Choi, Ji-young, Park, Su-yeon, So, Yi-hyeon, Jang, Min-young 기자2016.06.18 17:00:19
It is no exaggeration to say that the 21st century can be referred to as the era of fusion and convergence. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad in 2010, he said, “The reason that Apple is able to create products like the iPad is because we always try to be at the intersection of technology and Liberal Arts, to be able to get the best of both.” This implies that we live in the age of fusion and convergence, which creates a synergistic effect. Accordingly, the Korean government has strived to nurture talented people who are equipped with diverse abilities. Recently, various programs are being offered by universities and the Korean government is trying to meet the demands of the world by implementing Soft Ware (SW) education for non-SW major students as well as SW major students. So what kinds of changes are taking place in universities and how do these changes affect us?
[New Ideal People for the New Society]
The Era of Fusion and Convergence
In the information age, people have difficulty gaining an advantage through normal strategies because of easy access to information. As a result, people select ‘fusion’ as an alternative, instead of a division of labor that emphasizes independence and professionalism. The accumulation of knowledge causes complicated phenomena to occur. For example, there are rapid developments in the fields of science and technology, which are enhancing Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Therefore, new perspectives based on various fields of knowledge are required rather than one specialized area. Fusion creates synergy through combining multiple objects and is more valuable than the objects themselves. It helps to solve problems through collaboration, merging the established information and adding new values. Subjects of fusion are diverse, including technology, products, industry and art. Changing times demands changing attitudes to understanding one’s needs and introspecting about them. It is also important to keep a balance between different fields such as Fusion Technology and Liberal Arts. The government and universities are trying to keep pace with these changes by initiating various programs such as the PRIME, CORE, CK, and LINC projects.
New Technology Innovation: Fusion Technology
“Smart” has become a buzzword in our daily lives recently. The Smart wave started with the creation of smartphones, and has now spread to various devices such as Smart TVs, Smart Cars and the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is one of the examples of the smart era, where everyone uses smart equipment. It connects devices like home appliances, mobile equipment, and wearable computers, through the Internet. The number of people who use smart equipment in their everyday life and who require better equipment with better technologies is increasing. Therefore, fusion technology, which combines more than two scientific technologies, is rapidly developing in order to provide multiple technologies at once. For example, Demis Hassabis, the developer of AlphaGo, is a specialist in Computer Engineering and Brain Science. He had hoped to combine computer algorithms with the human brain, and succeeded through AlphaGo. As the case of Hassabis suggests, the current ideal of an individual is leaning towards a person who has a converged knowledge of SW. The markets that use various fusion technologies are growing fast.
Liberal Art Boom
There are many TV programs which cover the Liberal Arts, such as ‘The Secret Readers Club’, and many Humanities books are ranked high in the charts of best sellers. Companies are also trying to employ people equipped with knowledge in the Liberal Arts. Therefore, many jobseekers and workers are attending humanistic lectures. The Ministry of Education is providing billions of won to encourage the Liberal Arts. For example, a fusion between the Liberal Arts and technology is being applied in the field of business management. The famous sports product company, Nike, developed the ‘Nike plus product’ (Nike+), which is an innovative convergence of sports and Information Technology (IT). Users can check their level of activity by just wearing it. These days, most people prefer leaders who have Liberal Arts knowledge, which helps them to understand what people want, to satisfy their needs and to predict the outcomes. The Liberal Arts do not give the direct solutions provided by science and technology, which are more pragmatic. Instead, they show directions for solving the problems and they cultivate a troubleshooting ability. Works of Literature show human life based on the imagination of writers, and history promotes the ability to predict events based on the past. We now live in the era of globalization, which emphasizes creative imagination, and the knowledge of Liberal Arts has become important. Therefore, students in Kyungpook National University (KNU) need to think deeply about the Liberal Arts, figure out what they really want, and decide on a direction for their lives, ,
[New Educational Systems in Universities]
The Definition and It’s Background
CORE is an abbreviation of 'Initiative for College Of Humanities’ Research and Education.’ It gives financial support to educational programs of universities in the Humanities field for the first time, and it aims to protect and promote Humanities studies. In order to achieve sustainable development, talented people with great insight, problem-solving ability, and creative thinking skills in the Humanities are needed. However, the Humanities are being intimidated by university restructuring and Humanities departments are being operated without specialization, which does not reflect the needs of the time. As a way of promoting the Humanities, the CORE project will be trialed for three years.
