Global talent and diversity imperative to South Korea’s success, Stanford scholar says

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Students prepare to take an exam at a high school in Seoul.
Photo credit: 
AFP/Getty Images - Jung Yeon-Je

A variety of media outlets have recently highlighted Stanford research efforts focused on the value of global talent and diversity policy in South Korea led by Professor Gi-Wook Shin, director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC).

On Arirang, Shin discussed why South Korea should seek to recruit and retain foreign skilled workers in a moderated conversation with Rennie Moon, an assistant professor at Yonsei University. Together, the scholars work on a research project that examines diversity programs and policies of universities and companies in South Korea.

Shin and Moon wrote an editorial for Conversation UK that recognizes Korea’s failure to embrace diversity and says the country’s ethnic nationalism is largely to blame. They call upon Korean universities and the government to work closely together to tackle diversity issues. A similar message was relayed in a Q&A conducted by Shorenstein APARC and on a podcast episode recorded for "Korea and the World." Shin and Moon also wrote an editorial for the East Asia Forum that broadens the analysis to include the challenges of attracting foreign talent across Northeast Asia. 

Shin also told Maeil Shinmun that South Korea needs concrete and strategic policies to compete globally in its recruitment of foreign skilled workers. One of his policy suggestions is to offer a 2-year visa period for foreign college graduates to encourage them to work and stay in South Korea.

Dong-a Ilbo also covered an event where Shin presented findings from his co-authored publication, Global Talent: Skilled Labor as Social Capital. He said South Korea must embrace the value of social capital and diasporas as seen in the United States example, or else the country risks losing global competitiveness. Shin leads a research project on this topic with Joon Nak Choi, 2015-16 Koret Fellow at Shorenstein APARC and an assistant professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. An earlier Nikkei Asian Review editorial highlights some of their studies.

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