Since the opening of the Annual Ko-Yon Games, Korea University (KU) and Yonsei University (YU) have maintained a rivalrous, yet friendly relationship for a long time. On May 24, the two universities signed the “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Mutual Utilization of Academic Resources and the Cooperation on Information and Communication Technology (ICT).” While still at its initiation stage, the main purpose of the MOU is to foster human resources.
Human resources are a core determinant of higher quality in education and research. For this reason, universities are making a great effort to develop human resources; thus, universities must work to enhance the potential of their students both qualitatively and quantitatively. Since the ability and skill of students will help the university to better perform, any expenditure on education is regarded as a long-term investment for future benefits. The MOU has been made in this perspective as well. “KU and YU will continue to play a central role in shaping the future of higher education in Korea”–such is the wish of the two presidents.
Thanks to the agreement, the students and the faculty of KU and YU are now free to use the services provided by both universities—academic resources, library and other facilities— using their identification cards. Among these, the main draw is the sharing of high-tech facilities. While CJ Creator Library (CCL) in KU centralizes on multimedia content creation, Makerspace on the first floor of Yonsei-Samsung Library centers on advanced technology, providing production equipment. The sharing of such facilities is expected to foster many talented individuals in the Information Technology (IT) field. Furthermore, the two universities can make up for each other’s weaknesses with their individual strengths.
While the physical event, the Annual Ko-Yon Games, is still the main intercourse, there have been a few recent academic interchanges between KU and YU; for instance, there is a Joint Lecture Program that started on September 7, 2017. This 13-week lecture program was titled “Humanistic Introspection toward Truth, Justice and Liberty.” The program was intended to provide the students with quality education. The presidents of both universities had previously agreed on the need to expand academic and cultural interactions and the program was the result of their efforts to do so. The curriculum covers a wide range of fields including psychology, history, philosophy, law and economics.
As Yeom Jae-ho, the President of KU, emphasizes the importance of pioneering the intellectuals , one could easily infer that KU highly values education and as a KU Librarian, Professor Kim Seongcheol (School of Media and Communication) shares the same view. Professor Kim explained, “As a library is a public infrastructure, it should share its academic resources with more communities other than our school members.” According to Professor Kim, KU Library will continue to expand academic interchanges with other universities and besides, since KU and YU Medical Libraries are excluded from this MOU, incorporating the whole library is another goal to achieve.
▲ Professor Kim Seongcheol.
Photographed by Kim Seung Hye
KU hopes that its future-oriented educational platform will eventually enhance students’ talent and facilitate the expansion of creative ideas. The MOU will help students to benefit from two universities with a single opportunity for the admission procedures. However, the whole thing is just a prediction at this point. The registration for this new program was made last June; thus, the users could utilize the service after the end of spring semester. Since the participation rate of school programs is relatively low during the break season, certain operational problems or inconveniences are difficult to detect. For the anticipated synergy effect to appear, more time is needed.