The rapid expansion of education in Korea is exceptional and has played a key role in its economic development. Sustaining Korea’s growth potential in the face of demographic headwinds requires further improving the education system to boost productivity growth. One priority is to upgrade early childhood education and care (ECEC). Korea also needs to address the overemphasis on tertiary education, in part by improving vocational education, to reduce the mismatch problem that limits labour participation of youth. Tertiary education needs restructuring to improve quality. In addition, the large share of private spending in education increases the impact of socio-economic factors on educational outcomes. Education reforms are thus needed to promote inclusive growth, notably by: i) improving the access of low-income children to high-quality ECEC; ii) reducing reliance on private tutoring, notably at hagwons, by improving university admission procedures, expanding the quality and diversity of schools and upgrading vocational education; and iii) expanding loans to university students with repayment contingent on income after graduation. This Working Paper relates to the 2012 OECD Economic Survey of Korea (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/Korea).