Korea University Launches Three Colors Scholarship Program
(Liberty, Justice & Truth)
Major reform of scholarships based upon programs as well as needs
10 billion won to be procured as “Future Talent Cultivation Fund” through KU Pride Club, etc.
“The university must invest in the future. It must also actively search for the most valuable methods to invest in future generations. The university has a duty to develop and support programs so that the protagonists of our future may develop their own visions. Hence, the scholarship program itself must focus on ‘cultivating vision’ on behalf of future generations.”
The President of Korea University, Prof. Jaeho Yeom, recently announced a reform plan for the University’s scholarship program entitled “Future Talent Cultivation Fund.” The plan to cultivate ‘pioneering intellectuals’ will be implemented from in 2016. An additional 10 billion won in scholarship funds will be set aside to support this endeavor.
Scholarship reform to offer practical help in cultivating future talent
Korea University’s governing philosophy behind the awarding of scholarships is to ‘benefit those students most in need.’ A key role of the university is to allow students to study without serious economic concerns. Korea University will be strengthening this ‘need-based’ scholarship that would better support students through receiving practical benefits.
Monthly living stipends will be awarded under the title of ‘special livelihood support funds’ to basic livelihood security recipients and non-upper income students. These are students who previously have been waved 100% of tuition through a combination of national scholarship (type I) and school scholarships.
This measure is expected to offer great relief for students who have either put classes on hold in order to earn tuition or those with trouble concentrating on studies due to living expenses in spite of their tuition being fully paid. Other students may also receive a scholarship pending the student’s application and evaluative approval of each department or college’s scholarship committee. Additionally, middle-income students with exceptional academic records can also be part of the evaluative process.
The current reform is a manifestation of Korea University’s intensive deliberation about the nature of scholarships being viewed less as compensation for past results but much more as a tool for expanding and encouraging opportunities for learning. It is also a shift from mere compensation based upon simplistic exam scores to an endorsement of helping students develop their own vision and future designs, especially as students already endure intense scrutiny of their academic grades amidst the prospect of a tightening job market after graduation.
Korea University is also expanding its ‘program-based’ scholarship opportunities. Support in this category is twofold: 1) programs designed by the school for its students and 2) programs designed by students themselves for the purpose of self development. These expanded opportunities will allow students to actively seek and research their own focused areas, as the school intends to support such endeavors.
One example of Korea University’s program-based scholarship is the ‘China Global Leadership Program’ that has been awarded since 2013. The program which aims to cultivate global China experts has been an intensive program for mastering Chinese language and culture as well as conducting company visits. The program begins with a basic Chinese language course within Korea followed by a more advanced program in China. With the benefit of donated funds, student participants’ registration fees, tuition, airfare, and dormitory costs are fully paid for. In the past three years, 200 students have taken part in this program which has cost over 500 million won thus far.
Korea University will be expanding its global leadership programs to Latin America, Belgium-Netherlands-Luxemburg, Nordic countries, Japan, and other European countries in the future in order to cultivate students with global competitiveness. Information technology and biotechnology are other areas that will receive additional scholarship support. These opportunities will be open to all Korea University students largely owing to expanded program-based scholarships.
Scholarships will also be steadily expanded to students who intend to develop their own individual vision. Students may submit a proposal to the scholarship committee outlining a program they are interested in, or one they wish to design, upon which an evaluative process will be convened and a scholarship awarded if approved.
Korea University’s school motto: Liberty, Justice & Truth Scholarships
Korea University has given titles to their reformed scholarship plan based upon the school motto. The scholarships are largely divide into the three categories of: 1) Liberty Scholarship (autonomy and self-initiative), 2) Justice Scholarship (need-based), and 3) Truth Scholarship (program-based). The Liberty Scholarship will provide support for students’ self-initiatives as well as working students. The Justice Scholarship is intended to ensure income issues do not become a hurdle to students’ studies. The Truth Scholarship is intended to raise the standards for academic and research achievements by allowing students to develop their own vision for the future. Korea University’s budget for scholarships will see a 7% increase over the next year, from 33.3 billion won in 2015 to 35.9 billion won in 2016. More specifically, the Liberty Scholarship will be 3.5 billion won, Justice Scholarship 20 billion won, and Truth Scholarship 10 billion won, with the previously planned scholarship for academic excellence, 2.4 billion won, also scheduled to be paid out in until the end of 2016.
Korea University will be raising the Justice and Truth Scholarship funds through all available channels, such as the KU Pride Club campaign and tailor-made program funds. The school has been operating a micro-fundraising effort through its KU Pride Club campaign, where each account has been bringing in 10,000 won per month since May, 2015 in celebration of the University’s 110th anniversary. Thus far, 4,000 donors have participated with the 500 million won collected thus so far having been invested in the need-based Justice Scholarship to assist students who are studying amidst difficult economic circumstances.
With outstanding academic achievement no longer being the focus of Korea University’s financial aid, the University has decided to recognize academic achievement with special honors instead. The most popular method being discussed is the promotion of a Dean’s List, which has been a hallmark of elite universities worldwide for some time. An additional honor being considered is an invitation-only luncheon with parents of academic achievers hosted by Korea University’s President and/or his top leadership team.
Korea University’s Vice-President of Students Affairs, Prof. Shin Ji-Young, announced the following: “We have strived to imbue the new scholarship program with as much of Korea University’s educational beliefs and philosophy as possible. The new ‘Future Talent Cultivation Fund,’ which is the method by which we intend to achieve our goals, has at its core the intention that there shall be no economic hurdles to students who intend to study at our school. The new program will enable our future leaders to have a wealth of diverse experiences through customized scholarship benefits, as opposed to a mere mechanical distribution of scholarship funds.”