9.18%

Non-degree (Graduate)

7.14%

Non-Degree (Postdocs)

4.08%

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

Funding sources

Percentage

RA/TA

21.43%

Self-funding

10.20%

KOSEF/KRF/BK21

30.61%

Scholarships from Korean Universities

39.80%

Scholarships from Korean Companies

9.18%

Scholarships from Vietnamese Gov.

1.02%

Other sources

5.10%

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

Answers

Percentage

Extremely Important

15.31%

Important

50.00%

Somewhat Important

25.51%

My job now is not related to my training in Korea

4.08%

Worse, I wish I weren’t there!

5.10%

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

 

I've spent 5 years studying abroad, including 2 yrs in Korea and 3 yrs in Germany at present. I appreciate the time in Korea the most impact for my scientific research. Perhaps I was lucky in a very good lab and very professional Professor. It has been always a financial problem studying in Korea, I guess. But that was there I have found my pure interest in science and Korean life as well. Such a strange feeling when I had hate living there at the beginning. But now I've always expected to come back to Korea someday. Love my Korea memories.

(A person trained at KIST back to Hanoi then return again to Korea) The purpose of this program is really good, so we can gather together to make a network to help each other in this world... But, we should know who is the key contact of this network, or you should provide at least one reality contact(email) for us to discuss and have a further information ...

(A person trained at KIST now a major R&D Institute in Hanoi) It is a good idea to establish Alumni group in order to contact former Vietnamese students. Please send relevant information if possible.

(A person studied at SNU, now lecturer at an University in Hanoi) That is wonderful to keep in touch with other KRVN members as well as to participate in the KRVN activities hold by KRVN itself and its sponsors.

I have decided to STOP studying in xxxxxxx Seoul and go back to VN (even i know that, many problems are waiting for me). After 1 year studying, I received NOTHING.... Work in lab 15h/day (no sunday, no holiday even Kr national day), Prof. gave no lectures, no semester exam, but good mark....hahaha

(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

 

The end

[1] This study was conducted by Dr. Le Tien Dung and funded by himself, this report is published first time at the website www.cynosura.org, He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The co-operations from the former Vietnamese students in South Korea is greatly appreciated.

[2] 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).

[3] A PDF file of this report is available, if interested, send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a copy or can be downloaded from the download section once logged in. This report analyzed data from 98 responses from the total alumni, thus, it may not reflect an overall situation accurately. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the report, use at your own risk. Prior permission should be obtained from the author before publishing on any types of media.

[4] To see the survey in-action please visit http://www.cynosura.org/survey/index.php?sid=45456