|▲ Gu Ja-eok, Head of Seokyeong University Innovation & Planning / President of Association of Korea-China Education Exchange and Korea-China Future Forum|
The Korean Peninsula is surrounded by China to the west, Russia to the north and Japan to the south. They are the superpowers of the world alongside the most powerful USA. The recent conflicts between the US and China over trade, however, has made the South Korea’s stance rather more difficult. “China sticks to national interest and takes bold actions to whatever it is against it as shown in the recent THAAD issue, for example. The USA, on the other hand, is closely connected to South Korea both politically and economically. In this situation, South Korea needs a ‘strategic diplomacy’” says Gu Ja-eok. He continues “Strategic diplomacy can mean the balance in Korea-US relations and Korea-China relations. As for the former, promoting the nongovernmental exchanges in various fields can stimulate the mutual relations in other fields. And that is the goal of the Association of Korea-China Education Exchange.” Gu emphasizes that the mutual understanding between two parties starts from ‘trust’ and points out ‘Erasmus Program’ of the EU as a good example. It is a student exchange program established in 1987 to secure diversity of the members in an organization. “Benchmarking the program between Korea and China will contribute to creating a friendly and cooperative environment between the two countries.” However, Gu is worrying to observe the difficulties of many universities in Korea. “Universities are the foundation of national competitiveness. But they are facing lack of budget and the decreasing number of students while staying behind of the ever changing market. To improve the situation, Gu proposed ‘CREOS Certification System’ The system requires students to pass 6 areas (creativity, problem solving, interpersonal relationship, global ability, self-development and executive ability) in relation to 4 parts (major, humanities, non-subject and camp) in order to receive a certificate of graduation; Seokyeong University currently is running the system. It is Gu’s goal to secure high scores at the University Competency Diagnosis this year with the results of the innovative CREOS Certification System. Meanwhile, Gu is harboring his idea of launching a China-related newspaper which is one of his many future plans.
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