President Jaeho Yeom of Korea University receives an honorary doctorate from Waseda University
The degree was awarded as acknowledgment of his contributions to public administration and politics in Korea and to education and culture in the international community.
President Yeom advised the graduating class of Waseda University to grow into the pioneering intellectuals required in the 21st century.
▲ President Jaeho Yeom of Korea University (left) and President Kaoru Kamata of Waseda University (right) at the awarding ceremony of the honorary doctorate of laws held at Waseda University in Japan.
President Jaeho Yeom of Korea University was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from Waseda University on Saturday September 15, 2018.
Waseda University announced that it would confer an honorary Doctor of Laws upon President Yeom in recognition of his insightful knowledge and outstanding contributions to the areas of public administration and politics in Korea, while promoting education and culture in the international community through various activities, including academic exchange programs with Waseda University.
President Yeom received the degree in front of 1,500 graduating students at the 2018 undergraduate graduation ceremony of Waseda University.
President Yeom, since his appointment as professor at Korea University in 1990, had significantly contributed to KU’s educational reform, serving as Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies, Vice President for Planning and Budget, Director of the Institute for International Education, Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for University Evaluation, and Executive Vice President for Administration & External Affairs. Since his inauguration as the 19th president of Korea University in March 2015, Korea University has evolved into a prestigious world-class university under his excellent leadership.
He has also been leading the development of education and research in Korea beyond the school walls. He served as President of the Korean Association for Policy Studies, a leading Korean research association for public administration and policy. While serving as President of the Korean Association for Japanese Studies since 2008, he has also been working as Chairman of the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies, Advisor of the Institute of Basic Science, Advisor of the National Research Foundation of Korea, and a board member of the Seoul Institute.
President Yeom’s achievements are also pronounced in the public area. He assumed key positions at ministerial committees, such as Chairman of the Evaluation Committee for Education Institution of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2011), Chairman of the Evaluation Committee for Public Institutions of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (2014-2015), and Chairman of the Postal Operations Committee of Korea Post (2012-2015). He also served as an advisor for public agencies, including the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning, the Advisory Committee for Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the National Election Commission. Even today, he is assuming important roles at various public organizations such as member of the Advisory Committee of National Assembly Budget Office.
Waseda University also highly evaluated the international achievements of President Yeom. He has been conducting educational and research activities as a visiting professor and visiting researcher at various overseas universities such as Australia’s Griffith University, UK’s University of Brighton, and China’s Renmin University and Beijing University. Meanwhile, he has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Universitas 21 (U21) network of universities and the Steering Committee of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), attesting to his excellent management skills. He has been assuming various roles in diverse institutes at home and abroad, significantly contributing to the development of academia and research. Based on such efforts, his achievements have been highly recognized not only in Korea but also across the world.
Waseda University said that its relations with Korea University, which began to form since the cooperative agreement in 1973, have reached a whole new level since the inauguration of President Yeom. In particular, Waseda University stressed that the Korea-China-Japan Campus Asia Program and Korea-Japan Millennium Forum have furthered exchange programs and activities between the two. Both universities have strengthened joint research and exchange programs with Northern European universities, in addition to the U21 network, through the East Asia–Nordic/Benelux University Consortium (ENUC), which Korea University established in 2015.
“For Waseda University, the leading Asian university that aspires to contribute to the international community, Korea University is the most important partner. While more active exchange programs are expected between our universities, it is quite timely for us to grant an honorary doctorate to President Yeom, who has solidified our mutual relations and substantially contributed to the globalization of Waseda University,” said President Kaoru Kamata of Waseda University.
“We have to shift our educational paradigm at a time of great transformation for mankind in the 21st century. Our education should be shifted from rote learning into tacit knowledge acquisition that focuses on the characteristics of individuals. In order to foster talents who can efficiently resolve the complex and diverse issues that await us in the future, our higher education should evolve into creative, integrated and multidisciplinary education,” said President Yeom in his acceptance speech.
“Our students should grow into professionals that neither computers nor AI can replace. The word 'education' is derived from ‘educe’, meaning ‘to bring out’. Therefore, our educational goal should be the extent to which we can draw out the potential each person has,” said President Yeom, stressing the importance of fostering pioneering intellectuals at a time of evolution.
He highlighted curiosity, imaginativeness, and empathy as the values required for pioneering intellectuals.
“Studying is about curiosity. Curiosity begins from questioning what you have believed. Belief in absolute truth is a religion, and true science recognizes that the truth can change anytime from a relative perspective. Albert Einstein said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Yuval Noah Harari, a historian, pointed out imaginations and letters as the engine behind the development of mankind. Recently, universities have been paying attention to Design Thinking, System Thinking, and Creative Thinking, recognizing the importance of imaginative capacities,” said President Yeom. He added, “In the 21st century, social abilities such as empathy are as important as cognitive abilities of individuals. I hope that the graduating class of Waseda University here today will become pioneering intellectuals who lead the 21st century and contribute to the development of humanity based on a can-do spirit and creative thinking.”
“I believe that Waseda University has awarded me this honorary doctorate of laws to call upon me to take my responsibilities for building a better society in the 21st century and contributing to the development of mankind more seriously. I’m committed to paving the way for Waseda University and Korea University to pioneer higher education in our societies,” reiterated President Yeom in concluding his speech.