President Park calls for revamping Korea’s college engineering programs

April 10, 2014

Says “Our colleges fail to nurture talent because they focus more on research” 


A creative economy is one of Park’s major campaign pledges aimed at boosting national output.

President Park Geun-hye called for engineering colleges to brace for drastic change so that they will be able to become the “frontline for a creative economy” during her eighth meeting with an advisory panel on science and technology, Thursday.

A creative economy is one of Park’s major campaign pledges aimed at boosting national output through brisk convergence between technology and conventional business.

“Silicon Valley of the United States chalked up huge success thanks in no small part to prestigious engineering colleges around it because graduates created so many venture start-ups,” Park said.

“Our colleges fail to nurture talent wanted by companies because they focus more on research. I think that they should change in tandem with the creative economy paradigm.”

She added that they are required to beef up practical research and education to develop talent necessary at industrial sites while using research results to develop new markets.

Park’s senior secretary for future strategy Yoon Chang-bun said that she ordered an in-depth analysis on how to make sweeping renovations at local engineering colleges early this year.

“Our engineering colleges teach science, not engineering because their evaluations are based on the number of papers they write,” Yoon told a press conference after the meeting.

“Hence, they teach mathematics-based science. But students opt for the major to study engineering.”

A total of 156 engineering colleges in Korea produce some 69,000 graduates every year.

But criticism has surfaced that they lack practical knowledge and techniques that companies need. Hence, firms complain that they have to spend much time and money to reeducate them.