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  • MJHanson
  • Expert Waygook

    • 502

    • May 02, 2011, 09:42:58 am
    • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
MOE University Hiring Requirements
« on: January 16, 2014, 01:48:48 pm »
Over the last year, I've been hearing about new university hiring requirements from the Ministry of Education.  Supposedly, in order to teach at a university, instructors will need a bachelor's + 4 years or a master's + 2 years. 

But everything I've heard is just word-of-mouth.  Even people at my university don't seem to know the specifics.  Does anyone have links to newspaper articles or an MOE site giving the official details?

A few questions I have:

- When do these requirements go into effect?
- How strict are these requirements?  What happens if a school simply can't find enough teachers to meet these requirements?
- What fields are acceptable for the master's? (education, English lit, ...anything?)
- Must the experience be at a university?

I'm not actually worried for myself, but my school is/was hiring and many people were inquiring about the positions.

If these requirements are correct, they're paradoxical.  The only people who will qualify for uni teaching jobs are teachers who already have uni experience.  Sure, right now there might be enough qualified teachers to fill positions, but what happens when university teachers leave Korea?  If you haven't already been in the uni loop for two years, you'll be cut out. 

I suppose the nice thing is that these requirements should drive up uni salaries since the pool of qualified applicants is essentially closed off. 

Anyone have links to official news sources or MOE information?  (Not just more speculation or word-of-mouth).



  • Koreak
  • Super Waygook

    • 405

    • November 13, 2010, 08:15:43 am
    • South Korea
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 02:10:12 pm »
Those requirements really are only specific to the more prestigious universities in the bigger cities.

There are lots of positions for people with only a BSc or BA and experience in the country side.  However a lot of the jobs available are not really advertised, and are usually filled with in house contacts.  Also, many places require an in person interview, so if you are out of country, it becomes a heck of a lot more difficult.

However, it is getting more competitive for these positions and the universities would like teachers with a masters degree.  The last interview I heard about at my university resulted in over 20 people invited for interviews.  3 people showed up and the one with a masters degree got the job.  However in previous interviews, no one with a masters degree showed up, so people with no masters get the job.

So get contacts with people you know and be in the country.

Happy hunting!


  • Grimne_Lothos
  • Expert Waygook

    • 846

    • December 28, 2011, 12:56:27 pm
    • Buyeo, south korea
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2014, 04:26:32 pm »
Not paradoxical at all.  University experience is easy to get in China.   


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3912

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2014, 06:13:02 pm »
Does university experience in China count? (Honestly I'm not sure.) I read the university experience must be teaching credit courses full time. (Not sure if uni teachers in China are all giving grades for official credit courses, or even if they are if that will be recognized as an in in Korea. China unis are ranked low worldwide and teaching at a Chinese university isn't looked well upon when applying for good jobs in the Middle East. But yeah there are many different unis in China. Some are better than others in terms of reputation, etc.)

Another thing to note is a PhD (will no experience) will suffice to meet the MOE requirements. Get a PhD and you've got an almost automatic in (for now anyways). 


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3912

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 06:15:30 pm »
The only people who will qualify for uni teaching jobs are teachers who already have uni experience.  Sure, right now there might be enough qualified teachers to fill positions, but what happens when university teachers leave Korea?
Maybe the working hours of those remaining at the university will go up?

Also, university student enrollment is expected to decline significantly in coming years.


  • MJHanson
  • Expert Waygook

    • 502

    • May 02, 2011, 09:42:58 am
    • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2014, 08:27:35 pm »
Not paradoxical at all.  University experience is easy to get in China.   

Everything I've heard is that it must be teaching experience in Korea. 


  • GoCyclones
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1022

    • February 01, 2012, 10:34:54 am
    • Central Seoul
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 07:03:43 am »
Word from my boss at a univ in Seoul:

1.  We require the BA+4 years experience, or MA+2
2.  The school does recognize univ teaching experience from overseas
3.  The school does NOT recognize any time spent teaching WHILE you are studying for your MA.  So, in my case, that means 3 years of my "experience" are voided.  It doesn't matter where you are working at the time, or what country, either.
4.  The change in policy began as a "strong suggestion" from the government, with the emphasis that this will likely become a requirement, so schools have been given time to "get their ducks in order" and make sure they aren't surprised when it does by having staff members who don't meet the requirement and are forced to leave.

My adds on this...

5.  Some schools recognize high school experience at a reduced rate (such as 2 years equals one year of univ), but I don't know if ours does that. 
6.  Schools in Seoul seem to be pretty strict on the new requirement.  Schools outside of Seoul are trying, but finding it difficult. 
7.  On the subject of schools hiring less foreign faculty... it is popular for some people to cite Seoul National University, and say that English classes will be cut and many of us will have to go home.  I asked Korean coworkers about this, and they laughed.  Currently, part of university evaluations toward receiving government funds includes a ratio of foreign staff to Korean staff, so the more foreigners on staff, the better the chance that they won't lose funding.  They believed the schools will try to GROW the number of qualified foreigners over time, not cut.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 07:08:18 am by GoCyclones »


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3912

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 08:15:41 am »
They believed the schools will try to GROW the number of qualified foreigners over time, not cut.
Qualified as in already have the requisite prior university experience?


Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2014, 08:31:07 am »
I'm starting MA program next month. It's a catch 22 for the 2 year university teaching requirement unless I work at a small rural uni after I graduate.


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3912

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 08:37:52 am »
...unless I work at a small rural uni after I graduate.
Who's to say the small rural uni will even hire you? They might not. By the time you graduate, they may be following the requirement as well. Many unis across Korea (including the small rural ones) are being audited by the Korean government as we speak.


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4106

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2014, 08:58:16 am »
If you are doing an MA just to teach at a Korean uni, you will be in for a shock in the coming years.

