The number of foreign applicants to the KAIST undergraduate program has increased over the past few years. Currently, approximately 540 students from over 70 different countries attend KAIST and make up about five percent of the student body. As more and more foreigners apply to KAIST, the competition has become more intense. In fact, in 2014, the acceptance rate for foreigners was 13.2%, which was even lower than that of Korean students, 14.9%.
Guho Park, former Provost and Executive Vice President of KAIST, attributed this increase to worldwide reputation gained from renowned researchers citing thesis written by KAIST members. He analyzed that KAIST’s high QS rankings is also due to increased interest from foreign students. Professor Park added that through continued investment the academic environment will be bettered. For example, KAIST aims to lower the faculty to student ratio, which is currently ten to one, down to six to one. Furthermore, KAIST offers services for international students to adapt to the new environment; the International Scholar and Student Services (ISSS) run Korean language and culture classes, mentoring programs, and counseling support. The ISSS also provide help in administrative processes such as applying for visas and health insurance. The International Student Organization also organizes various activities for international students and provides information not only about the school but also the Daejeon metropolitan area. KAIST expects to increase its student-body diversity through international students.