PKNU President Interviewed by Busan Daily Newspaper
- President Kim said, “We pave the way for the development of everyone.”
“One important issue for the university is co-development, of course, together with education and research,” President of Pukyong National University Kim Young-seup said in an interview with Busan Daily Newspaper. He also emphasized, “We move towards the development of everyone, keep producing and sharing leading-edge research and talent.”
President Kim’s interview was published on page 26 of the newspaper on January 10, as one of a special series of articles entitled “Deep Dive into Education in Busan,” for which some presidents of universities in Busan region were interviewed in turn, with the subtitle of “PKNU pursues co-development with the region and the world.”
For examples of ‘co-developing PKNU,’ he said: “PKNU’s Institute for Lifelong Learning yearly opens 230 classes for ten thousand local residents. And the University opened the entire Yongdang campus for companies to foster a supportive environment for hundreds of businesses and workers. Also, as an authority in the field of ocean and fisheries, we deliver cutting-edge technology to developing countries like Africa to promote mutual growth.”
“Expanding and accepting more and more students cannot be a fundamental way for universities to survive. We need a new solution,”President Kim explained the background of co-development.
In response to the question “What do you think of the crisis of universities?” he answered: “It is said that the reduction in the number of students causes management problems to universities, due to the lack of budget. However, I see it as an opportunity for educational growth and development.”
The article noted that President Kim emphasized the possibility of overcoming the situation with different point of view, while others worried about the future of universities.
The problem becomes the solution. “Now, average class size at university in Korea is 30 students per teacher, which is bigger than in any other OECD country, even than in Vietnam and Mexico,”the PKNU president said. “It is inevitable for school to reduce the number of students to around 20 per teacher. We also need to get ready for the fourth industrial revolution.”
“We believe that problem-solving ability, one of the core competencies in the upcoming era, can be improved through discussions in the classroom, but the reality is 40 students are sitting in a classroom, which makes it hard to have a substantive debate,” he continued. “So a decrease in the number of students doesn't seem like a crisis to me, but rather creating an ideal environment to foster the talents of the next generation.
Then what does President Kim see as the crisis of the university?
“There is no big picture for the next generations. The universities need to work on deciding their own way, and the government is responsible for providing a better environment for them,”he pointed out. “But most universities are running similar projects, and the government supports it without thorough consideration. It’s like 200 universities in the country are running on the same road at the same speed at the same time.”
“A university needs its own survival strategy, and PKNU figured it out: co-development with the city, the companies and the world,” he emphasized.
At the end of the interview the PKNU president said, “We will provide a firm basis for enhancing the reputation of Busan City as an international hub of ocean and fisheries. I will make every effort to successfully invite the World Fisheries University to the Daeyeon Campus during my terms in office, and to shore up the PKNU’s financial stability.”
“When the university devotes to training young talent and pursuing the truth that can contribute to the development and happiness of mankind, we call it a Great University,” he claimed. “We, PKNU, go forward to become the Great University, achieving the best outcomes in the field of our expertise.”
“It’s easy to feel pessimistic these days. Everyone says no job and few places to work,”President Kim said to young people. “But I hope they don’t feel too intimidated. The future has not come yet. We still can try and do anything.” <Pukyong Today>