Box 15 - Human resources development in South Korea.

South Korea developed a massive effort in the fields of education, Science and Technology since the 1960s, as part of their strategy of industrial conversion. Besides the sheer size of the effort, there are some strategies worth stressing, regarding the bridges they sought to create between the worlds of education and research and the world of industrial production:
  • Long-term programs of institutional development. Universities, individual professors and research centers received support for 5 to 6 years long projects, time deemed necessary for the creation of groups of graduate students.
  • well-known scientists were dissuaded to lend their names just to fatten the curriculum of projects. Those who gave their names had to be involved. With this, it became easier for young scientists to take the leadership of important projects.
  • scientists and engineers were sent systematically to short courses abroad, in selected fields. Typically, their courses lasted two months, but they received four months fellowships. During their courses, their had to negotiate with their professors for training internships in European firms, to absorb technology.
  • An excellent researcher had difficulties linking to the productive sector. He received a grant to organize monthly lunches with business leaders, to discuss questions related to the interaction between basic science and applied technology.

Claudio M. Castro and Joćo B. Oliveiradio M. Castro and Joćo B. Oliveira, 1992.