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00707012
2011.8
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KOREAN

Korean Studies Continues to Grow in Europe  AKSE Conference Has Record-breaking Number of Participants  The 25th regular conference of the Association for Korean Studies in Europe (AKSE) opens on June 18, at the National University of Moscow.


The 25th regular conference of the Association for Korean Studies in Europe (AKSE)
and the annual workshop of the Russian Association of Universities for Korean Studies (RAUK) were simultaneously held
at the National University of Moscow on June 18-21, with sponsorship support from the Korea Foundation.

Largest Turnout of Korea-related Scholars

The Korea Foundation hosts a welcoming reception and dinner for the conference and workshop participants, along with the National University of Moscow.The AKSE is the largest Korean Studies group in Europe, which was established in 1977 by 31 Korea-related scholars in Europe and has since played a pivotal role in promoting Korean Studies in the region. The number of Korean Studies scholars at European universities is still relatively small in comparison to those in North America. Accordingly, the AKSE has been implementing an exchange program of European scholars to provide students in Europe with a wider diversity of Korea-related courses and activities and to promote Korea-related scholarship in Europe. Over the past seven years, a total of 111 AKSE scholars have offered 144 Korean Studies courses at 90 universities in Europe.

This year, the AKSE regular conference was held at the National University of Russia, along with the annual workshop of the RAUK, which attracted the largest-ever number of participants. A total of 250 Korean Studies scholars from Europe and Russia got togetherto exchange opinions about the current situation and discuss the future development of Korean Studies. The three-day conference had paper presentations and discussion sessions in four groups on an array of topics, including Korean language, literature, history, economy, politics, religion, philosophy, anthropology, folklore, and archeology. Also, graduate school students, who were selected through a competitive evaluation process conducted by AKSE professors, presented 186 theses and had free discussions with panel members and other participants on future development of Korean Studies.

A working session of the AKSE conference is underway.



Russian publications and other materials related to Korean Studies are exhibited at the welcome reception venue.A Growing Center of Korean Studies
The Korea Foundation arranged a meeting to offer its appreciation and encouragement to the participants and provide them with an opportunity to develop friendly network relations. On the first day, the Foundation hosted a luncheon for leading members of AKSE and RAUK, which proved useful for understanding the academic environment of individual countries and identifying obstacles in the efforts to improve Korean Studies programs in the region. The Foundation pledged to renovate the structure of its support program, which has thus far tended to focus on North America, in ways to increase support for Europe and Russia. The Foundation also asked for cooperation from local scholars to help implement the newly launched KF e-School program in their countries.

In his welcoming remarks at the dinner on the same day, Korea Foundation President Kim Byung-kook expressed his gratitude to many Korean Studies partners in Europe and Russia for their sincere cooperation over the past two decades. He said the Foundation will increase its efforts to expand the infrastructure of Korean Studies courses through the KF Global e-School.

The Foundation will continue to extend its support for Korean Studies programs in Europe and Russia to enhance Korea-related education in the region. In this regard, it is hoped that this year’s AKSE and RAUK gatherings will serve as fresh momentum to invigorate exchanges among Korean Studies scholars in Europe and Russia so that Korea-related scholarship and research can continue to flourish.

An Ryeong Korean Studies Department, Korea Foundation

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