The effects of high school track choice on students’ postsecondary enrollment and majors in South Korea

Woo-jeong Shim, Sunhee Paik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In South Korea, college-bound students are divided into two tracks: Munka (文科) and Yika (理科), and this tracking (Munka–Yika tracking; MY tracking) considerably influences students’ choice of college majors and future careers. This study aims to examine how MY tracking and other factors influence students’ postsecondary enrollment (2- or 4-year colleges) and college major choice (vocationally or academically oriented). The findings indicate that there was no significant effect of MY tracking on students’ choice of a type of colleges, but the Yika students were more likely to study vocationally oriented majors more often than the Munka students. Male students had a higher probability of going to 4-year colleges and studying vocationally oriented majors than female students. Academic performance in high schools and fathers’ education levels contributed to students’ enrollment at 4-year colleges, and conversations with parents about academic or career plans influenced students choice of vocationally oriented majors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-583
Number of pages11
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 16 2014

Keywords

  • Academic high school
  • Choice of higher education institutions
  • College major choice
  • Curriculum differentiation
  • High school tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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