The Korea Foundation concluded an agreement for the establishment of a Korean Studies lectureship at Robinson College of the University of Cambridge. The agreement represents another cornerstone for the advancement of Korean Studies in the United Kingdom, now that the two premier U.K. universities - the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford - offer Korean Studies programs.
Foundation President Yim Sung-joon visited the University of Cambridge on June 4 to sign an agreement with Robinson College Warden David Yates for the establishment of a Korean Studies lectureship there. The signing ceremony, held at the Guest House of Robinson College, included the attendance of professors of Asian Studies (Japanese Studies, Chinese Studies, and East Asia Institute professors), who welcomed the expansion of Korean Studies activities. Following the ceremony, Robinson College hosted a congratulatory reception and dinner.‘Modern Korean Studies’
In accordance with the agreement, the Foundation will provide the university with grant support of £335,400 for the establishment of a Korean Studies lectureship, over a five-year period from 2008 to 2013, while the university will assume responsibility for the continued maintenance of this position thereafter. The provision of Korean Studies courses at the University of Cambridge will thus complement the Korean Studies programs at the University of Oxford and the SOAS of the University of London. Robinson College will be appointing a professor in the field of “Modern Korean Studies” in October, in accordance with its faculty recruitment procedures. This Korean Studies professor will be a faculty member of Robinson College and the East Asia Institute. Korean Studies in the U.K.
Although Korean Studies scholarship in the U.K. experienced a temporary setback in 2005, when Korean Studies programs at U.K. universities faced possible suspension or closure, the situation has been stabilized through the concerted efforts of the individual institutions and sources of assistance, like the Korea Foundation.
The most extensive Korean Studies programs in the United Kingdom are offered by the SOAS of the University of London and the University of Sheffield, while the scale of the Korean Studies program at the University of Oxford has been steadily expanding as well. In addition, the demand for Korean Studies courses, centered on Korean language education, has shown a generally upward trend in the U.K. Indeed, the Korea Foundation has played a key role in assuring the steady development of Korean Studies in the United Kingdom. The Foundation’s assistance efforts, since 1992, have included the provision of some $3.5 million of support to leading U.K. universities, including the University of Oxford, the SOAS of the University of London, the University of Sheffield, and Newcastle University, for the establishment and maintenance of various Korean Studies courses and Korean language education, in addition to the sponsorship of related activities.
As such, the Foundation’s support for a new Korean Studies lectureship at the University of Cambridge isanother example of its commitment to the sustained development of Korean Studies in the U.K. and the region of Western Europe.Robinson College, University of Cambridge