SKY: The 3 most prestigious universities in South Korea

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Author: Karen Lizeth Bisbicus Iles

Education in South Korea is considered one of the best globally, and therefore, its universities are among the highest-ranked in the world. In this country, it is very popular to hear high school students aspire to be “In Seoul” which refers to all the universities located in the capital and it is also very common to hear among students the famous acronym “SKY”.

Today I will tell you briefly, the meaning of the acronym “SKY”, as this refers to the initials of the 3 most prestigious and popular universities; to which a large percentage of the population in South Korea dreams of entering and is made up of: Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University. To be clearer about the acronym, this is its meaning:

S= Seoul National University

K= Korean University

Y= Yonsei University

  • Seoul National University “서울대학교”: founded in 1946, it is the most popular university in South Korea. It is considered one of the best in Asia and the world, and currently has 30,273 undergraduate and graduate students, it is also recognized for its great contributions and recognition in research. This year 2023, according to the QS ranking, it was ranked 17th among universities in Asia and 41st in the world.
Taken from SNU

If you want to know a little more: this interview, conducted by “Asian Boss”, shows us the point of view of South Koreans about their experience at Seoul National University and what it’s like to be part of the 1% of students in Korea.

Taken from Asian Boss Español
  • Korea University “고려대학교”: is a private educational institution founded in 1905. Equally known as one of the most prestigious in this country and has 37,053 undergraduate and graduate students, including international students. According to the QS ranking, it ranked 74th among the best in the world.
Taken from Korea University
  • Yonsei University “연세대학교”: is a private university, founded in 1885, and is one of the oldest in the country. It is well known for the incredible campus that surrounds it, a curious fact is that in it, very popular K-dramas such as “True Beauty” and “Reply 1994”, among others, have been recorded. On the other hand, its festivals are one of the most popular and expected every year, without a doubt, Yonsei University is one of the most innovative. This year 2023, it ranked 1st in private universities in Asia and 74th in the world.
Taken from Yonsei University

According to an interview conducted in 2019, by the YouTube channel, “Asian Boss”, this was the opinion of Koreans versus “How important is it to go to college in South Korea?”

Taken from Asian Boss Español

There is no doubt that the educational system in South Korea is one of the most demanding and competitive, and because of this, they have managed to position itself as one of the best countries in terms of education.

I hope I have helped you learn a little more about the universities in South Korea. And you, would you like to be part of the SKY?

Reading Pair: Carol Correa

Revised by: Marisol Montiel


Facts – Overview – about SNU – Seoul National University. (n.d.). Seoul National University.

Korea University homepage. (n.d.).

3.신촌 영문 | About Yonsei | Yonsei at a glance | Yonsei News. (June 28, 2023).

Wikipedia contributors. (September 16, 2023). Yonsei University. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Wikipedia contributors. (November 20, 2020). Korean University. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Wikipedia contributors. (April 13, 2020). Seoul National University. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Asian Boss. (March 09, 2021) Being A Top 1% Student in Korea | Street Interview | Asian Boss (video)

Asian Boss. (April 16, 2016) ¿How Important Is Going to University In Korea? | Asian Boss (video)

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