Student numbers are falling, the smaller, rural universities are expected to shutdown/merge with bigger ones over the next decade. If the enrollment trend continues, it is predicted that the larger unis (nationals) will also have to merge or shutdown.

You will basically see a repeat of EPIK/GEPIK/SMOE/CEPIK/IMOE/JEPIK-style budget cuts, but this time at uni level.

If you're going to do an MA, do it in something that will help you both in teaching AND non-teaching fields outside Korea.


  • kimchi4me
  • Veteran

    • 108

    • December 23, 2012, 03:39:41 pm
    • bucheon
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2014, 10:46:31 am »
Hi,

So I have over 8 years of teaching elementary and middle school here in Korea. Im presently taking a Masters in International education. Am I shit out of luck when it comes to applying to a university once I complete my Masters?
 :huh:
Seems like a yes with the info being brought forward


  • MJHanson
  • Expert Waygook

    • 502

    • May 02, 2011, 09:42:58 am
    • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2014, 11:15:18 am »
You will basically see a repeat of EPIK/GEPIK/SMOE/CEPIK/IMOE/JEPIK-style budget cuts, but this time at uni level.

If you're going to do an MA, do it in something that will help you both in teaching AND non-teaching fields outside Korea.

I don't think I'd compare public school NET programs with unis in terms of job outlook.  A big thing difference is that most universities are private.  Even though they get some grants from the government, their primary funding is tuition.  Offering English classes taught by foreign faculty is a huge draw for students.

Though I completely agree with you regarding getting a master's.  No one should do a master's specifically to teach at a Korean university.

 
3.  The school does NOT recognize any time spent teaching WHILE you are studying for your MA.  So, in my case, that means 3 years of my "experience" are voided.  It doesn't matter where you are working at the time, or what country, either.

Wow - this will make a big difference for teachers doing online MAs while in Korea.  Do you know if this is just your school's policy, or is it part of the government's guidelines?

I suppose one thing to remember is that government policies come and go in Korea.  I'm not expecting this will change soon, but perhaps a few years down the road things may be different.


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4106

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2014, 12:24:46 pm »
Quote

I don't think I'd compare public school NET programs with unis in terms of job outlook.  A big thing difference is that most universities are private.  Even though they get some grants from the government, their primary funding is tuition.  Offering English classes taught by foreign faculty is a huge draw for students.


Their income comes from tuition of students. Any reduction in enrollment will affect the institution's budget significantly. Fewer students means less money, which means a tighter budget.

Unfortunately for ELF/ESL instructors in Korean unis, they are one of the few groups (if not the only group) that is not protected by a union/organization to fight for their rights, which is one of the reasons many unis are now operating like hagwons and also why the staff retention rate for many is ridiculously low.


  • GoCyclones
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1022

    • February 01, 2012, 10:34:54 am
    • Central Seoul
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2014, 06:26:35 am »


 
3.  The school does NOT recognize any time spent teaching WHILE you are studying for your MA.  So, in my case, that means 3 years of my "experience" are voided.  It doesn't matter where you are working at the time, or what country, either.

Wow - this will make a big difference for teachers doing online MAs while in Korea.  Do you know if this is just your school's policy, or is it part of the government's guidelines?



I don't, but I do know that my boss was very upset at being forced into this requirement, because we tried to hire one American guy who was finishing his Ph.D. in New Zealand, and even though he'd had prior USA and NZ experience teaching uni-level students while obtaining both degrees, he still came up 1 semester short on the MA+2 requirement, despite nearly being finished with his Ph.D., because he'd gotten his teaching experience while studying for degrees. 

And get this.... it wasn't even in the English department... it was on the unigwon side!

Absolutely wacky, isn't it?  We thought so.  Our Korean boss thought so.  But her hands were tied by school requirements, and they would not budge.

My hypothesis is that they planned it  this way as a way to pay us cheap later, claiming we have less experience than we do. 
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 06:40:51 am by GoCyclones »


Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2014, 11:07:44 am »
I thought I'd add my experience with these new requirements.  Last summer I applied to several universities just to see if they'd show any interest.  At the time I was 2 classes away from having a masters in an ESL related field, with 3 1/2 years teaching in elementary schools (4 years being when my contract finished in Feb. and the time I'd start at their university).  Each one responded that they would be interested once I had the masters in hand, but until then, thanks for applying.

Now this is where is might get a little confusing, especially after reading what I've read in this thread.  I have a friend who worked at a unigwon while working on his masters at the same time.  He finished his masters and it just so happened the university had a spot open and counted the 2 years he worked at the unigwon as university experience.  They ended up just hiring him since he was already there.


  • MJHanson
  • Expert Waygook

    • 502

    • May 02, 2011, 09:42:58 am
    • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Re: MOE University Hiring Requirements
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2014, 04:36:36 pm »
Now this is where is might get a little confusing, especially after reading what I've read in this thread.  I have a friend who worked at a unigwon while working on his masters at the same time.  He finished his masters and it just so happened the university had a spot open and counted the 2 years he worked at the unigwon as university experience.  They ended up just hiring him since he was already there.

I've seen this happen at my own school, too.  This is what leads me to believe there is some wiggle room regarding the two-years experience requirement. 

I imagine that when the university shows a teacher's credentials to the government, they submit a copy of the master's diploma plus an employment record showing at least two years of uni experience.  Transcripts aren't very important here, so the government wouldn't know when the master's degree was started or finished. 

In my experience, Korean officials aren't very good at interpreting foreign diplomas and transcripts anyway.  When I was applying for my E-1 visa at immigration, the officer looked over my documents and then asked, "Is your master's degree related to what you teach?"  I told him yes (it's the truth).  Then he stamped my papers.