Academic Excellence: Fundamental Engine for a Greater Future

2018-03-07 Campus Life

Kyung Hee 2018: Utmost Attention to Academic Value Creation

By starting the engine of ‘Academic Kyung Hee,’ we set out to create a better future. Our goal is to strengthen the position of ‘future universities worthy of their names’ that will contribute to building sustainable human society, by maximizing their role in education and research, and learning and practice. On Wednesday, February 21, at the main building of the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, Gwangneung Campus, the 2018 Academic Board Annual Conference convened to share this goal and to identify plans to achieve it.

Scholarship is the most critical and fundamental value of universities
President Inwon Choue illustrated his thoughts in his welcoming speech and said, “Throughout the ages and into the future, scholarship is the most important fundamental value to be sought by universities. In line with the level of academic recognition we achieve in society and in academia, it is crucial that we create an environment where scholars and administrators feel a sense of pride in the university culture.” He underlined that such a culture is shaped collectively in the frontlines of academia, such as in the classrooms and academic labs of the various departments, colleges, and graduate schools. In addition, President Choue stressed the need for administrative organizations to proactively support these scholarly initiatives.

President Choue reminded the audience that scholarship must be preceded by level-headed introspection. To take steps toward a better future, he stressed the need to become aware of the present state, and the important process by which transformative power is created by breaking the internal mold that shapes our perceptions. He then charged the universities, departments, colleges and graduate schools “to identify new goals and strategies by means of introspection.”

Academic Promotion Fund, Transition 21, and Independent Learning & Research created to enhance academic excellence
At the Annual Board Conference, agenda items were announced; they included policy and finance toward academic promotion, plans for infrastructure development, and university assessment (Organization & Program Review, hereafter O&P Review).

In an effort to enhance students’ academic skills, Kyung Hee has installed new programs: ‘Transition 21’ and ‘Independent Learning & Research (IL&R).’ Transition 21 supports creative projects in education, research, and practice that mitigate civilizational threats against sustainable future of humans and Earth. IL&R is a curricular program (major selective, 3 credits) that reinforces the critical and alternative rationale behind the focused research on issues student deems compelling, through individualized academic communication between the student and the instructor.

Academic Promotion Fund also seeks to activate convergence studies and international joint studies. The Fund sponsors group researches in resolving global challenges such as climate change and urbanization, joint studies with foreign scholars, administrative and financial support to outstanding scholars, as well as assisting new outstanding faculty to assimilate to new environments.

Supporting academic excellence through financing & infrastructure toward self-sustaining virtuous cycle
In regards to financing and infrastructure, two proposals have been made: first, a mid to long-term draft plan aimed at creating a self-sustaining virtuous cycle; second, a campus remodeling plan, following the completion of stage one construction of ‘Space 21,’ a comprehensive campus development project.

The goal of Kyung Hee’s financial plan is to create a self-sustaining virtuous cycle. Based on the academic capability and infrastructure accumulated over the years, its goal is to generate profit, and to reinvest resources in education and research, thereby reinforcing academic excellence. Campus remodeling projects will focus primarily on the renewal of aging facilities as well as creating a ‘car-free’ campus.

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