South Korea's official development assistance (ODA) is “spread thinly” to many recipient countries. It's inbound education ODA is no exception. In spite of the growing number of long-term scholarship recipients, South Korea considers too many countries, regardless of geographical proximity, which reduces the program's effectiveness to manage and sustain aid. This contrasts sharply with the Japanese system in which only a small number of Asian countries are considered. The linking of scholarship allocation to priority partner countries that already lack concentration may be a contributing factor. Based on a gravity model and using a dataset of scholarship recipients funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, this study examines the two ODA programs and recommends the establishment of an agency to focus on scholarship programs to enhance selection and concentration.
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