Hankook Univ. to add 15 languages

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Hankook Univ. to add 15 languages

Hankook University of Foreign Studies will establish 15 new language departments as part of its long-term growth plan, raising its total to 60, university president Park Chul said yesterday. But on one condition: state support.

The Seoul-based school currently runs 45 language departments. It could add minority languages used in Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and some former Soviet Union states including Lithuania, Park said in an interview with Yonhap News.

“Other countries provide more than sufficient levels of support to universities focused on language education but it is regrettable that there’s not much state aid here,” Park said. “If the Korean government fosters our school like it does state-run universities, we intend to raise the number of foreign language departments to 60, teaching all the world’s languages that are deemed important.”

Park became the first president of HUFS to be reappointed. His next four-year term begins on March 1.

During his second term, he plans to foster “global minds.”

“In the 1970s and 1980s, when Korea posted immense growth on the back of brisk exports, HUFS graduates with excellent foreign language skills played a crucial role. Now the focus will be cultivating the expertise needed to train those who work and volunteer in underdeveloped countries and various international organizations such as United Nations.”

He also pledged to bring up the proportion of foreign students to 30 percent of the total student body. Also, 30 percent of Korean HUFS students will study overseas during his term, Park said.

To that end, HUFS is getting ready to build a dormitory that can accommodate 2,000 students on its global campus in Songdo, a special economic district in Incheon. Construction begins on the campus next year. The global campus will also house a translation-interpretation center, an international business center and a Korean language and culture institute.

By Seo Ji-eun [spring@joongang.co.kr]

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