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In the late 1990s, the Korea Ministry of Education and Human Resources, in response to concern over the relatively low standing of the nation’s universities and researchers, launched the Brain Korea 21 program BK21). BK21 seeks to make Korean research universities globally competitive and to produce more high-quality researchers in Korea. It provides fellowship funding to graduate students and professors in research groups at top Korean universities. Concentrating on the second phase of BK21, which will continue until 2012, the authors develop quantitative and qualitative models and methods to evaluate how well BK21 is fulfilling its goals, suggest a database of measures needed for that evaluation, and make suggestions for the future management of the program. The measurement methods proposed in this book can assess not only the progress of the BK21 program but also the health and development of the Korean university system as a whole. Korean university research could be stimulated further through a combination of competitive awards for project funding, portable fellowships for graduate students who would select their universities, and university access to capital for construction of first-rate research facilities.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Korea Research Foundation and was conducted by RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Corporation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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