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00707012
2011.8
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KOREAN

Setting the Direction for Korean Studies Abroad  2011 KF Assembly Offers Forum for Scholars from 20 Countries  In commemoration of its 20th anniversary this year, the Korea Foundation hosted the “2011 Korea Foundation Assembly” on July 6-9 at Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul. Presumably the largest-ever gathering of Korea-related scholars from abroad, the assembly offered a forum for more than 90 professors from 20 countries to discuss the current state of Korean Studies and to explore the directions for future development.  A group of participants in the KF Assembly give a joint press conference on July 7. They are, from left, Professor David Kang of the University of Southern California, Professor Victor Cha of Georgetown University, Professor Robert Buswell of UCLA, Professor Antonio Fiori of the University of Bologna, Professor Vyjayanti Raghavan of Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Professor Niu Linjie, dean of Korean Studies at Shandong University.



Hallyu Boosts Interest in Korean Studies

Under the theme of “New Approach to Korean Studies: Understanding Korea in a Global Context,” the assembly comprised six working groups devoted to subjects, including “Current Status of Korean Language Education,” “Korean Studies in the Humanities and the Social Sciences,” and “Bridging Theories and Policy,” followed by the adoption of policy recommendations on the final day.

At a press conference held on the opening day, the participants attributed a growing interest in Korean Studies around the world in recent years to the rapidly expanding influence of hallyu, or the overseas popularity of Korean entertainment. According to Professor Niu Linjie of Shandong University, unlike in the past when most students studied Korean in order to work for a Korean company after graduation, about 30 percent of his school’s incoming students enroll in Korean courses because of hallyu. Similarly, Professor David Kang of the University of Southern California stressed that the ever-expanding hallyu craze, which knows no cultural or geographical constraints, deserves government-funded research.

A working group session is underway. The assembly had nine working group sessions to discuss such subjects as Korean  Some 90 scholars from 20 countries participate in the KF Assembly, which opened on July 6 in Seoul under the theme of “New Approach to Korean Studies: Understanding Korea in a Global Context.”


During a round-table talk with Korean lawmakers on the second day, the overseas Korean Studies scholars called for efforts to increase budgetary assistance for Korean Studies, which lags behind Chinese and Japanese studies globally. On behalf of Korea-related scholars in the United States, Professor John Duncan of UCLA requested additional financial assistance so that research on Korea can continue amidst the ongoing economic recession in the United States, where funding support for universities has been seriously curtailed.

KF Global e-School Program

KF Assembly participants meet Korean lawmakers in a round-table talk to exchange their ideas on how to provide additional funding support to Korea-related education abroad.In their policy recommendations adopted on the closing day, the scholars stressed the importance of fostering multidisciplinary networks as well as expanding the scope of support to the social sciences, since Korean Studies is now growing beyond the humanities field. They also suggested that the Korea Foundation extend support for the creation of a multipurpose database with instructional and research resources, such as visual images, syllabi, audio files, videos, and archival materials. In his closing remarks, KF President Kim Byung-kook noted that the KF Global e-School, which has recently been launched, represents an initial effort to address these demands.

As of the end of 2010, a total of 40 centers for Korean Studies are being operated in 13 countries, while the number of students taking Korea-related courses amounts to 9,000. Since its establishment in 1991, the Korea Foundation has supported 987 scholars from 75 countries under its Korean Studies fellowship program, in addition assisting in the creation of 100 Korean Studies professorships at 69 universities in 12 countries.

language education, humanities, social sciences, theories and policies, Korean Studies centers, and curricular and teaching experiences.

Choi Jung-hoonReporter, Daily Focus

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