South Korean Soldier Shortage Threatens Science And Engineering Exemptions

By Chemical Processing Staff

Jun 14, 2016

The South Korean defense ministry cites the nation’s low birth rate for a lack of recruits and aims to address this soldier shortage by scrapping military exemptions for science and engineering students. The proposal is being met with heavy resistance from students and researchers who argue the move will disrupt PhD studies and create an academic “brain drain,” according to an article at Nature.

Each year, according to the article, the military gives some 2,500 exemptions to technical research personnel (TRP) – science and engineering graduate students with master’s degrees.  The defense ministry projects a shortfall of around 30,000 troops by 2023. To make up the deficit, it plans to eliminate all exemptions by that same year, including those for police, firefighters and public health workers.

Read the entire article here.