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Yonsei University president Yong-Hak Kim receives an honorary do...
  • Writer : Communications Team
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  • Date : 2019-06-26

Yonsei University president Yong-Hak Kim receives an honorary doctorate in literature 

from Korea University

In recognition of his contributions as a sociologist with outstanding academic achievements and as an educational administrator who has helped lead the development of Korean higher education

The two universities conclude a mutual cooperation agreement on academic exchanges

▲ From left to right, Jin-Taek Chung (Korea University President), Yong-Hak Kim (Yonsei University President), Heungsuk Choi (Dean of the Korea University Graduate School) take a commemorative photograph at the honorary doctorate conferment ceremony.


Yonsei University President Yong-Hak Kim was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from Korea University at a conferment ceremony held at the Korea University Global Conference Hall located in the Centennial Memorial Samsung Hall on June 19.


Korea University presented Yonsei University President Yong-Hak Kim the degree in recognition of his contributions not only as a sociologist with outstanding academic achievements but also as an educational administrator with pivotal accomplishments in leading a new developmental paradigm in Korea’s higher education system.


President Kim, a professor of sociology at Yonsei University since 1987, made great academic achievements in the field of sociology in Korea. In particular, he is well known as a pioneer in the field of social networking. Adopting a new approach to network analysis, he uncovered the intricately woven network of modern society based upon online platforms. He also contributed to the development of the social sciences field in Korea by conducting interdisciplinary social science research in relation to various fields such as economics and journalism. Furthermore, he has written a number of books, including Social Structure and Behavior, Social Network Theory and Social Network Analysis. He and his works have been selected as Best Writer Award after the Liberation of Korea, the Outstanding Publication Award selected by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Outstanding Publication Award selected by the National Academy of Sciences.


After his inauguration as the 18th president of Yonsei University on February 1, 2016, he commenced to improve the university’s research environment and teaching assessment methods while also implementing long-term higher education reform measures in preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In particular, he took the lead in bringing about changes in constructing the Empathy Campus (Christianity), Innovative Campus (Creativity), and Hyper Connected Campus (Connectivity), as well as developing an interdisciplinary research system that transcends the boundaries of academic fields.


At the conferment ceremony, KU President Chung said, “President Yong-Hak Kim has been leading Yonsei University as the most prestigious private university in Korea on the basis of his leadership in communication and empathy. Three years after taking office, he has led Yonsei University in becoming a world-renowned institution through the development of a research-oriented policy and environment. The changes and accomplishments that took place over the past three years at Yonsei University are well reflected in the values that have been put forward by President Kim. President Kim is a true educational administrator as he did not simply present his commitment, but he continuously strived to bring his practice into reality.”


President Chung stated, “In his new year’s address in 2018, President Kim mentioned that the intellectuals required in the future society will be warm-hearted individuals with great personalities and creativity. In my March inaugural address, I proposed new mottos for KU: Creative KU, People-centered KU and Harmonized KU. In the era of advanced technology, creating empathy by realizing the essence of relationships is what is most important. In that sense, the ultimate intellectuals that the two universities are trying to cultivate are very similar. Therefore, I strongly believe that if the two universities pursue truth and liberty through harmony and cooperation in bringing justice to the development of our society, we can both create synergy and grow together as world class universities in shaping the future of higher education.”



President Kim, in return, said, “It is a true honor to receive an honorary doctorate degree from Korea’s most prestigious private institution. Society is changing; more and more people pursue post-materialism values. In the industrial society, intelligent people who possessed a great amount of knowledge were needed; however, future society will need warm-hearted intellectuals, and university education should shift its direction in cultivating such intellectuals accordingly. Lastly, Eleanor Roosevelt once said, 'Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.’ I hope our students can grow to become beautiful old people. With my honorary degree that I received today, I will live the rest of my life with honor.”



Prior to the conferment ceremony, the two universities concluded a mutual cooperation agreement on academic exchange and cooperation at the Ilmin Lounge located in the Centennial Memorial Samsung Hall.


Based on this agreement, the two universities will soon mutually cooperate in the fields of digital literacy and online education. Accordingly, they will soon co-host a digital media collaborative competition and confer scholarships and awards to students. They further plan to mutually exchange and share their online lectures.


In addition, the joint lecture series titled “Humanistic Introspection toward Liberty, Justice and Truth,” collaboratively developed and offered by the two universities since the fall semester of 2017, will expand and grow into a full-fledged course that is expected to be offered every semester starting in 2020. Moreover, full-time faculty members from both universities will be recruited as visiting professors, enabling them to engender more advanced achievements in the fields of education and research while creating synergistic effects.


▲ Korea University President Chung Jin-Taek (left) and Yonsei University President Yong-Hak Kim (right) take a commemorative photograph with committee members of the academic boards from both universities at the ceremony for the mutual cooperation agreement on academic exchange.


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