Plan of Promoting Humanities
Universities selected for the CORE project must establish a plan for promoting the Humanities. There are four types of model that the Ministry of Education has suggested: 1) the Global Regional Studies model, 2) the Fusion Based on Humanities model, 3) the Intensive Basic Study model, and 4) the College of General Education model. In addition to these four, each university can develop its own model.
To participate in this project, each university must follow these rules: expand student choices, establish Liberal Arts education for all students, raise the quality of education, and prepare an institutional basis.
Through the CORE project, The College of Humanities expects to nurture talented students with knowledge of the Humanities and help professors to develop basic studies, which will be the foundation of the promotion of Humanities. The Korean government also mentioned a policy goal ’10-10-10’, which aims to make 10 universities ranked 10th in the world and achieve 10% employment rate within a decade.
Software-Oriented University Program
The whole world is now entering into a Software-oriented society, in which software is central to innovation, growth, and value creation. It has led to the competitiveness of the individual, companies, and nations. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, the current scale of the software market is equivalent to the combined scales of cars, semiconductors and the cell phone industry. Furthermore, it says that 4.8 million jobs will be created in the application industry in the EU by 2018. To reflect these changes, leading countries in the software market are competing to foster talented people who will lead the Software-oriented society.
2. Concept and Basic Direction
A Software-oriented university program reinforces the software competitiveness of students, and spreads the software value by innovating education. It causes significant changes to the curriculum and the education system. The Software-oriented university program provides a curriculum based on the actual demands of industries, and expands global programs to reflect global demands. It will change the education system from focusing on one specific major to converging various majors.
3. Management Plan
The Software-oriented university program aims to reinforce the software related majors and provides software fusion education to non-software major students. Eight universities were selected for this project, including KNU. This year, 14 universities are operating as Software-oriented universities, since six universities have recently been added to the list. By 2019, the program will select about 20 universities. It will foster 5,500 students who have a global capability, 55,000 fusion-talented students who both have a software major and another major. According to the Samsung Economic Research Institute, these plans correspond 80% to the demands of industries. The program supports all fields of the software and fusion technologies of four-year course universities. In 2016, the budget for the program is about 205 billion won, supporting two billion on average per university.
Advancement of College Education Project (ACE) is a project which supports ‘Well-teaching colleges’ selected by the government. ‘Well-teaching colleges’ are defined as those which foster students who realize the establishment principles, vision, and ideal characteristics of the college.
Direction of Support
The ACE project provides 52.4 billion won to about 32 colleges in 2016. The evaluation consists of three components: ‘basic education conditions’ (25%), ‘developmental capabilities of undergraduate education (30%)’ and ‘developmental plans for undergraduate education’ (45%). A big difference compared with last year’s evaluation is the extra point system. There were five extra points for ‘Structural reform’ in 2015. However, this year, three points for ‘Reduction of enrollments’ and ‘Participation of college members’ were given. This shows that the Ministry of Education is emphasizing substantiality and communications between colleges and students. The project supports colleges with limited resources according to the rule of Selection and Concentration. In short, it mainly supports them for the overall improvement of their educational system. It is important that they reform the overall system of study to develop fusion education for originality cultivation.
The ACE project is emphasizing autonomy and individuality by creating three major outcomes. First, it reinforces the foundational liberal arts education by establishing a ‘Liberal Arts College’. For instance, Ewha Womans University established a liberal arts college called HOKMA College in December. It plans to develop more than 22 liberal arts courses. Second, this project makes education systems varied and systematic by the application of fusion. For example, the ‘Student’s Design Major’ allows students to construct their major curricula and take courses according to their curricula. Moreover, the ‘Challenge Semester’ enables students to design their curriculum depending on their desired courses and get grades by completing a minimum number of credits. Finally, fusion education can be intensified through the cooperation of professors who have various academic professionalisms. They can provide students with broad perspectives since they belong to multiple departments.
An interdisciplinary major is defined as an integrated curriculum. It is established by a cooperation of two or more majors, merging various areas of study. Merging different majors together is not a recent concept; it was already in effect in Korea back in the 1990s. It was first installed in Sogang University, in 1999, and Sogang University now has ten interdisciplinary majors. The main objective of an interdisciplinary major is to encourage students in acquiring diverse areas of knowledge, and following this objective, many universities in Korea have adopted the system.
