|▲ Far East University / Innovation Vice Chancellor Gu Ja-uk|
Many South Korean universities are experiencing shortage of students. Experts predict more than 100 of them are facing closure if certain measures are not brought up pointing structural change that meets 4th industrial revolution as one of the vitals. In this harsh environment, Far East University has taken initiative by inviting Gu Ja-uk, an icon of innovation paradigm, as the innovation vice chancellor.
Nestled in Eumseong County 1998, Far East University has fostered future talents under its motto diligent, cooperative and creative. The university runs 26 majors with 5 colleges that are medical and health science, aviation, social science, science technology and media art.
With customized curriculum and various club activities and startup research societies, students are encouraged to proactively participate in all learning processes while the university joined hands with Eumseong County and Cheongju University to push forward Chungbuk Energy Industry-Academic Convergence project.
Funded by the central government (11.9 billion won), local government (15.2 billion won) and private (8.4 billion won), a total of 35.5 billion won ($30 million) is to be poured in the project for the next 6 years. The project include a 10,310 square meter industrial complex campus, company research labs and accommodation. When completed, Far East University will relocate its energy IT engineering major to the cluster.
A subway station from the capital is expected to open right in front of the university by the end of next year in addition to already operating school bus lines in and around Chungcheong Province.
A change requires an adaptation. In other words, a new system means mental and physical effort of members of the organization who were familiar with the old system. At this point, the role of the newly appointed innovation vice chancellor Gu Ja-uk is important.
Gu has worked for the Korean Educational Development Institute for 34 years and served at Seokyeong University as the dean of graduate school, director of planning department, dean of liberal arts and director of the Seokyeong Innovation Institute until April this year. During his service, Seokyeong University listed name in the 500 of the QS Asia University Rankings 2018.
He is received as the first generation who studied in China and widely recognized as an expert of China. He earned a doctoral degree in education at Beijing Normal University as the first foreigner in the world and was listed one of the 10 China specialists by Shindonga in 2004.
He currently is taking the steering wheel of the Korea Startup Education Society, Korea-China Exchange Association and Korea-China Future Strategy Forum. He has received a number of prizes including the 13th Korea Education Industrial Award and the Korea Vision Leader Award.
Far East New University
Since taking the innovation vice chancellor's role May this year, Gu has introduced 7 tasks for far east education platform innovation alongside 120 sub tasks.
"The number of students show 99% at the moment but it will reduce gradually. So we need to take action beforehand and it won't be happen without innovation. Innovation in this case means a change to the whole structure of the university from administration and management to the way we teach and students learn. December this year, we will announce Far East New University for this" says Gu.
"Far East New University goals to turn the existing educational platform of the university as 'sustainable', 'innovative' and 'creative'.
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