International scholarship for social change? Re-contextualizing Global Korea Scholarship alumni’s perceptions of justice and diversity in South Korea

Moon Suk Hong, Minjeong Jeon, Kadir Jun Ayhan

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4 Scopus citations


This study examines South Korea’s international scholarship program based on responses to the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) alumni survey to find how the participants perceive the host country’s dimensions of justice and diversity. We employ the concept of justice in terms of redistribution, recognition, and representation. Analysis of GKS alumni perceptions of Korean society revealed that international mobility programs may provide positive and negative experiences for the participants depending on their positionality in terms of gender, ethnicity, and Korean language proficiency. Some had the exclusive opportunity to access global knowledge, skills, and networks. Others were exposed to unexpected misrepresentation and misframing while living and learning in the new society. We suggest the need for multidimensional policy discussions to consider both positive and negative outcomes of international scholarship programs and their potential to play a transformative role in global higher education. Related Articles in this Special Issue: Ayhan, Kadir Jun, and Nancy Snow. 2021. “Introduction to the Special Issue—Global Korea Scholarship: Empirical Evaluation of a non-Western Scholarship Program from a Public Diplomacy Perspective.” Politics & Policy 49(6): 1282–1291. Jon, Jae-Eun, and Kadir Jun Ayhan. 2021. “Satisfied or Dissatisfied: The Determinants of Global Korea Scholarship Recipients’ Satisfaction with Life in Korea.” Politics & Policy 49(6): 1391–1414. Perez, Loarre Andreu, Myoung-Gi Chon, Kelly Vibber, and Jeong-Nam Kim. 2021. “Classifying Foreign Publics: Examining the Relationships Behavioral Experience, Symbolic Environment, and Communication Behaviors among Key Foreign Publics.” Politics & Policy 49(6): 1308–1322.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1359-1390
Number of pages32
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In particular, the GKS program seems to provide critical financial stability for students who need monetary assistance. Research participants repeatedly mentioned financial benefits such as financial stability, financial well‐being, and satisfaction with having “no financial concern.” For many of the program participants, “GKS unquestionably provides sufficient living expenses for the students;” “The financial support that I got from the Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP) 2

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Policy Studies Organization


  • Asia
  • Global Korea Scholarship
  • P&P Special Issue
  • South Korea
  • diversity
  • higher education
  • international scholarship
  • justice
  • public diplomacy
  • student mobility


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