Pursuing to establish the Department of Saemaul Economic Development and Korean language courses at Western University
Signed MOU for support on admissions of local high school students at YU with the Kampong Cham Province Education Office
Discussions being held to promote exchange with the Royal University of Phnom Penh such as the 2+2 multiple diploma program, exchange student programs, etc.
<An MOU was signed by YU and Western University of Cambodia for the establishment of the Department of Saemaul Economic Development, etc.>
YU (President Sur Gil-soo) has set sail to export ‘education hallyu’. The Saemaul education program, which is a special education program, was exported to a university in the Philippines not long ago, and it will now be exported to Cambodia. It will also look to open Korean language and Korean studies classes in Cambodia as well.
For this, the Outside Cooperation Office Director Heo Chang-deok, Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul Dean Kim Gi-soo, and International Exchange Team Leader Lee Won-young visited major institutes in Cambodia such as colleges, high schools, and education offices in Phnom Penh and Kampong Cham Province for five days from April 30 to May 4.
The main purpose of this visit was to establish the Department of Saemaul Economic Development at a university in Cambodia. The YU envoy that visited Western University in Phnom Penh in the morning of the 30th signed an MOU for inter-collegiate international exchange with Western University President Kieng Rotana. A PR video introducing YU was shown and over 200 students, professors and employees who gathered at the auditorium cheered in congratulations of the MOU.
Through this MOU, the two universities will focus on establishing the Department of Saemaul Economic Development at the Western University Kampong Cham Branch. For this, the YU envoy visited the Kampong Cham Branch on the next day (May 1) to draw up a road map for the establishment of the department with Western University Kampong Cham Branch Vice President Hok Thavuth.
Debates were also held on the ‘Saemaul Undong’ with over 10 professors from the Kampong Cham Branch (photo on right). First, the Student Support Center Director and Professor Ouk Khamdy of the Kampong Cham Branch made a presentation on how the Saemaul Undong and Saemaul spirit should be spread in the Kampong Cham region. YU Park Chung Hee School Dean Kim Gi-soo made a general assessment in the discussions to plant the first seed of the Saemaul Undong in Cambodia. Afterwards, the two universities visited a remote island village, which is scheduled to be the setting for Saemaul Undong development, to check the overall circumstances while assessing the possibility for localizing the Saemaul Undong.
On May 2, which was the third day of visits in Cambodia, the opening ceremony for the Center for Korean Studies (photo top) was held at the Western University Kampong Cham Branch. The Center for Korean Studies, which opened amidst the cheers of around 250 students, is expected to serve as a hub to teach about Korea to residents of Kampong Cham through Korean language programs and Korean study courses. The two universities also agreed to provide full cooperation such as exchange students, short-term study programs, overseas volunteer programs, and e-learning programs.
Through its visit to Cambodia, YU also set a bridgehead to attract international students through exchange agreements with the Kampong Cham Province Education Office. The Kampong Cham Province Education Office showed a great deal of interest in the Park Chung School of Policy and Saemaul and the Saemaul education program offered by YU, as well as the scholarship programs for foreigners. They agreed to support admissions of local high school graduates to YU by signing an MOU with YU in the future. Afterwards, YU not only met with local universities and high schools, but also the ‘Teaching Training Center’, which is a training institute for elementary, middle and high school teachers of Kampong Cham Province to engage in PR activities for YU.
<Seminar for students of the Teaching Training Center in Kampong Cham Province>
YU President Sur Gil-soo said, “There is a lot of interest in Cambodia on not only Korean pop culture, but also the Saemaul Undong, Korean students, and Korean language.” He added, “Starting with the ‘Saemaul Science’ systematically established by YU, YU will be able to lead the ‘educational hallyu’ in Cambodia.”
Meanwhile, a banquet was organized by YU alumni in Cambodia. Alumni who graduated from the Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul who returned to Cambodia to fill in important positions took time from their busy schedule to organize a banquet for the visitors from their alma mater. At the welcoming banquet, five graduates of the Park Chung Hee School, as well as eight central government officials from the education ministry, economic ministry, tourism ministry and foreign affairs ministry were present demonstrating the huge amount of interest on YU’s visit to Cambodia.
In addition, YU visited its sister school, the Royal University of Phnom Penh and the CCKC (Cambodia-Korea Cooperation Center) to discuss concrete plans for promoting exchange such as activating the exchange student program, jointly conducting overseas volunteer programs, multiple-diploma programs, and to pursue international joint research. They also visited the PPIIA (Phnom Penh International Institute of Art) that is pursuing specialization of art education with the approval of the Cambodian education ministry, thus hinting the oncoming wave of Korean education that will sweep Cambodia in the near future.