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KAIST Allows Dual Jobs for Faculty

Posted April. 26, 2008 06:16,   


Both professors and students of Korea’s top research university will be able to learn and experience outside the campus to their full heart’s content.

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) announced Friday that it will allow its faculty members to work outside the school for three month a year, as professors in foreign countries do.

In an effort to facilitate this new policy, KAIST has reduced its annual salary contract term with teaching staff from 12 months to nine months, without cutting the total amount of salary.

With this change, KAIST professors will be able to work for other research institutes or companies home and abroad as paid researchers during the summer vacation, the period not included in the contract.

Faculty members of KAIST can cash in on this new change as early as this summer. KAIST is the first university in Korea to adopt this alternative annual salary system. KAIST President Seo Nam-pyo’s firm determination to reform nation’s higher education has brought the unprecedented measure.

President Seo has encouraged professors to go abroad, saying, “Gaining recognition in overseas academia is important. When abroad, not only submit dissertations, but also learn from talented scholars by mingling with them and actively engaging in discussions with them.”

“When they venture out of campus and join outside research centers and companies, they will have an opportunity to take stock of what they have done,” said Vice President Chang Soon-heung. “We will say nothing about additional incomes they earn,” he added.

One professor of KAIST welcomed the policy and said, “Until now, to work outside the school even for a short period of time, we had to get a special permission from school authorities and go through hassles of preparing various documents. From now on, we are allowed to build diverse experiences outside campus at ease.”

KAIST also plans to help its students participate in research industries home and aboard.

The university sent letters to some 300 companies for internship cooperation this year and 70 companies positively responded to its request, promising to train 500 students.

“Internship aims to broaden the horizons of the students whose experience has been limited to school and have lived in dormitories since high school. With this program, they will have hand-on experience and opportunities to internalize what they have learned,” said Yoon Wan-cheol, head of the Student Affairs and Counseling & Student Development Center.

To promote the internship program, KAIST has decided to allow junior and senior students to replace a graduation thesis with internship of more than nine weeks and give those in the first and second years two credits.

As one of the additional measures, the university will encourage students to take courses during the regular semesters by running courses during the summer vacation mainly for foreign students and gradually raising fees for the summer courses from 20,000 won to 300,000 won by 2010.

The summer vacation will increase beginning this year to three months. To increase the period, KAIST has reduced the winter vacation and advanced the start of the school year.