[GU]Korean Students Seek Higher Education at UNSW
This is the 18th in a series of interviews with heads of the world’s top universities. ― ED.
By Kang Shin-who
More and more Korean students are flocking to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to pursue higher education and research. According to the Australian school, the number of Korean students undertaking research and postgraduate coursework at UNSW has tripled, whereas the number taking undergraduate courses has declined slightly.
Nearly 250 Korean students are studying there as of last year. In an interview with The Korea Times, Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Fred Hilmer said a growing number of Korean students choosing to study at the school after completion of their undergraduate degrees at home.
``While UNSW has Korean students represented in every faculty, we are seeing a growing interest in engineering, business and science. Traditionally, Korean students at our school have primarily focused on the humanities and fine arts,’’ the school head said.
``Generally speaking, 60 percent of all Korean students who apply are eligible for admission to UNSW,’’ he added.
Established in 1949 in Sydney, the school has almost 40,000 students in 933 undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Among them, some 22 percent of the total are international students hailing from over 135 different countries.
Our school is in a very enviable position because international applications for all of our schools and faculties are up for the upcoming semester two, 2007 intake,’’ the school president said. ``In addition, we are seeing a positive trend of more qualified international applicants for undergraduate and postgraduate programs, as well as steady increases to our PhD and research programs.’’
To boost the international environment of its campus, UNSW has worked on student and faculty exchange programs with more than 200 universities all over the world. Among them, Korean universities are Pusan National, Seoul National, Korea, Hanyang, Yonsei and Ehwa Women’s universities, and Phohang University of Science and Technology.
Related to Korean universities, UNSW is well-known as the leading research and education hub for Korean studies in Oceania and Southeast Asia, after being officially endorsed by the Korean government through a grant of $1.5million over five years to the Korea Australasia Research Centre (KAREC), the school head mentioned.
KAREC was established in 2000 to conduct and support research into all areas of Korean Studies in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, including examining the relationship between Korea and Australasia, which incorporates the Southeast Asian region.
The center also supports researchers and interest groups through a range of valuable programs, such as scholarships. This is why UNSW is equipped with a well-developed program for research and teaching in Korean Studies and Korean language.
The school is also one of the largest institutions in Australasia, with more than 2,000 teaching staff members, and 78 research institutions and over the past 10 years it has invariably received the largest amount of competitive research grants from the Australian Government.
Having served as chief executive officer of John Fairfax Holdings Limited from 1998-2005, Professor Hilmer was appointed to head the school from June 2006. He holds a degree in law from the University of Sydney, an LLM from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of Finance.