Korea, region to launch ‘Asian Erasmus’
300 students including Chinese and Japanese expected to join program every year
Major universities in South Korea, China and Japan will launch a joint degree program next year as part of efforts to expand academic exchanges, the Education Ministry said Sunday.
The Education Ministry and the Korean Council for University Education announced 10 South Korean colleges and universities chosen to partner with Chinese and Japanese universities under the Campus Asia program.
The program is an Asian version of the Erasmus Mundus, which enables students to earn joint degrees from at least three different higher education institutions in EU member countries.
The 10 Korean universities include Seoul National University, Korea University, Sungkyunkwan University, POSTECH, KAIST, Dongseo University and Pusan National University.
The program is a follow-up to an agreement made by the leaders of Korea, China and Japan to increase exchanges among their universities at the end of their summit meeting on Jeju Island last May.
Since then, the ministry has formed 10 consortia consisting of three partner universities, one from each country. It expects to complete the administrative process by the end of the year before accepting students from next year, according to ministry officials.
SNU, Peking University and University of Tokyo have formed a consortium on the master’s degree level in the academic fields of public policy and international relations. They are working on ways to give students dual or multiple degrees if they complete a one-year course at each school.
In the consortium of Dongseo University in Korea, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China and Ritsumeikan University in Japan, students will be able to take classes at the three different schools for a semester and seize internship opportunities before graduation.
A combined 300 students in Korea, China and Japan, with 100 students from each country, are expected to participate in the Campus Asia program every year.
The Education Ministry and the Korean Council for University Education will provide the chosen Korean universities with 124 million won ($112,000) in student exchanges expenses and about 100 million won in program development costs per consortium from next year to 2015.
Korean students participating in the Campus Asia program will get 800,000 won ($725) roundtrip flight tickets and a minimum in monthly living expenses of 800,000 to 900,000 for a one-year stay. They will have to pay tuition to their Korean schools alone.
With the project development fund, schools will be able to hire teaching assistants, draw up curricula or operate language programs, according to the ministry.
Eight Chinese universities participating in the program include Peking, Tsinghua, Fudan and Jilin universities. University of Tokyo, Kobe University, Ritsumeikan University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nagoya University are among the 10 Japanese institutions taking part.
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)