State University of New York in South Korea

SUNY Korea is established in South Korea in 2012. The first foreign university is launched in South Korea. Every year, so many college students or graduate students look forward to having better education programs, and they also expect better opportunities to learn English. Moreover, degrees from US universities provide more chance to get a better job in South Korea due to the preference of companies in South Korea. The demand of Korean students meets the necessity of SUNY to expand their campus in the world, moreover, Korean government supports to induce US universities in Songdo, South Korea. Therefore, Korean college or graduate students are able to receive almost same education programs or degrees by SUNY in South Korea. In addition, George Mason University and University of Utah are also planning to establish their global campus in Songdo, South Korea. However, it is too early to say this situation can be good for Korean students and the US university global campuses are succeed. It is just started, so it is necessary to keep an eye on the global campus in South Korea and follow up the change of their status.

SUNY Korea aims to be education hub

Imin Kao, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the State University of New York Korea (SUNY Korea), pins a university shield on a student’s clothing during a matriculation ceremony at the school’s campus in Songdo, Incheon, March 12.       / Courtesy of SUNY Korea

Students allowed to receive an American programs, degrees

By Bahk Eun-ji

Kim Choon-ho, SUNY Korea president

The State University of New York Korea (SUNY Korea) is located on the stunning Songdo Global University Campus (SGUC), close to Incheon, west of Seoul.

Facilities include a huge central building where undergraduate and graduate students can enjoy studying and conducting research in well-equipped laboratories and classrooms. The architecture was designed to harmonize with the local environment.

SUNY Korea is the first university to be located at SGUC, a multi-institutional campus built with the aim of making Songdo a center for international education. Songdo, a new Smart City, is part of the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ). A total of four universities including SUNY Korea are scheduled to be established on the multi-institutional campus cluster by 2015.

SUNY Korea was established in March 2012, at first offering graduate degree programs, and began undergraduate programs this month after a ceremony on March 12.

A total of 27 undergraduate students attended. It began with two student representatives swearing an oath and receiving the university’s shield from the president of the new school here and the president from the original school in the United States. The students were all reminded that they are the first Koreans to be able to receive an American education and an American degree while continuing to live here.

The campus of SUNY Korea

“SUNY Korea was established through the combined efforts of the State University of New York, Stony Brook University (SBU) and the Korean government to provide global education and research opportunities for Korean and international students a seeking decent quality of education,” said SUNY Korea President Kim Choon-ho.

Students of SUNY Korea will be satisfied with its curriculum because they are offered one identical to that of SBU and all admissions and graduation processes are managed by SBU, Kim said.

The school is attracting attention because it aims to meet the needs of talented students who would otherwise go abroad and spend lots of money. Tuition fees, however, are more expensive than the average cost of those at other universities in Korea.

Currently, only a graduate level computer science program, and technological system management (TSM) courses for graduates and undergraduates are available.

The school will expand its courses across a variety of academic fields and disciplines such as applied mathematics, statistics, fashion and mechanical engineering.

“TSM is a cross-disciplinary program that integrates an understanding of the characteristics, capabilities, and limitations of current and emerging technologies with an exploration of their social implications,” said a school official.

To better accommodate the many working graduate students enrolled, courses are offered on the weekends. The TSM program at SUNY Korea includes special lectures given by leading professors, specialists in problem solving, and CEOs of prominent industries from both Korea and abroad.

“George Mason University, the University of Utah in the U.S. and Ghent University in Belgium are planning to open schools on SGUC, possibly by 2015. We hope to create a synergy effect with them,” Kim said.

The school also will provide a unique residential college (RC) program. Students will live on campus with experienced and professional mentors including professors.

“Counselors dubbed Life Coaches will reside in students’ dormitory to help them get used to school life and to help them take some time for self-examination, which is important for them to grow internally,” the president said.

“SUNY Korea aspires to be an innovative global educational and research hub that will play a pivotal role in the regional cluster, a geographic concentration of interconnected higher education institutions, research centers, and industries,” Kim said.

He promised to make SUNY Korea a leader in education and research within the framework of global education, knowledge, and innovation.

“SUNY Korea, along with the rest of the Songdo industrial community, is well on its way to becoming a leading regional innovation cluster of tomorrow,” Kim said.

He also encouraged students.

“Choosing SUNY Korea is one of the most important decisions in your life. You’re not only choosing a top-tier university system, but joining an exceptional community that will help you build a global network and form a foundation for your international career,” he said.

“SUNY Korea also offers a vibrant international environment where you can get a truly multicultural perspective,” the educator added.

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