KU Declares Its Vision to Raise KRW 500 Billion by 2020
KU Pledges KRW 100 Billion for Future-Oriented Education, Research, Scholarship, and Biomedicine
“KU the Future, Together with KU”: A Night to Express Gratitude
In celebrating its 111th anniversary, KU has declared its vision for raising KRW 500 billion in funding along with its aim of entering the top 50 of the world’s universities by 2020.
KU achieved the highest rank among private universities in Korea by placing 98th in the QS World University Rankings. Moreover, with its Three-No policy, flexible term system, and cultivation of future intellectuals, KU has garnered attention in implementing innovative, future-oriented education.
With the aim of breaking into the world’s top 50 universities, KU has designated specific fields of interest and plans to raise development funds for those areas.
For KU to foster pioneering intellectuals, the university needs to nurture problem-solving intellectuals who can become leaders of the future. In order to do so, a special space is needed where students can produce knowledge that goes beyond rote learning.
In view of the Korea Higher Education Research Institute’s announcement that the total of Korea’s overall private university fund was KRW 400 billion in 2014, the goal of KRW 500 billion is significant for KU.
KU plans to raise KRW 500 billion through active fundraising to invest in improving and developing the educational environments in various fields.
Since 2013, KU has implemented the “Global Leadership Program” that covers the cost of students’ tuition, room and board, and airfare. Starting with China, the program cultivates regional experts all over the world by expanding its scope including but not limited to Latin America, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Japan, and other countries in Europe.
The recently opened KU-Pioneer Village (π-Ville) incorporates KU’s objective to cultivate problem-solving intellectuals. π-Ville, an exclusive space for developing creativity, is the first of its kind in Korea to fully support students through diverse types of research, networking, and mentoring.
KU plans to raise KRW 16 billion to support the Global Leadership Program and π-Ville.
The vision that was announced addresses fundraising and also includes KU’s ground-breaking changes in its scholarship policy. By abolishing its merit-based scholarships, KU is offering support to students in financial need with full scholarships and stipends for living expenses. Instead of offering scholarships for high grades, the purpose of the scholarship reform is to provide students, who would not be able to afford a university education, with learning opportunities. Moreover, KU also plans to expand and maximize the scope of its scholarships to support students who autonomously design programs of study, allowing them to actively discover and explore their fields of interest.
KRW 10 billion, the amount raised last year, was awarded to 5,221 students. The figures have been steadily increasing for the past five years. As a result, KU was able to provide scholarships to approximately 1,000 more students compared to last year. KU plans to use KRW 56 billion from its funds for scholarships. With this goal, KU expects to distribute five times more scholarships to its students.
Educational infrastructure is also very important.
KU plans to construct a space exclusively for “discussion and self-directed learning,” unavailable at other domestic universities. KU is currently working on building the SK Future Hall. Students can take online lectures and can meet with their peers to freely discuss topics of their interest. KU also intends to create a space where students can discuss and be in charge of their own learning. Students will be able to escape the traditional drilling style of education and be immersed in a discussion and debate culture where they can autonomously foster their own growth. KU aims to raise KRW 120 billion for educational infrastructure.
Funds for KU do not necessarily require substantial donations. KU for the first time in the history of domestic universities has been conducting small donation campaigns. Anyone including KU faculty and staff, alumni, and the general public, can regularly donate KRW 10,000 to the “KU PRIDE CLUB” in order to support the “Education Fund” for cultivating international experts, the “Research Fund” to support undergraduate research papers and invitations for distinguished scholars, the “Scholarship Fund” to support students’ living expenses, and the “Infrastructure Fund” for future-oriented education. Currently, there are more than 3,000 donors (including 10,000 registered donor accounts with KRW 2 billion) who are supporting KU students.
Celebrating its 111th anniversary, the university administration, KU faculty, and donors opened a new chapter of KU with the “KU the Future, Together with KU” night on Friday November 11 at 6 p.m. at the Grand InterContinental Hotel Grand Ballroom, an event for KU to express its gratitude.
