Former Assitant Secretary Bermeo, next-generation leader who took major roles as college professor and in the government in her 20s
“I will think of a ‘Saemaul Undong’ project that can be applied to Ecuador”
Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul, 83 people from 34 countries newly enrolled for second half of 2015
[October 26, 2015]
“I am convinced that the Saemaul Undong and Saemaul spirit will help in the development of my home country, Ecuador.”
Former Assistant Secretary of Ecuador Maria Bermeo (30, photo), who took her first class as a new student for the YU Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul master’s degree course, voiced her impression with an air of excitement.
Despite being only 30 years old, she has served as a college professor as well as holding important government posts and is judged to be a key leader of the future in Ecuador. The reason why this lady with such a bright future selected YU was to learn the ‘Saemaul Science’.
She said, “The purpose of my study here is to learn the systematic theories and practical policies of the Saemaul Undong, as well as the Saemaul spirit and look for ways to apply it to fit my country’s situation.” She already holds a master’s degree. After graduating from the Universidad del Azuay in Ecuador, she earned her master’s degree at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Monterrey Campus in Mexico. From June 2010 to September 2012, she served as a professor at her alma mater, Universidad del Azuay, and then worked as the Assistant Secretary at the Education and Science Ministry from 2013 to February 2015.
She said, “After joining the government and working on tasks related to higher education, science technology and innovation, I took the development of Korea as a role model in many instances. The Saemaul Undong and Saemaul spirit was always a keyword in this.” She added, “At the Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul, I not only have the opportunity to share knowledge with professors and experts having various academic backgrounds, rather than leaning to any one specific field, and I can also study with public officials and policy legislators and workers from various countries to share the success cases and experiences of different countries, while creating a global network” as she once again explained the reason why she chose YU.
She said that when she first visited Korea to attend a seminar on public policy two years ago, she was very impressed with the development of Korea starting at Incheon Airport. She said, “In addition to the Korean culture and the hospitality of Koreans, I loved everything about Korea from the educational environment of universities to its teaching methods,” and added, “During my studies here, I am planning to study the Korean language so that I can go back to my home country after gaining not only academic knowledge, but also a deeper understanding of Korea.”
On the other hand, on October 19, the YU Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul greeted 83 students from 34 countries, including Former Assistant Secretary Bermeo and senior-ranking public officials and professionals of various countries as new students for the later term of 2015. These students who were admitted after a 8.9 to 1 competition rate will complete a one-year and six-months master’s degree program (lectures for 3 semesters, thesis class for 1 semester), and become masters of the Saemaul Science if there thesis passes.
It is judged that the reason why important figures from around the world are gathering at YU is because of the influence of past graduates of the Park Chung Hee School. The 120 plus graduates of the Park Chung Hee School have taken important positions in their governments and society and are spreading the Saemaul Undong. Gasana Richard (40), who earned his master’s in public policy and leadership at the Park Chung Hee School in May 2014, was recently elected as mayor of Gatsibo in Rwanda, while Demeke Atlaw Melke (38) is currently the assistant-director of the agricultural bureau in Amhara, Ethiopia.
<Orientation for 2015 Park Chung Hee School Newcomers>
The Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul, which was established in November 2011 to share the Saemaul Undong and Korea’s development experience with public officials and employees of the public sector in emerging countries and to foster global Saemaul leaders, was selected in March 2014 for the KOICA ‘Community Development Leader Fostering Master’s Degree Program’ and in April 2015 for the KEITI’s ‘Emerging Country Public Official Master’s Degree Program’, and has constructed an unparalleled position as an institute for fostering experts in the Saemaul international development experts. A total of 342 international students from 57 countries have enrolled and 123 people from 37 countries received their master’s degree as of October 2015.