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CWNU’s Challenge for Glocal University: Opening a New Era
  • By Jung-hyun, editor-in-chief
  • 승인 2024.03.03 23:37
  • 호수 328
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▲ A picture of the Glocal University Preparatory Committee, which has begun its activities (Source: CWNU Waagle)

With the announcement of the Ministry of Education's plan to designate 10 additional Glocal Universities this year, competition among universities in South Gyeongsang Province is intensifying. If selected as a Glocal University, universities will receive 100 billion won in support from the government for five years, which can be a stepping- stone for strengthening education and research capabilities, cultivating exceptional students through linkages with local industries, and enhancing the competitiveness of local universities. CWNU, which failed to be selected as a Glocal University last year, is promoting integration with the University of Gyeongnam Geochang and the University of Gyeongnam Namhae to re- challenge this project. Among the 10 universities selected as Glocal Universities last year, four proposed inter- university integration plans, creating a new trend. Accordingly, CWNU is focusing on proposing structural innovation plans and establishing sustainable plans through inter- university integration.

Since Professor Park Min- won has been appointed as the new president of CWNU, cooperation with the South Gyeongsang Province for the selection of the Glocal University is in full swing. On February 7th, he met with Choi Jae- ho, chairman of the Changwon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to discuss ways to innovate universities. They confirmed their willingness to cooperate in strengthening regional competitiveness and cultivating talent. Park Min- won emphasized, "We must develop region- specific training courses through close cooperation with local companies and strengthen practical experience to produce talented students that companies want." He also stated, "We will contribute to the revitalization of the local economy by expanding exchange programs with overseas universities and cultivating talent with global competence." Chairman Choi Jae- ho said, "We expect CWNU to greatly contribute to the development of the local economy if it is selected as a Glocal University. The Changwon Chamber of Commerce and Industry will actively contribute to regional human resource cultivation and industrial development through cooperation with the university."

After the integration, CWNU will specialize in science and technology, the University of Gyeongnam Geochang will focus on vocational education, and the University of Gyeongnam Namhae will become a specialized institution for foreign student education. Each university plans to utilize its strengths to establish a differentiated educational system and focus on cultivating talent that will contribute to the development of local industries. Therefore, this integration is expected to be an important opportunity for CWNU to leap forward as a global university. CWNU is also considering establishing the ‘Changwon Science and Technology Institute,' with the concept of a research- oriented university, in cooperation with the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute and the Korea Institute of Materials Science, which are headquartered in Changwon.

If successful, this integration is expected to not only strengthen the competitiveness of local universities but also build a coexisting model with the local community. In particular, it is expected to contribute to the development of the local economy through the establishment of a talent training system appropriate to each region. At the same time, however, problems that may arise during the integration process have also been pointed out. Each university will face a variety of challenges in integrating its different cultures and values. Cultural clashes between faculty and students, integration of educational systems and curricula, and unification of administrative and operational systems emerge as major challenges. Concerns about worsening regional imbalances and the potential infringement of university autonomy are also pointed out as problems.

To address these issues, close communication between the national and local governments, and universities is essential. Furthermore, it is necessary to establish a specific plan for positive connections with the local community. In addition, there should be an in- depth discussion on how to harmonize academic and regional development. The government should facilitate the integration process by providing policy and incentives, and local governments should strive to develop educational programs tailored to the characteristics of the region and support industrial networks. Universities should find ways to contribute to the development of the region through cooperation with the local community while maintaining their autonomy. As this integration is an important step for universities in South Gyeongsang Province to leap forward as Glocal Universities, attention is drawn to whether CWNU will be able to achieve successful integration in the future.

By Jung-hyun, editor-in-chief  jhgongju0903@gmail.com

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