중앙데일리

Kaist is highest rated Korean university in survey

Sept 23,2009
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, better known to the public as Kaist, secured its No. 1 title for the second consecutive year in the JoongAng Ilbo’s university rankings for 2009. Seoul National University took back the No. 2 spot, followed in order by Postech, Korea and Yonsei universities. Postech, located in Pohang, North Gyeongsang, had ranked second place last year.

The ranking of Korea and Yonsei universities switched, with Korea University taking fourth place back from Yonsei. The rankings of Sungkyunkwan and Hanyang universities were unchanged at sixth and seventh place, respectively. Kyung Hee University secured eighth place while the previous holder of that spot, Sogang University, fell one notch to ninth. Hankuk University of Foreign Studies entered the top 10 after ranking 11th last year.

For the first time in university evaluation in Korea, the JoongAng Ilbo added new criteria in analyzing how the universities compare to the world’s most prestigious universities in 22 separate fields.

Until now, global comparisons have been based on each university as a whole, not on its individual departments. The new evaluation system revealed that Seoul National’s mathematics and agriculture departments, Postech’s chemistry and material science departments, and Yonsei’s physics department ranked in the top 100 in the world.

Yonsei University’s physics department ranked 36th among 245 global universities - the highest ranking a Korean university has achieved so far. Postech ranked 41st in material science, while Seoul National’s mathematics and agriculture studies ranked 70th and 90th, respectively.

Though national universities - other than Seoul National - failed to rank in the top 10 for Korean universities, some showed outstanding performance in the sciences. Among national universities located outside of Seoul, Gyeongsang National tied for 167th place in the world in zoological and botanical studies. Chonbuk National ranked in 96th in agriculture studies and Kyungpook National ranked in 107th in physics.

The global rankings were based on the number of research reports and theses registered in the Science Citation Index and the Social Sciences Citation Index.

In a separate ranking of universities including all academic disciplines, Seoul National University came in first. Korea University ranked first in liberal arts studies. Eighty-eight four-year universities participated in the JoongAng Ilbo’s survey. This year, advisory and working-level committees were established to more closely convey the opinions of the universities.

The advisory committee is comprised of five directors of planning and coordination divisions from five universities in Korea, led by Im Yoon-su, planning chief of Chungnam National University. It has held meetings since April and suggested ideas for improving the JoongAng Ilbo’s university ranking index.

Ten university officials at Korea University Evaluation Association also addressed issues on the university ranking index as members of a working-level committee.

The JoongAng Ilbo’s evaluation team analyzed documents provided by the ministry of education and universities from across the country. The overall university evaluation is based on four categories: educational conditions and financial resources; globalization; research and faculty; and reputation and alumni representation in society.

The ranking of universities evaluated by the JoongAng Ilbo, which began in 1994, is an annual event marking the anniversary of the JoongAng Media Network’s foundation. It is intended to improve the competitiveness of Korean universities.



By Special Reporting Team [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]



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