U.N. Secretary General Ban and Kim Yu-na picked as top role models

December 4, 2013
UN chief Ban Ki-moon

UN chief
Ban Ki-moon

By Kim Jae-won

Students at Hanyang University in Seoul picked U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and figure skater Kim Yu-na as their top role models, a survey showed Wednesday.

According to the survey by Professor Kim Jae-won, 14.1 percent of the male collegians chose Ban as the man they most wanted to emulate, while 25.3 percent of female students pointed to Kim as the woman they wanted to be like.

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee claimed second place on the male list with 11.8 percent. Football star Park Ji-sung came third with 11.2 percent, followed by independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo with 9.2 percent and TV personality Yoo Jae-seok, 8 percent.

The survey polled 138 male and 129 female students.

Among female figures, President Park Geun-hye came second with 14.9 percent, followed by Han Bi-ya, a popular Korean travel writer and relief worker, with 6.2 percent. Gymnast Son Yeon-jae garnered 4 percent, and former MBC TV anchor Kim Ju-ha received 2.6 percent.

Professor Kim said the U.N. chief overtook Samsung’s Lee in the survey for the first time in a decade.

Kim said Lee appears to have lost his place due to the recent emergence of public sentiment against chaebol, amid the concentration of economic power in the handful of top conglomerates. He also said Samsung’s no-trade union policy might have negatively affected the image of the group owner.

Kim also noted that it is interesting that figure skater Kim was chosen to be the No. 1 woman, a post that has been dominated by female TV anchors.”

Among global male figures, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corp., received 19.9 percent, followed by U.S. President Barak Obama with 18.7 percent.

U.S. TV personality Oprah Winfrey was chosen as the most respected female foreign figure with 18.7 percent support, beating former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with 17.7 percent.

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