Bolstering “Second Middle East Boom” through K-Culture and Korean Language

Date May 24, 2023

- The “2023 King Sejong Institute Workshop in the Middle East and Africa” takes place in Sharjah, UAE, from May 23 to 25

 - MOU will be signed between the King Sejong Institute Foundation and the Sharjah Department of Government Relations, designating a new King Sejong Institute in Sharjah


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister PARK Bo Gyoon, MCST), in partnership with the King Sejong Institute Foundation (President LEE Hai Young, KSIF) hosts the “2023 King Sejong Institute Workshop in the Middle East and Africa” from May 23 (Tue) to 25 (Thur). The workshop takes place in the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), a move that follows the launch of the “Second Middle East Boom Task Force” initiated by the MCST after President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to the UAE in January.

The workshop is attended by representatives from 20 King Sejong Institutes across 18 countries in the Middle East and Africa, along with over 150 local Korean language educators. They will participate in lectures on the Korean language and culture teaching methods under the theme “The Future of the Middle East and Africa with the Korean Language,” share the best practices of Korean language promotion through the King Sejong Institute, and strengthen Korean language education collaboration within their regions.

In particular, a lecture will be held on the characteristics and instructions of the revised “Sejong Korean” textbook, which is used worldwide across all King Sejong Institutes. The lecture aims to facilitate a quicker and more effective integration of the new textbook into the classroom. The “Sejong Korean” textbook was completely revised last September, nine years after its initial publication in 2013. A lecture on the utilization of the “Metaverse King Sejong Institute,” which has been open since February of this year, is also on the agenda. This special lecture is expected to attract participants’ interest and elicit a strong response by introducing diverse Korean language teaching methods that leverage advanced information and communication technologies.

During the workshop, the KSIF and the Sharjah Government Relations are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This pact aims to enhance mutual collaboration for spreading the Korean language in the UAE. The next steps include a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed in June during a visit by Sharjah government officials to Korea and the potential establishment of new institutes in Sharjah regions without operating institutes, creating tangible results.


 Reaching 100,000 students for the first time in 2022, actively responding to the growing demand for Korean language learning


As of 2022, King Sejong Institute, a representative brand in spreading the Korean language and Korean culture, operates over 244 institutes in 84 countries. In 2022 alone, the number of students attending the King Sejong Institutes exceeded 100,000 for the first time, reaching a total of 117,636 students. This surge is attributed to the resumption of offline classes post–COVID-19, efforts to reduce waitlists through the timely dispatch of Korean language teachers, and a continuous rise in Korean language learning demand because of the popularity of K-Culture. Following the workshop, the MCST and the King Sejong Institute Foundation plan to designate an additional King Sejong Institutes in June 2023 to actively respond to the increasing demand for Korean language learning.

“The Middle East is a region with enormous growth potential,” said JUNG Hyang Mi, Culture Policy Director-General at the MCST and head of the “Second Middle East Boom Task Force.” “The cultural exchange with K-Culture at its heart is steadily growing. We anticipate this workshop to create a wider environment for spreading the Korean language and foster an even greater cultural and personal exchange between Korea and these regions.”