Objectives and Differentiations
Yonsei University hopes to achieve five objectives through the interdisciplinary program: 1) To actively respond to the changes of 21st century society; 2) To intensify competitiveness in education through the establishment of new curricula; 3) To foster outstanding individuals through the installment of brand new majors; 4) To increase practical values in departmental education; 5) To provide education that satisfies the demands of society. In addition to these objectives, there are various differentiations in the system.
There are considerable differences among interdisciplinary majors, double majors, and minors. A student in a double major earns two degrees: the primary major and a secondary major of his or her choice. A student in a minor does not earn an additional degree. Instead, he or she acquires additional credits which are about half of the required graduation credits of the secondary major. A student in an interdisciplinary major earns an additional interdisciplinary degree for completing the curriculum that integrates the original major and a closely related major.
Application of the System
There are some universities that limit the application to a certain field such as the Teacher’s College. Yonsei University is an exception which allows all enrolled students of any department to join the interdisciplinary major program. Moreover, in most Korean universities, the interdisciplinary major program is not open to freshmen. Thus, the interdisciplinary curriculum cannot be one’s primary major. A student has to complete the minimum number of semesters before applying for the program. The semesters during which one can apply may vary from the second to the fourth semester. As the students earn credits to meet the graduation requirement, they may find courses in two different curricula (primary and interdisciplinary major) overlapping. Most colleges do not regard them as separate credits.
The interdisciplinary degree can also be found throughout the world. One of the interdisciplinary majors that has achieved the most success is the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) major first developed in Oxford University in the 1920s. The PPE bred many outstanding broadcasters, politicians, and journalists. In Korea, PPE has been modified to Politics, Economics, and Philosophy (PEP) and has been adopted by Sogang University.
[Projects Planted in KNU]
CORE Project in KNU
From this year, KNU is going to receive 2.8 billion won for three years, which is a total of 8.4 billion won. Three models will be established: Global Regional Studies, Fusion Based on Humanities, and Intensive Basic Study. All of the Humanities departments will be participating in this project except for the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, which is one of the sociologies. Kim, Sueng-tack, the Dean of the College of Humanities, said “KNU should focus on intensifying the existing foundation studies as a local university. I look forward to establishing firm groundwork in the Humanities as well as the related interdisciplinary majors. “
Three Models Based on Intensifying Six Core Abilities
The six core abilities consist of Glocal (Global+Local) ability, fusion ability, creativity, excellence, leadership, and dedication. Based on these abilities, KNU established three models as mentioned above.
<Table 1: Three Models Based on Intensifying Six Core Abilities>
Global Regional studies
Department of French, German, Japanese, and Russian Language and Literature
Nurturing local experts with integrated understanding and practicing capability of corresponding area
Fusion Based on Humanities
Culture content development
Chinese culture and trade
Nurturing intellectuals of convergence, which meets the needs of the time
Intensive Basic Study
-Department of Philosophy
-Department of History
-Department of Korean Language and Literature
-Department of English Language and Literature
-Department of Korean Literature in Classical Chinese
-Department of Chinese language and literature
Fostering the generation majoring in Humanities studies
Connections with Laboratories, Affiliates, and Other Universities
The College of Humanities is trying to maximize the connectivity with laboratories, affiliates, and other universities. To maximize the connectivity with laboratories, KNU has assigned researchers to the laboratories in the KNU Academy of Humanities and the Youngnam Culture. To maximize the connectivity with affiliates, KNU specializes in educational support systems through the KNU Human Resource Development Center, the Learning Center, and the KNU Faculty of Liberal Education. The system is for students who major in Humanities. KNU is also striving to connect with other universities through the Agreement of Joint liberal arts course with Kyungwoon University and expects to promote and expand Humanities education.
Software-Oriented University Program in KNU
KNU opened its Software Education Center in order to change the existing software education system after being chosen as one of the Software-oriented universities in December, 2015. It decided to build systematic software related education and will provide R&D programs and more opportunities to study abroad to students majoring in Software. The Software-oriented university program in KNU consists of three parts: SW major education, SW convergence education, and SW basic education.
SW Major Education
This education is for students of the School of Computer Science and Engineering. It installed new tracks to foster talented students with specialized fields such as platform SW and data science. The programs have also been implemented to an open-source SW education, composed of 20 subjects and have formed a practice-focused education program accounting for 31% of regular courses. Moreover, it will connect students to various internship programs and give opportunities to participate in double degree programs.
