Teenage deaths in South Korea

It didn’t surprise me to read a report that suicide is the second cause of teenage deaths in South Korea. Teenagers here have too much pressure when it comes to their education. Most parents want their kids to enter the SKY universities, which are deemed the best in Korea. The SKY universities are Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University. Get it?
Like I’d said before, it’s not uncommon for teens to attend cram schools. Some even attend these schools as early as 5 o’ clock in the morning and until 11 at night. There are those who even go to these private institutions on Saturdays and Sundays. Aside from private academies, there are teens who are also enroled in online classes.

The ministry said 233 of 937 teenagers that died in 2006 took their own lives, while 357 of them died of cancer. Seventy-six drowned to death and 44 had heart failure.
Nearly 12 percent of the under-20 population that killed themselves during 2004-2006 are believed to have had trouble at school, while 7 percent died due to troubled relations with their parents. Six percent had symptoms of depression before killing themselves.
Full article.


  1. O_O That’s a ridiculous number of suicides! I knew it was a problem, but I didn’t know how big!
    My friend told me about the SKY system… Made me want to go to one of them, hehe.
    I wish they would learn from… the Finnish(?) who have the best standardized test scores, where it’s the exact opposite: no pressure to perform or do anything extra. They simply do what they want, which usually is a lot. And there is no distinction between the dumb and the smart: the smart tend to help the dumb ones and it reinforces it for them.

  2. my husband once told me about that SKY system too… that most parents also send their children to prestigious high schools such that their high school diploma would be good enough should they not pass in one of the SKY universities…
    i was even able to speak to a Korean man, a company owner, who said he got his Masters Degree from Saint Louis University (Baguio City) not because of the really cheap tuition but because SLU’s quality of education is way better than most Korean Universities… that’s when i fully understood why they also flock to Philippine universities…

    1. i think they also send their kids to prestigious high schools so they could easily enter SKY universities or US universities… two of these high schools are Daewon and MinJok Sagwan – http://english.minjok.hs.kr/
      Minjok is tough… 16 hours of studies everyday!

  3. yes, there is so much pressure on korean high school students to pass the entrance exams of these top universities. but then again when they enter the university, they start to relax, take things easy as if their education ended when they passed the entrance exams. btw, how are the sky universities ranked worldwide.
    further, there seem to be a high percentage of suicides in entertainment stars as well. we always read a certain actress or singer killing themselves because of career problems.

    1. i think SNU is not even in the top 100 universities worldwide… i’m not aiming for the SKY for my son… i’d like him to attend a US university… LOL
      korea is a tough country to live in… this society made me a tougher person…

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