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Emerging From “Ivory Tower in Well” to Take-off Toward World

Emerging From “Ivory Tower in Well” to Take-off Toward World

Posted March. 03, 2004 22:50,   


The representative university of tradition and the people, Korea University, has organized a “Global KU” project in order to soar up into the “Korea University of the world” by rapidly conducting relevant works.

Korea University has planned to open its “International Summer University” in which many students from universities in and outside of the country will take part. In this program, 30 foreign professors from Yale, Stanford, Michigan University, and other universities, and 30 professors from domestic universities will all give a lecture in English, which will be recorded as the largest-scale lecture event carried out by a domestic university.

In addition, KU has drawn up a “Global Campus” plan which connects it to universities in the U.S., U.K., Australia, China, Japan, Canada, and Germany, and is carrying it out. In accordance with this plan, KU has already dispatched 171 students to 22 universities around the world including 100 students to UBC in Canada. Also, KU has sent another 100 students to Griffith University in Australia in the first semester of this year, and is scheduled to send 100 students to UC Davis of the U.S. and Renmin University of China respectively. KU has also sent 50 students to both London University of the U.K. and Waseda University of Japan. According to this plan, the biggest amount of students, 920, will benefit from the overseas experience every year.

KU has made direct contract with foreign universities and plans to establish boarding houses exclusively for KU students in UBC of Canada and Halloway University of the U.K..

Seoul National University (SNU) makes use of Korean literature as an intermediary in cultural exchanges with overseas countries. Around May, SNU will open a program for “International exchanges for students majoring in Korean literature” at Harvard University to prepare opportunities for students in their master’s and doctorate’s courses to discuss Korean literature in order to expand the range of academic exchanges between the foreign universities.

In addition, they are gradually exerting themselves to make a foundation for globalization, such as expanding the academic exchanges between the renowned universities of the U.S..

Sogang University has planned to send their students to foreign countries to go through internship programs prepared by the global companies. In the six-month long internship programs of Siemens, BMW, and Bayer AG, Sogang’s students take an active part in the company works.

As they experience the company works directly from the foreign companies, they are allowed to convert the experience into the units and receive a monthly income of about 700 to 1,000 Euros. This program has aroused lots of people’s attention.

Yonsei University is planning to draw up a short-term overseas study program which targets 300 students who cannot afford the overseas experience due to poor financial conditions. They have decided to recognize the summer school units of the school in overseas, and support the expenditure for schooling fee and sojourning.

-Global Strategy of Domestic Universities

The Pohang Institute of Technology shows off its program for a “Bilingual Campus” where people can freely use Korean and English at the same time. More than 30 percent of the classes are dealing with English. Annually, approximately 20 percent of the whole student body of this school is made to go through the mid and long-term overseas school program.

The Hankuk University of Foreign Studies has established a brand-new foreigner’s dormitory on their campuses in Seoul and Yongin by setting English learning facilities on their campuses in Seoul and Yongin and employing English-speaking natives as superintendents. All the students will have to undergo this dormitory at least a year.

Ewha Woman’s University has drawn up joint electives together with Rutgers University in the U.S., allowing students of each school to exchange opinions via internet real-time chatting. This university has also decided to hold an “exhibition of foreign universities” regularly to help out their students to go on to one of 42 graduate schools overseas.

Sung Kyun Kwan University has invited professors from foreign schools as visiting professors to give lectures. The process of classes will not finish in one semester, but continue for two years or four semesters. As for the last semester, students will have to visit abroad to obtain the necessary units.

-Opinions of an Expert

As the globalization of the universities, which aims at training high-level talent that will directly influence the national competitiveness, continues, experts say that the support of government is strongly required.

In addition, they point out that in order to accomplish the true globalization of the universities, the inlets and outlets of college students should be harmonized.

“The final goal of globalization strategy is to increase the quality of high level education,” remarked the Ministry of Education and Manpower, adding, “In order to collect lots of students without a special strategy like the advanced countries, it is important to harden the foundation of education in the universities such as the gradual improvement of educational circumstances.”

Jin-Kyun Kil Yang-Hwan Jung leon@donga.com ray@donga.com