Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Immigration through Education: The Interwoven History of Korean International Students, US Foreign Assistance, and Korean Nation-State Building
by Cho, Jane Jangeun, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2010, 177; 3555622
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation identifies Korean international students as immigrants, as conduits of knowledge transfer, and as agents of change. Part of the American Cold War policy was to establish Korea's higher educational institutions with a core group of US-educated people. Figuring prominently in this story is the US government's use of foreign assistance as a diplomatic tool to build its influence abroad. The Korean government readily accepted the aid but imprinted its designs on the American blueprint to reflect its own goal of building a modern nation-state. American universities under contract with the US government assisted the redesign of key departments at Seoul National University (SNU) and the establishment of Korea Advanced Institute of Science (KAIS). Planned as model universities or paradigms for other Korean institutes of higher education, both national institutes became the standard bearers of "modern" knowledge. Both projects favored US-educated Koreans. To this end, the majority of the faculty members in the departments selected for restructuring at SNU was sent to the US to be trained and the overwhelming majority of KAIS' inaugural faculty members held doctoral degrees from the United States. The benefits and prestige associated with an American education in the Korean society contributed to a positive cultural representation of the US as a whole. This caused a growing number of Koreans to immigrate to the US to pursue their studies. These international students were central to Korean American immigration. They were information brokers, the first links to chain migration, and contributors to the changing racial and ethnic make-up of the American population in the twentieth century.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Klein, Kerwin
Commitee: Fass, Paula, Glenn, Evelyn Nakano
School: University of California, Berkeley
Department: History
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: History, Education history, Modern history, Ethnic studies
Keywords: Higher education, Immigration, International students, Korea, Korean immigrants, Korean nation-buildling, US foreign assistance, United States
Publication Number: 3555622
ISBN: 9781267972408