Father Pahk Yeong-sik
Catholic University president
By Na Jeong-ju
The Catholic University of Korea (CUK) is seeking to become a global hub for education and research on "hallyu',' or the Korean culture wave, the school's President Pahk Yeong-sik said.
It plans to open a Hallyu Graduate School (HGS) in late August to provide courses on K-pop, K-drama and the country's entertainment business.
The courses include an advanced management program for foreign ambassadors in Korea, diplomats and executives of foreign companies who are interested in Korean pop culture.
"The HGS will conduct research and systematic studies on hallyu in close cooperation with businesses and the government's culture and tourism agencies", Father Pahk said in an interview. "We hope it will play an important role in making hallyu a sustainable global trend".
Famous actors and singers will be invited to provide lectures on their experiences. The president dismissed concerns that the worldwide popularity of Korean pop culture may fade, saying the phenomenon reflects people's growing interest in Korea.
"As the Korean wave is spreading, it is now enhancing Korea's global reputation and having positive effects on trade and tourism as well. The HGS will seek to continue the virtuous cycle", the 58-year-old priest said.
The CUK appointed former Vice Culture Minister Yoo Jin-ryong as the first dean of the graduate school to build a cooperative research network encompassing government agencies, businesses and scholars.
Pahk said it's important to develop fascinating cultural content to expand a global fan base because hallyu is not just about entertainment, but also about culture.
"The curriculum will include almost everything about Korea, including entertainment, tourism, fashion and food. The school will provide cultural experience programs to foreigners who will attend the school", Pahk said.
"All our programs will focus on maximizing the potential of the Korean wave and enhancing international competitiveness of Korean cultural products", he added.
The graduate school will be set up on the seventh floor of the Catholic-run Seoul St. Mary's Hospital in Banpo-dong, southern Seoul.
School officials said the creation of the hallyu programs is in line with a globalization drive the school launched after Pahk took office in January 2009. Pahk, who worked as a secretary to the late Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, studied in Rome for over 10 years.
He initiated the Global English Outreach program, under which hundreds of Korean students could live with their peers from around the world and foreign professors in a dormitory.
"For those who can't afford to study abroad, I turned the campus into a center for 'inbound' globalization", Pahk said. "People in the dormitory should speak only English around the clock".
He called for universities to assume greater social responsibility, saying he is trying to reflect the school's educational philosophy of "truth, love, and service in Catholicism" in tuition policies.
The school has never raised the tuition under Pahk's leadership. Instead it lowered the annual tuition by 5 percent this year after freezing it for three consecutive years.
Source : www.koreatimes.co.kr/... ( English Korean )
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