Two prestigious private universities in Korea join hands to share
academic resources, services, and facilities
- Korea University and Yonsei University signed an MOU to cooperate on the joint use of academic resources and on research in information and communications technology (ICT).
- The two universities will make efforts to turn their relationship from bona fide competitors to mutually beneficial partners.
- They will establish a cooperative system to support joint use of academic resources and Joint development of ICT.
▲ From left to right: Yonghak Kim, President of Yonsei University; and Jaeho Yeom, President of Korea University
Korea University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Yonsei University for the joint use of their academic resources and joint research in information and communications technology (ICT) on Thursday, May 24th at 2:00 pm at the ChangKiWon International Conference Hall, Samsung Academic Information Center, Yonsei University, in order to lay the foundation for enhancing mutual competitiveness based on the rich intellectual properties and research infrastructure the universities have developed for more than a century.
The agreement is aimed at seeking ways for the two universities to share their academic resources and infrastructure and to strengthen their cooperation network for education, research, and ICT development, which will ultimately benefit both institutions.
The MOU includes providing KU and Yonsei students and faculty with easy and free access to the excellent academic resources, services, and facilities provided by the libraries of both campuses, and strengthening the two institutions’ cooperation in ICT development, so that they can respond appropriately to the rapidly-changing information environment and lead a paradigm shift in higher education. In addition, they agreed to continue to expand the scope and depth of their mutual cooperation.
Alliances among medical schools in Hong Kong and those among the University of California campuses are based on geographical closeness, but the MOU between two prestigious private universities in order to turn their relationship from bona fide competitors to mutually beneficial partners is first of its kind in Korea and internationally unique.
Although the interlibrary loan system is widespread among major universities, it typically takes days between placing a loan request and actual access to the books and materials. The MOU will allow the students of both universities to have free and easy access to libraries and facilities on either campus with their existing ID cards.
Sharing their advanced library facilities is also expected to create a synergy effect. Collaboration between Korea University’s CJ Creator Library (CCL), which focuses on content/media creation, and Yonsei University’s Makerspace in Y-Valley equipped with cutting-edge hardware will facilitate cultivating creative talents.
The rivalry and friendship between the two institutions go back several decades—the Ko-Yon Games, exchange lectures between their presidents, and so on. Now they want to go even further: In the second semester of 2017, they introduced a joint course titled the “Humanistic Introspection Toward Truth, Justice, and Liberty,” They will share their human and academic resources with one another in an effort to break down walls between disciplines and between the two institutions in order to offer their students better quality education. Last year, the two presidents announced that they would require their student athletes to meet the minimum academic standards in order to nurture strong athletes with academic excellence.
Seongcheol Kim, Director of the Korea University Library, said, “This MOU is in line with the aims of the two universities to create co-existing, open, and communicative libraries. We will maintain close cooperation between the two libraries in order to provide our students with a more advanced higher education and research environment. And sharing academic resources and facilities of the two libraries will serve as a starting point for us to cultivate creative talents who will lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution, by developing new services based on the vast academic research resources available from our universities and building new service platforms through collaboration between the CCL and Makerspace.”
Kyungho Lee, Vice President for Information Technology and Services, said, “The convergence between the ICT capabilities of two universities will contribute to shaping the future of higher education. We’ll provide our new entrants with a platform to test their knowledge and ideas, to design their own curriculum by analyzing data and information being updated real-time, to communicate with people with same interests and with those from different cultural backgrounds, and to expose themselves to knowledge and thinking of other countries.”
Kyubong Lee, Director of the Yonsei University Library, remarked that “The time-honored bona fide rivalry between the two universities has taken a new turn by opening their library doors to the students and faculty of two institutions. Breaking down the walls between the academic resources of the two universities will contribute to enhancing their research capabilities and help them better compete with internationally renowned universities.”