June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
Curriculum and Lab Development
20.6.1 - 20.6.10
Challenges in Establishing an American Global Campus in KoreaThe State University of New York at Stony Brook (SBU) launched a global campus in theIncheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) of South Korea. Specifically, the College of Engineeringand Applied Sciences (CEAS) of SBU opened selected graduate programs in 2012 and anundergraduate program in 2013. More degree programs are scheduled to follow. Severalchallenges encountered while implementing the global campus will be addressed.First, cross-cultural working relationships among academia, government, and industry arecritically important. In order to establish an academic institute and offer degree programs, anapplication needs to be submitted to the Ministry of Education (MoE) of the Korean government.Once the application is received, MoE forms a review committee consisting of members fromgovernment, academia, research institutes, and other organizations. It takes between severalmonths to more than a year for the application to be approved through a thorough review process.Various requirements need to be met, such as a high percentage of overseas full-time faculty, anda low student-faculty ratio. Although an American university, SUNY Korea is constrained bythe rules and policies set by the Korean Government. It is subject to a special law for foreigneducational institutions but does not receive all the benefits available to Korean universities.The second challenge pertains to the faculty. It is difficult to attract faculty internationally due tothe language barrier in Korean society and financial constraint. The Department Chairs were sentby the home campus, but there were not enough professors at the home campus. The schoolattempts to keep the balance between the international faculty and the local faculty. The finaldecision in faculty hiring and decisions of academic matters are made by the home department incooperation with SUNY Korea. Since faculty members were not allowed to submit a grantproposal to certain funding agencies in Korea, the university had to appeal to the government.This continues to be a struggle as the government tries to facilitate the establishment of globaluniversities in IFEZ while maintaining consistency with existing laws and regulations.The third challenge is about student and student recruiting. It takes a long time for a newinstitution like SUNY Korea to acquire name recognition. There have been tremendous efforts inrecruitment both locally and internationally. The final admission decisions are made by theacademic departments (graduate admission) or the Undergraduate Admissions Office in its homeinstitute in New York using the same standards of admissions. SBU and SUNY Korea havedecided to maintain quality of students, thus, enrolling fewer than the student quota allocated bythe MoE in the first few years, while maintaining the diversity of the student body. It is, therefore,critical that SUNY Korea receives subsidy from the Korean government to cover the financialshortcomings in the first few years while establishing a campus with quality students and faculty.In addition, the postponement of military duty of Korean students on campus was another task tobe solved because SUNY Korea is not categorized as a Korean university.Challenges are expected while establishing a new global campus such as SUNY Korea. As weare dealing with and resolving these issues, new future challenges will undoubtedly come upwhile building a well-established campus. Academic-government-industry collaborationsremain important as we strive for excellence in SUNY Korea.
Ahn, H., & Kao, I., & Shamash, Y. A., & Kim, C. (2014, June), Challenges in Establishing an American Global Campus in Korea Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/17169
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