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Yonsei University Vice President Promotes Ties with UCLAFrom left, Kyeyoung Park, Namhee Lee, Dr. Jung Ki Kim, John Duncan, and Geoffrey Garrett

Yonsei University Vice President Promotes Ties with UCLA

Dr. Jung Ki Kim, Yonsei's Vice President for Academic Affairs, holds meetings with leading UCLA officials and Koreanist faculty, plans Los Angeles Yonsei campus.

By Gohar Grigorian

Yonsei University was founded in 1885 in Seoul, now in South Korea. It is one of South Korea's leading private universities with an enrollment of 50,000 students -- 35,000 undergraduates and 15,000 graduate students. Yonsei just celebrated the fifteenth year of its exchange relationship with UCLA, mainly through the International Institute's Education Abroad Program. Yonsei has ties with many California institutions of higher learning, including most of the other UC campuses and all of the California State University campuses. Dr. Jung Ki Kim, Yonsei's vice president for academic affairs, visited UCLA October 20 to renew ties and have discussions on mutual cooperation between the two schools.

Dr. Kim in addition to his administrative role is also a professor in Yonsei's Department of Theology. His visit was hosted by the International Institute's International Visitors Bureau. Dr. Kim began his day with a seminar on UCLA's international and Korean Studies programs at the offices of the International Institute in Bunche Hall. There he met with Institute Vice Provost Geoffrey Garrett; Prof. John Duncan, director of the Center for Korean Studies, who is also a professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC); and two other EALC faculty members, Dr. Namhee Lee and Dr. Kyeyoung Park.

In the afternoon Dr. Kim met with UCLA's Executive Vice Chancellor Daniel M. Neuman. Jung Ki Kim briefed his UCLA hosts on Yonsei University and its international work. For example, Yonsei maintains a Graduate School of International Studies and offers a Global MBA degree. Last year the institution sent out 364 exchange students, 17 of them to UCLA, and hosted 489 coming from other countries. Yonsei has exchange agreements with no less than 440 partner universities around the world. Dr. Kim said that Yonsei encourages interactions between exchange students and its local student body.

Yonsei has pioneered a dual degree program with several universities, in Japan, the Free University of Berlin, and Leiden University, in which students can earn a joint degree if they spend three years at their home university and one year at Yonsei. Today Yonsei University is ranked number 175 in the world, and its goal is to be in the top 100 by 2010. There are plans to establish an overseas campus of Yonsei University in Los Angeles. The beginnings of this plan is the Yonsei University Language Institute which opened in downtown Los Angeles three years ago. They are looking now to buy a building in Los Angeles.

John Duncan gave an overview of the International Institute and the Center for Korean Studies. He said the UCLA has the largest program in Korean Studies in the United States, with 10 faculty, 50 graduate students, and hundreds of undergraduate students who take Korean. 

UCLA International Institute