[Meet the President] Chung-Ang University is committed to cultural diversity
Training international students is one thing. Dealing with their complaints is different.
But what Park Sang-gue has noticed in three decades as a teacher at Chung Ang University is that the symptoms come in patterns.
“Asian students are more sensitive to the services they receive from school outside of the classroom,” Park said. “They want to feel cared for.”
European students, on the other hand, give “very detailed” opinions about the classes and the professors who teach them, Park continued, and aren’t afraid to let the school know if they’re not satisfied.
As president of the university, Park’s policy is never to tell international students they’re wrong, that nothing can be changed. Things can always change, he said. All that is required is an open mind.
“Cultural diversity is key,” Park told Korea JoongAng Daily last month during an interview at his office in south Seoul’s Dongjak district.
“International students can’t go wrong,” he said. “They’re just different from us.”
The following are excerpts from the interview, edited for clarity.
This is my eighth interview in the Meet the President series. It strikes me that the president of each university has a different definition of globalization. which one is yours
I think globalization has become a common goal of many Korean universities. Every university has a truly grandiose mission to nurture global talent, but from a practical point of view, it’s basically a series of efforts to help our students increase their competency so that they can pursue a job in the university upon graduation related to globalization. When you consider how globalized our society has become, most of our graduates work somewhere and do something related to globalization.
Why Chung Ang? Out of all Korean universities, why should an international student considering a degree in Korea choose your school?
What really sets us apart from other Korean universities is that we offer one of the widest range of academic programs, from cutting-edge technology to the most specific areas of the arts. Honestly, running these many programs doesn’t help us much in the college rankings, since nearly 30 percent of our school funding goes into areas that don’t directly account for the major rankings. However, from a student’s perspective, I think it’s a great benefit to meet and exchange with fellow students from different fields, especially considering that we live in the fourth industrial revolutionary era where uncertainty is increasing and students can do anything after graduation . Some Korean universities are very strong in certain fields such as engineering or mechanics. So when international students apply to these schools, they have very specific goals to gain knowledge in these specific fields. But even those who are unsure about their career paths can come to our school and have the opportunity to shape their future because we offer so many opportunities.
Aside from many majors, what are some other strengths of Chung-Ang University?
Our school has over 2,500 international students enrolled to pursue a bachelor’s degree, which is the fourth largest number of any higher education institution in Korea. Through more than 500 agreements with foreign universities and research institutes, we exchange students and teachers, carry out joint research projects and organize international scientific conferences. These agreements give our students the opportunity to study at almost 200 universities abroad every semester. We recently opened Chung-ang University’s Gwangmyeong Hospital [in Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi]which we expect will help us strengthen our competitiveness in the biomedical field and prepare for the fourth industrial revolutionary era.
What advantages are offered to international students?
We have special scholarships for international students with a high grade point average. Those scoring 4.3 or more points [out of a perfect score of 4.5] in the previous semester receive a full scholarship, which exempts them from paying tuition fees for the following semester. A score of 4.0 and above gives a 50 percent discount, a score of 3.7 and above gives a 30 percent discount and a score of 3.2 and above gives a 20 percent discount. Korean editing and proofreading services are also offered through our CAU Korean Language Editing Service, known as CAKE. The program, which started two years ago, is very popular with our international students. Chung-Ang University received the highest rank in the Ministry of Education’s International Education Quality Assurance System, known as IEQAS, which means that we have been recognized by the Korean government as a globalized campus. This recognition allows international students at our school to complete less paperwork when changing their visa status or work more hours in part-time jobs than international students from schools without this designation.
What is the educational philosophy of Chung Ang University?
As the world enters the Fourth Industrial Revolutionary Era, high technology will spread to every corner of our society to compete with humans, and we will see many changes in the post-Covid-19 era. Ultimately, the world we will live in will be completely different from the present. Therefore, at Chung-Ang, we strive to nurture students who can respond flexibly to these changes and proactively seek self-improvement. To this end, we are currently developing a metaverse education system and updating our CAU e-Advisor platform, which offers practical advice on student careers.
Looking back on my college days, I remember thinking about my career and what I wanted to do after graduation. Each semester I didn’t know what courses to take or what extracurricular programs to attend. And that’s where the CAU e-Berater comes into play. The university has invested a whopping 4 billion won [$3 million] to build an artificial intelligence [AI] System that gives student users tips on what courses to take and what extracurricular programs and volunteering they can participate in based on their career goals. Your point of reference is actual Chung Ang University graduates who have achieved the same career goals, such as: E.g. working in a bank. The cool thing about this program is that it is self-learning. The more information we include, the more accurate the advice will be. An upcoming task is to get permission from more Chung Ang University graduates to use their data from the college so that we can add their information in CAU e-Advisor. The CAU e-adviser also has a chatbot service that offers information on many topics, e.g. B. where certain buildings are located or the best restaurants nearby. Everything is available in Korean, English and even Chinese.
CV of the President
Park Sang-gue is the 16th President of Chung-Ang University, whose four-year term began in March 2020. He has been Professor of Applied Statistics at the school since 1995.
Park is senior vice president of the Korea Association of Private University Presidents and vice chairman of the Korea University Sports Foundation. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Korea Society for Engineering Education; Member of the Committee on Structural Reforms of the Ministry of Education; and an advisor in the Medication Review Advisory Group of the Department of Food and Drug Safety.
Park earned his bachelor’s degree in applied statistics and his master’s degree in statistics from Chung-Ang University and a Ph.D. in statistics from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
About the university
Chung Ang University
October 17, 1916
Motto in English
Live in truth, live for justice
Seoul Campus: Dongjak District, South Seoul
Anseong Campus: Anseong, Gyeonggi
913,189 square meters (225.65 acres)
Undergraduate colleges and departments
Schools and departments: 53
Research Associate (2022)
Administrative staff (2022)
Employment rate (2020)
70.1 percent (Seoul campus 72.4 percent)
Number of students (2022)
Short-term students (language learning, exchange programme): 665
By Country (2022)
China 79.2 percent
Vietnam 4.8 percent
Taiwan 1.8 percent
Other 14.2 percent (83 countries)
Department with the most international students (2022)
School of Business Administration
Residence acceptance rate (2022)
Average tuition fees of self-funded undergraduate students per semester (2022)
4.65 million won ($3,555)
BY LEE SUNG-EUN [[email protected]]