“Education is the driving force behind social and national development.” This passionate statement is what epitomizes the Hyundai Chung Mong-koo Foundation and its commitment to offer scholarship opportunities to potential leaders of eight ASEAN Member States (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam). This scholarship is aimed at prospective scholars who are ambitious enough and ardent enough to spearhead innovative policies and initiatives in pursuit of sustainable development in their respective countries. The scholarship acts as a mechanism for pioneers to undertake further studies at specific esteemed institutions (KAIST, Yonsei University, Korea University, Seoul National University, Hanyang University, and KDI School) here in the Miracle on the Han River. Hence, to officially make a mark in history, the Hyundai Chung Mong-koo Foundation joined the leading universities of Korea in signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on September 22. This move has solidified the educational prowess that scholars may obtain through the knowledge-sharing and knowledge-building initiatives that these schools have to offer. The extraordinary circumstances created by the pandemic did not stop the vitalization of the Foundation’s pact with these renowned academic institutions.
The ceremony commenced immediately after all of the VIPs and distinguished guests were seated. Hyundai Chung Mong-koo Chairman Kwon Okyu, Secretary-General Hyeong Bae Park, Dean Jong-Il You, and other University Presidents were a select few of those who graced the historic ceremony. Among the KDI School staff present were Mr. Byung-Kwon Lee and Ms. Hayoung Lee from the Student Affairs Division, and Ms. Min Young Seo from the Admissions Division. Only two scholars from among the various schools were selected to partake in the momentous event and deliver their speech of gratitude towards the Foundation and their respective schools, specifically Trinh Hoang Phuc (Vietnam) of Korea University and Gabriel Mico Tiu (2020 MDP, Philippines) of the KDI School.
After the intricacies of the Hyundai Motor Chung Mong-koo Global Scholarship were laid out in detail, the student body covered by the grant was explained. For KDI School, there are currently fourteen students enrolled under the scholarship in 2020; five students came in the spring semester while nine students were admitted recently during this fall semester. The Foundation is avidly looking forward to providing more scholarship grants to prospective ASEAN students who are committed to dynamically spurring the transnational cooperation between ASEAN and Korea.
The scholarship certificates were then awarded. Chairman Kwon Okyu cordially bestowed the certificates on Trinh Hoang Phuc and Gabriel Mico Tiu. As they are the first two students to have received said scholarship from the Foundation, the occasion was a momentous one for all parties.
After this part of the ceremony, the students proceeded to deliver their speeches to show their appreciation in receiving such an endowment from the Foundation. Gabriel Mico Tiu emphasized the Foundation’s steadfast commitment to providing opportunities to students who are determined to be trailblazers in their field. “The Hyundai Chung Mong-koo Foundation’s establishment is deeply rooted in providing scholarship opportunities to invigorate potential leaders to stand at the forefront of their respective country’s development while considering the significance of global partnerships,” he said. As a way of recognizing the exceptional opportunity given to him, concrete actions for his country’s long-term growth shall be at the core of his policy endeavors.
Indubitably, the pinnacle of the ceremony was when the Chairman and the respective Deans and Presidents of the universities signed the MOU. It signaled the significant thrust of the Foundation to invigorate future pioneers through the high-quality education that the schools are more than able to impart. The Foundation looks forward to working with them in realizing its vision to promote the mutual development of ASEAN and Korea.
The ceremony ended in high spirits as the eminent participants left the vast halls that had given witness to a landmark occasion. Without a doubt, it symbolized a beginning to a propitious future that establishes education as the overarching mechanism in revitalizing society’s framework for equitable advancement. After all, the current and future scholars of the Foundation shall act as vital catalysts of long-term development.