Following an opening ceremony on January 11 and its foundation ceremony on May 5, this night was KU’s third event that marked the grand finale of its three-phase fundraising campaign.
At the event, KU played a 111th anniversary movie featuring KU’s growth along with related news headlines. This movie was followed by President Yeom’s presentation on “The Four Pillars to the World’s Top 50 Universities”.
Yeom introduced four major fields that will open up a new era for KU and will change the future of humanity. He then emphasized the necessity of raising KRW 500 billion by 2020 to generate power and support for these fields.
The first pillar is the “Pioneering Intellectuals Fund” that supports the Global Leadership Program and the KU Pioneer Village (π-Ville). The second pillar is the “KU-MAGIC Fund” to maintain health and happiness from diseases and other threats with KU as the world’s mecca of biomedicine. The third pillar is the “Research Fund” supporting creative and future-oriented research. The fund offers support to scholars who immerse themselves in a lifetime research in the field of pure science. Lastly, the fourth pillar is the “Educational Infrastructure Fund” that is the foundation for the future of KU. KU aims to create a space not where students can passively learn in an old-fashioned lecture room but where they can produce knowledge on their own. Yeom said, “KU is a university that has received the most donations and it was through this growth engine generated by tens of thousands of donors that KU was able to grow to become what it is now.” He also emphasized the night’s importance by saying, “This very event will mark another new beginning in the history of KU.”
International students who attend KU also participated in the event and drew the audience’s attention.
Galy Roxane, a student from France, gave a speech on “My Hope.” She said, “I dream to connect France and Korea through many business exchanges. If I were not able to come to KU, this would have been a dream that I could never have dreamt of.” She added, “Korea has achieved remarkable growth in a short period of time, and therefore, I believe that Korea is a nation with great potential and that further growth lies ahead of us. I want to take a leading role in contributing to Korea becoming a nation further leaping towards the world. And I will never forget the fact that I am a proud to be a member of KU and will do my best in realizing my dreams.”
Afolabi Aanou, a student from Nigeria, said, “My family back in Nigeria sometimes had to skip meals due to poverty. However, I managed to study hard and was fortunate to come to Korea. After completing my Master’s degree at KU, I plan to go back to Nigeria and set up an educational NGO.” He spoke of his aspirations to change the reality of Nigeria. He also said, “I know that Korea used to be in poverty like Nigeria, and it was through the power of education that made Korea powerful as it is now. I met many great professors and many good peers who can help me, and as much as they have faith in me, I will try my best in fulfilling my dreams. I believe that I can do many things in connecting Nigeria and Korea.”
Approximately 600 KU alumni attended the event. Among them were Hong Myung-bo (’87 Physical Education), Hyun Joo-yup (‘94, Business), and Kim Yuna (’09, Physical Education). All members who participated in the event will be stepping forward to the future by building upon KU’s 111 years of history.
Those who attended the event spent their time watching KU’s impressive achievements for 37 years since 1935 despite its poor and challenging environment. The film covered the fundraising campaigns for building the main library under the theme, “Miracle and Reminiscence” and KU becoming the top private university in Korea by placing 98th in the QS World University Rankings. With the overview of KU’s accomplishments, the KU family was confident in reaffirming KU’s competence in entering the world’s top 50 universities and creating more miracles in the future.
During the event, a performance art show of sand animation “Beautiful KU Story of Hidden Small Heroes” was presented. The story was based on a KU alumnus’ touching story of his pride as a KU graduate and participant in the fundraising campaign for KU’s future. The performance received an ovation from the audience.
The small donation campaign “KU PRIDE CLUB” was once again explained to the audience members, encouraging them to offer their support to KU students.
Yoo Byung Hyun, Vice President for Development and External Affairs and for Capital Planning, said, “The KU PRIDE CLUB donors are not just simply giving their support financially but are providing time and opportunities to various future-driven intellectuals.” Many people have expressed their strong interest in joining the meaningful fundraising campaign including π-ville, the SK Future Hall, and the Global Leadership Program.