By Kang Shin-who
The renowned American Chadwick School, finally became the one to open the first-ever international institute in the Incheon Free Economic Zone.
The U.S.-based school opened its Korean campus Tuesday in the international business district, 50 kilometers west of Seoul.
Incheon Metropolitan City government has invested 150 billion won in 7,000 square meters of land for the international school, which can accommodate up to 2,100 students. Gale International, the main project developer of the international city, failed to open a school in 2008 as it originally planned, due to problems involving school operators.
Under the current education regulations, foreign schools are permitted to admit Korean students who have lived overseas for more than three years, as long as their enrollment does not exceed 50 percent of the total, while those in the FEZ can admit Korean students who have not lived overseas, numbering up to 30 percent of the total admission quota for the next five years.
However, it is uncertain whether the school can attract the required ratio of foreign nationals as fewer foreign students have so far moved into the special economic zone. A dormitory is also to be built for high school students from other cities and provinces as a way to draw more foreigners.
Chadwick in Los Angeles sent 11 percent of its graduates to Ivy League schools last year and was ranked among the top 20 schools with an average Scholastic Aptitude Test score of 2,041.
According to the school, 61 percent of the faculty members held advanced degrees in the 2009-2010 school year. Over the last two years, the school saw its annual professional growth budget for teachers average $190,000.