SW Convergence Education
Each interdisciplinary major consists of more than two majors; 1) Fin-Tech: SW with College of Business Administration, 2) Media Art: SW with College of Fine arts, 3) Big Data: SW with Department of Mathematics and Statistics, 4) Construction IT: SW with Department of Civil Engineering, 5) IT Convergent: SW with School of Electronic Materials and Department of Electrical Engineering. In case of the Fin-Tech for example, students should attend SW lectures such as Elementary Programing and JAVA Programming, business administration lectures such as Financial Derivatives and Introduction to Database, and Fin-Tech related lectures such as Computer Graphics and Introduction to Management of IT Technology. Degrees will be approved when students attend six SW liberal arts lectures and gain more than 45 credits including more than five SW lectures. Every year, about 150 students will be selected to study the SW convergence education.
SW Basic Education
SW basic education is for all students who are enrolled in or are scheduled to enter the university and are interested in Software. KNU has reorganized the SW liberal arts lectures for non-majored students from four to ten subjects to teach problem solving ability using SW. They will study the basic course in the first year and can study on the advanced SW-related program related to their major in their sophomore year. For example, students who major in Humanities course can learn Basic Python Programming and Basic C/C++ Programming, and can apply their knowledge to the management of technology. For prospective students, KNU operates SW preliminary for 45 to 60 hours in two weeks during January and February every year. They can get 3 credits after they enter the university.
Interdisciplinary Majors in KNU
The Installment of 11 Interdisciplinary Majors
Currently, there are 11 interdisciplinary majors established in KNU. Five of them were created as a part of the Software-oriented university program – Fin-tech, Media Art, Big Data, Construction IT, and IT Convergent. These interdisciplinary majors are to train specialists in developing the SW industry and to provide students with practical SW competencies.
Areas of Integration
Department in Charge
History·Culture and Contents Technology
History, Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, and Computer Science
College of Liberal Arts
Department of History
(Encourages an improvement in the automobile industry)
Electrical Engineering and Energy Engineering
College of IT Engineering
Department of Electrical Engineering
SW, Statistics, and Mathematics
College of IT Engineering
Department of Computer Science
SW and Business Administration
College of IT Engineering
Department of Computer Science
SW and Fine Arts
College of IT Engineering
Department of Computer Science
SW and Civil Engineering
College of IT Engineering
Department of Computer Science
General Science Studies
Physics education, Chemistry ed., and Biology ed., and Earth Science ed.
School of Science Education
Major in Physics Education
Common Social Studies
History education, Geography ed., and Social Studies ed.
School of Social Education
Major in Geography Education
Tech·Home Economics ed.
Technology and Home Economics
Department of Home Economics Education
Environment-Friendly & Functional Biotechnology
Bio Tech (BT) and Energy Tech (ET)
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
School of Applied Biosciences
Physics, Chemistry, and Biology
College of Natural Sciences
Department of Chemistry
An interdisciplinary major is defined as an integrated curriculum, established by a cooperation of two or more majors. Therefore, merging of majors at KNU can be observed in all 11 interdisciplinary majors provided as shown on Table 2.
According to the KNU Educational Affairs section, the SW interdisciplinary curricula are very popular among students. For example, the number of students applying to Fin-Tech (Finance·Technology) exceeded the capacity in 2016. However, some curricula are not as popular, resulting in a shortage of applicants. The department office for each interdisciplinary major is not available separately. For more information, a student should visit or call the department office in charge.
Application: Limitations and Requirements
KNU enforces application limitations to interdisciplinary majors. The limitation only allows participation of students who are enrolled in one of the departments that take part in the interdisciplinary curriculum. Moreover, the curriculum is open to a currently enrolled sophomore or junior, but not to prospective students or freshmen. A transfer student should at least earn the credits of the first year curriculum in his or her primary major to qualify for application. The limitations differ by majors, so students should look into specific limitations enforced by each department before applying.
Application is open from May to June and October to November each year. The criteria for selection are as follows. The application is weighted 50% in consideration and the other half of qualification is GPA. The application can be found on the websites of each department in charge. One should submit both the application and the transcript. About 20 to 50 qualified students are selected in each major.
As the 21st century is being called the era of fusion and convergence, the education field is implementing changes through projects such as CORE, Software-oriented University, ACE, and interdisciplinary majors. These are expected to provide opportunities to obtain knowledge in various disciplines. However, critical voices propose that the convergence of knowledge in case of necessity is helpful but the government should not enforce it to fit to the social demand. Each student should thoroughly research the changes in the education field and their consequences in order to find and adopt the program which suits his or her academic needs.
The KNU Times