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Overview of KAIST

The Best Science and Technology University - Moving the World from the Core

KAIST within Korea
KAIST was established in 1971 as a research-oriented university to foster outstanding talent in science and technology.
KAIST within the World
KAIST has successfully become a highly-respected member of the global science community.
The World within KAIST
KAIST now strives to become a world-renowned institute by offering the best science and technology education to its students.

Founding Background

  • In the 1970s, the Korean government put a strong focus on national industrialization.The government planned the founding of an academic institute specializing in science and technology as part of its Economic Development Plan.
  • In order to support national industrialization, Korea's first research-oriented graduate school was established in 1971. The graduate school aimed at fostering outstanding talent in science and technology, as well as preventing the brain drain of Korean scientists and engineers. 
  • Starting as Korea's first research-oriented graduate school, KAIST would later be known as one of the best academic institutes of science and technology from across the globe.

Founding Purpose

  • Educate and foster outstanding talent who are capable of practical application of fundamental theories, thereby contributing to the nation's industrial development
  • Carry out both short- and long-term basic and applied research that will enable the nation's strategic technological advancement
  • Promote research collaborations between research institutions and the industries

QS World University Rankings

The QS World University Rankings are published annually by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a British company specializing in science and technology education. In 2009, QS launched the QS Asian University Rankings (QS University Rankings: Asia) in partnership with the Chosun Ilbo (one of the major Korean daily newspapers).

KAIST on QS World University Rankings

Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
WUR 90 63 60 51 43 41
Engineering & Technology 27 24 36 17 13 14
Natural Sciences 57 48 47 54 28 13

THE World University Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are published annually by the Times Higher Education (THE) based on data supplied by Thomson Reuters.

KAIST on THE World University Rankings

Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
WUR 79 94 68 56 52 148 89
Engineering & Technology - 40 44 25 26 81 30
Natural Sciences - - - 87 78 99 89
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