Public Release: 

NTU Singapore steps up partnerships with South Korea

New endowed professorship in Korean Studies and research program in emerging fields launched

Nanyang Technological University


IMAGE: (From left) NTU Singapore President Professor Bertil Andersson, KAIST President Professor Steve Kang Sung-mo and Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie signed an MOU that will see the three universities conduct... view more

Credit: KAIST

Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is launching Singapore's first endowed professorship in Korean Studies, and a new five-year research programme in technology and innovation with top Korean and Israeli universities.

The endowed professorship is a collaboration with the Korea Foundation while the research programme is a three-party partnership with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Technion).

NTU Singapore President Professor Bertil Andersson inked both agreements in Seoul yesterday. On the Korea Foundation Professorship of Korean Studies, he said: "The new professorship, focusing on the contemporary Korean society, is a significant boost to NTU Singapore's rapidly developing Korean Studies programme. Korea is the top Asian destination for NTU students. The appointed Professor will lead the university's interdisciplinary research and curriculum development in Korean studies."

Korea Foundation President Dr Yu Hyun-seok said: "The collaboration with NTU Singapore will help to advance the field of Korean studies in Singapore. It is also a step towards expanding Korean studies in Asia. We believe the professorship will inspire more people to learn about Korea and lead to more research on the contemporary Korean society."

On the KAIST-NTU-Technion Joint Research Programme, Prof Andersson said, "NTU Singapore and KAIST are both young and rising Asian universities with established strengths in engineering and technology while Technion is the oldest university in Israel and is known for its innovation and strong entrepreneurial culture. This unique partnership will bring together our common strengths in technology but from different perspectives. It will be a very interesting collaboration."

KAIST President Professor Steve Kang Sung-mo said, "Already a joint workshop in the field of robotics will be held in a few months, which will signal the start of new collaborations among the three institutions. KAIST is very much excited to work with our prominent partners and looking forward to seeing the great outcomes from collaborations in research and education that will provide global benefits."

Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie said, "Technion will bring to this partnership the unique combination of excellent research that spans close to a century and a well-established record of creating a vibrant and successful ecosystem that revolves around the university's applied research and technology transfer capabilities."

Korea Foundation Professorship of Korean Studies

The Professorship was launched with the Korea Foundation which is affiliated with South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To be hosted by the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at NTU, it is the first professorship with a full-tenured endowed position in Korean studies in Singapore.

NTU Singapore joins renowned universities such as Harvard, Oxford, Cornell and Columbia who have similarly set up professorships in Korean studies with the Korea Foundation.

The endowed professor, expected to be appointed by August 2017, will specialise in contemporary Korean society studies and also lead in curriculum development. This will reinforce the university's existing Korean Studies programme and promote greater interdisciplinary research in this area.

Like other parts of Asia experiencing the rise of the Korean wave, NTU Singapore has seen an increasing interest in Korea language and culture among its students. In 2011, about 1,000 students took Korean language courses and this number soared to 1,500 in 2015. The Korean Wave: A multidisciplinary perspective, has been offered by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information since 2014.

KAIST-NTU-Technion Joint Research Programme

This five-year research programme will see the three universities conducting joint research in emerging areas that demonstrates strong potential for innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialisation.

The five areas identified are robotics, medical technologies, satellites, materials science and engineering and entrepreneurship. These areas are also important research pillars for NTU Singapore, and are aligned with Singapore's Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 (RIE 2020) research blueprint unveiled by Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong in January this year.

Students can look forward to dual degree opportunities, exchange visits and business plan competitions. Global innovation platforms will also be set up to promote sharing of technologies and commercialisation.

Growing interest in Korea

South Korea is the top exchange destination in Asia for NTU Singapore students. The number of students who went on exchange to South Korea more than doubled from 69 in 2011 to 151 in 2015. Globally, South Korea is the fifth most popular choice for students, just behind UK, Sweden, US and Canada.

For short term mobility programmes (ranging from two to eight weeks), South Korea is the most sought-after destination with about 400 students in 2014, well ahead of the next most popular choices -- China, Vietnam and the United States.

Korean exchange students at NTU Singapore form the largest body of incoming students from Asia each year. NTU Singapore and KAIST have a total of 180 students from both countries going on student exchange.

NTU Singapore has 55 ongoing partnerships and research collaborations with Korean universities and companies.

Academic partners include KAIST, Seoul National University, Yonsei University, Korea University, Hanyang University and Pohang University of Science and Technology.

NTU Singapore also has joint research collaborations with top Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Engineering and Construction.


Media contact:

Ang Hui Min
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes - the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering - and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

The University's main Yunnan Garden campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore's medical district.

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