The terrain of international higher education is dramatically changing in shape and magnitude. In less than a decade, since 2009, a massive mobility of more than two thousand students and faculty members has expanded academic cooperation and cultural exchange between Korea and EU. On September 13, 2017, KDI School hosted the 5th Conference of the Korea-EU Industrialized Countries Instrument – Education Cooperation Programme (ICI-ECP) which has been the key catalyst of tremendous education collaboration that marked the notable achievements of the past and outlined the future aspirations.
Massive actions and tremendous results
Korea launched its cooperation with the ICI-ECP in 2009, which was one of the seven Education Cooperation Programmes of the EU, which aimed to boost mutual understanding and modernization of the higher education with partner countries (Australia, Japan, and New Zealand) since 2002. Over the course of mutual cooperation, over 70 EU/Korea institutions have been involved in implementing an extensive number of projects pushing the range and quality of international higher education to the upper level. The main bulk of the conference centered on highlighting the core achievements of the joint brainchild – projects, which empowered people to study, grow, and explore new horizons on both sides of the continents. Mr. Marek REPOVSKY, Political Counselor, Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Korea, pointed out that Korea, as a key strategic partner of Europe, has been greatly contributing to modernization and transparency of the international education, and cooperation. The accomplished projects had greatly contributed to the facilitation of Dual/Joint Master Degree Programs, faculty exchange and research projects, internship and summer school programmes in leading partner institutions of Europe and Korea.
Essential Whys and Strategic Hows
As the keynote speaker at the conference, Jean Monnet Chair Professor Woo Sik MOON from Seoul National University made important remarks on the significance of cooperation of Korea with Europe. First of all, Korea is in need of greater internationalization of its higher education process. Despite substantial progress has been made in building up the quality of education system, Korea is still not fully capable of producing its own Ph.D. students, and predominantly relies on Western institutions. Europe, as “a treasure island” of education with long and tremendous experience, is an important partner in establishing extended educational and academic network of cooperation, along with political, economic, and cultural links. Second, Korea has a full potential of becoming a bridge between advanced countries and emerging economies and taking leadership in regional cooperation. For these ends, Professor MOON acknowledged that Korea needs to expand its funding commitments under the new cooperation framework – Erasmus+; pursue multilateral cooperation, filling the gap between developing and advanced nations; and raise interest of Korean youth in acquiring one of the European languages such as French, German, or Spanish, as it would expand multilateral cooperation.
Debunking Challenges under the New Agenda – Erasmus+
Mathieu LAMBOTTE, a successful candidate of the EKAFREE project, is currently studying the second year of the Dual Master Degree Program in Rural Development and Agriculture and Economics in Seoul National University (SNU), after spending one year in Humboldt University, Berlin. Along with the possibilities of traveling, making new connections, and discovering the totally different culture, he shared some of the challenges he faced. First, the process of getting visa definitely needs revision and simplification, as it usually takes a long period of time. Second, the partner institutions need to adjust their curriculum and evaluation system (European evaluation system is not equivalent to Korean grading system) and expand the availability of lectures taught in English.
Having recognized abovementioned shortcomings both parties made a commitment to work on elimination of these drawbacks under the new cooperation framework – Erasmus. The sowed seeds between EU and Korea in the realm of education cooperation proved to be fruitful, and exponentially continue growing, making difference in the lives of thousands. Hopefully, KDI School, as one of the renowned providers of cutting-edge innovative education and research, becomes the leading contributor to the Korea-EU joint education initiatives in the years to come.
2017 GLiMPSE Seminar at KDI School
On Friday, September 15th, the External Relations and Development Division organized the “2017 GLiMPSE Seminar” at KDI School’s Lincoln Hall.
The GLiMPSE, which is an acronym for Global Leaders in Management and Policy for South Korea and Europe, is a four-year old dual degree program among universities in Europe, KU Leuven in Belgium and ESSEC Business School in France, and in Korea, Seoul National University Graduate School of International Studies and KDI School. 2017 was the concluding year of the GLiMPSE joint education program and the program ended with success.
In light of the GLiMPSE program, the seminar brought scholars from Asia and Europe to share ongoing research and insights regarding subjects of Eurasian Cooperation, Sustainable Development and International Trade and Finance.
Without a doubt such events brought a new perspective on the theoretical frameworks taught during regular courses and allowed students to comprehend real life examples of policies and their implications on a global scale.