ISSN : 0023-3900
This study examines how Korean universities seek global hegemony among international students. Through in-depth interviews with twenty Thai students studying at Korean universities, this study finds that the universities establish hegemony with two elements: material resources and US influence. Firstly, Thai students are motivated to study in Korea due to the financial support offered by the Korean government, universities, and corporations. Similar to how the US attracted international students through the Fulbright scholarship after World War II, since its emergence as an economic powerhouse in Asia, Korea has drawn international students for its higher education through the GKS scholarship. Secondly, Thai students acknowledge the authority of Korean universities in terms of classes taught in English and the intellectual capital originally produced in the US. Korean universities deliver the knowledge, produced in the US and accumulated in Korea to Thai students, using the language of the US. Thus, Thai international students in Korea are transnational middleman intellectuals oscillating not only between Korea and Thailand, but between those countries and the US. If the US acts as an empire exerting significant influence over the global education system, Korea acts as a sub-empire within the sweep of US hegemony.