Seoul Cyber University – Intelligent Campus
An evaluation committee comprised of experts in the fields of education, educational technology, computer engineering, business administration, and public administration conducted both written and on-site assessment of 95 evaluation indices in the following six categories: educational plans, teaching, human resources, material resources, management and administration, and educational performance.
On the auspicious result of the overall evaluation, President Susie Kim of Seoul Cyber University commented that the university's winning the top place is a natural result of dedicating the institution to improving Korea's cyber universities in general. This reflects, she said, that this university with the best faculty has done a great job since the institution invested 10 billion won (US$10.8 million) for its infrastructure including the university building, computers, and hardware in the initial period of the institution's foundation.
President Kim said that public opinion of cyber universities in general has been very low because there have been no follow- up measures since the launch of seven cyber universities in 2000. She assessed positively that such a comprehensive evaluation can help remove the negative elements hampering their progress.
The president said that the university's young doctorate holders, for one thing, can deliver the latest ideas and knowledge for practical use despite the university's short history. Moreover, she proudly noted that the university has good and closely-linked interpersonal relationships among the staff based on the idea that the institution's advancement is directly linked to their progress.
Saying that the university's resources including buildings, hardware, and software set Seoul Cyber University far apart from other cyber universities in Korea, the President added that the university provides a globally competitive learning environment through its faculty of renowned professors and the highly advanced and plentiful facilities for education. And she further noted that the university's intelligent campus, comprised of a conference room with a three-language translation system, a production studio for multimedia content, and round-stadium lecture rooms, provides the highest quality educational environment.
Regarding the weaknesses of cyber universities in general, President Kim pointed out that the interactions among professors and students at Seoul Cyber University are as lively as those of offline universities. According to her, the university promotes the interaction with a tutorial system. In addition, offline meetings such as special lectures, seminars, and non-curricular circle activities of various kinds are held at five local learning chambers across the nation in Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Daegu, Jeolla, and Busan.
Still, the public's appraisal of cyber university graduates is low, and on this issue Kim positively called attention to the fact that the social perception has improved steadily over time. In this respect, she cited the US case wherein the popularity of online universities is quite high and the tuition fee is also more expensive than their offline counterparts; and on top of this, the content of the university curriculum overwhelms those of offline universities.
Noting that a cyber university can show strength in a niche field such as games and animation, she pointed out that while it is difficult for an offline university to change a curriculum subject, a cyber university can be flexible in providing educational content that a society requires by swiftly responding to social changes. To give an example on this point, she said that the university, well aware of the fact that a fixed curriculum can be out of touch with the worldly trends, invited Nexon's President Kwon Joon-mo to give lectures as a visiting professor. The subsequent response from the student body has been immensely favorable.
To complement the weakness of the university lacking the culture and romance found in a campus, President Kim said that a special lecture is held almost every month and the lecture is received well by the students so much that lecture rooms become fully packed on almost every occasion.
As to the globalization of Seoul Cyber University, the president said that she has a plan to expand the university's online education by securing overseas bases with the help of the university's alumni. Still, the only countries showing strength in online education are Korea and the United States, she explained.
She said that in the case of Jones International University (JIU) in Colorado in the United States there are about 200,000 students enrolled in the university for online education and that the university has become a global university that provides bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs through the web.
In addition, she said that Jones University, through a faculty of professors of utmost prominence, has been presenting curricula of highest quality that no offline university in the US can match. To capitalize on such a strength, Kim said that Seoul Cyber University will be opening a new course on Entrepreneurship Spirit jointly with JIU in September of this year.
According to Kim, the globalization of Seoul Cyber University has continued in the form of cooperative ties with a number of institutions, such as Stockholm University in the field of social welfare. And such ties, she said, are greatly assisting the university in securing a sustainable and unique capacity with respect to the content, services, and solutions for e-learning.
President Kim showed a strong will to make a leap forward into the world stage when she said that she saw a possibility to become a world-class institution based on the university's globalization efforts.
Kim spoke on the desirable and strategic direction of a cyber university to prepare for the boundless competition of the future and as an alternative to offline universities by advising to seek a differentiation strategy that pursues the creation of killer content unique to a cyber university and that fends off department-like enumeration. She proposed that the human welfare department of the university, for instance, can provide ordinary citizens and entrepreneurs with tailor-made courses on consultation psychology to expand the base of a welfare society.
On the issue of global exchanges in the web-linked global society where we have to coexist, she proposed that local cyber universities develop Korea's unique curricula, rather than simply exporting ours and importing things that are foreign. Only when this happens, she said, we can overcome the differentiation trends in the global age.
Taking notice that overseas Koreans are reaching seven million, Kim says that Seoul Cyber University plans to actively seek the tailored education of missionaries and commercial agents as part of the university's endeavor to be unique.
Saying that it is important to have a corporate culture that enables the faculty and staff to regard their jobs worthwhile, and thus make further progress, President Kim added that she is determined to do her best to make a happy place of work where employees can work enthusiastically.