South Korea ups investment in semiconductor training

South Korea’s government has stepped up spending for universities as part of an ambitious new plan to expand its semiconductor industry and retain its world-leading role in the strategic sector.

Announcing substantial new cash injections aimed at boosting universities’ undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and enrolment, President Yoon Suk-yeol said that developing high-tech industries such as semiconductors “needs a quick response – as if it were a matter of survival”.

He was speaking at an emergency economic and public livelihood meeting held on 15 March at the former presidential palace, during which a new comprehensive plan was announced aimed at building cutting-edge industrial complexes in 15 regions, including the semiconductor chip-making base of Samsung Electronics and SK hynix Inc, the world’s two largest memory chip makers.

Samsung Electronics has already announced investment in the construction of five major semiconductor production plants.

Along with the huge investment in industry, Yoon requested the Ministry of Education to support the country’s regional universities “to specialise in these areas by active deregulation and enhancing systems”.

The ministry responded swiftly, announcing on 15 March a change in what is known as the Industry-academia-research Cooperation-based Technology Holding Company System to facilitate the setting up of such companies within universities.