HSE and SeoulTech: Cooperation Agreement
At the end of February 2013, a delegation from the Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SeoulTech) visited the HSE. As a result of negotiations, an agreement was finalized on student exchange between the two universities. The framework cooperation agreement between the HSE and SeoulTech was signed in April 2012.
SeoulTech became a national university in 1993, but the university’s history stretches back over 100 years. Initially founded as a vocational school, today SeoulTech has the third largest campus among Korean universities and has about 13,000 students annually. Despite its name, SeoulTech doesn’t only train engineers in various fields; its six main colleges include a College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Art and Design, and a College of Business and Technology.
The recent meeting which brought together Olga Moshkova, HSE Director for International Cooperation, Prof. Suh Jin-hwan, Dean of the SeoulTech Office of International Affairs, and other staff from both universities, finalized agreements that had been reached earlier. In addition to this, the Korean delegation visited the HSE School of Asian Studies and met professors and students.
Prof. Suh Jin-hwan answered several questions for the HSE News Service.
— Last year Keun Namkoong, President of the Seoul National University of Science and Technology, visited Moscow. The Russian Ambassador to Korea, who knows our President personally, told him about the Higher School of Economics. In addition to that, last year four students from the HSE School of Asian Studies came to SeoulTech for an internship. This marked the start of our real cooperation, at least in terms of student exchange. Probably we should have started earlier, since many Koreans, including professors and students from our university, are very interested in Russia.
— What spheres do you think might be particularly fruitful in terms of cooperation between the HSE and SeoulTech?
— Our key partner will be the HSE School of Asian Studies, and we will also actively work together in the area of IT management. We have also received an offer for cooperation with the HSE MIEM School of Design. There are really a lot of opportunities, especially if we take the creation of a joint school of young entrepreneurs, which was something we agreed in spring 2012. It is important to remember that we are only at the start of this process. Of course, there are some language difficulties, but I think we can overcome this hurdle: it’s always beneficial for students to learn languages.
— An agreement on student exchange has been signed by the two universities. How will it be implemented? When will these exchanges take place in reality?
— First of all, we are planning a student exchange for summer programmes, then we’ll start looking at long-term (one or two semesters) internships. I hope that the first exchange can take place this summer. We’ve also discussed the opportunities to create joint courses in economics, IT and design, which might eventually grow into double degree programmes. These are longer term plans, but at the moment I wouldn’t like to look too far ahead.
— Does the cooperation agreement involve joint research?
— Yes, of course. We consider research to be one of the key areas of education, and we’ll certainly have joint research projects.
— What results are you expecting from cooperation between the HSE and SeoulTech? How will you measure its success?
— Cooperation in the educational sphere doesn’t bring instant results. I believe that, for example, students only really understand all its ‘bonuses’ when they leave and start their professional careers. But there is also another aspect: university cooperation has an effect on the development of relations between our countries, it helps us to overcome language barriers, as well as differences in our people’s culture and mentality. I believe this is very important.
Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service
Photos by Nikita Benzoruk
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