Postech revamps to be Korean MIT

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Postech revamps to be Korean MIT

Pohang University of Science and Technology, known as Postech, will undergo a restructuring to be reborn as a research-oriented university next year, Postech President Baik Sung-gi said Thursday. The changes go into effect next year.

The university currently offers undergraduate, masters, and doctorate programs, but it will establish Postech College separately for undergraduate students and allow them to take doctorate courses during their undergraduate years.

Postech professors have studied curricula at the world’s leading scientific institutions, including MIT in the United States, ETH Zurich in Switzerland, and Ecole Polytechnique in France.

“Starting next year, Postech students will master primary science and liberal art studies regardless of their major by their sophomore year,” Baik said.

“In their junior year, students will choose academic advisors based on their major and interest and they will begin taking classes that are linked to doctorate programs,” he said.

The changes are meant to nurture talented researchers, Baik said.

Currently, a doctorate degree requires nine years of study: four years for an undergraduate degree, two years for a master’s, and three years for a PhD. Postech’s program will slim that down to seven years by technically abolishing the masters program.

“To nurture global young talents who will compete for the Nobel Prize and who want to become creative venture capital entrepreneurs, there are limits with current university programs that gives heavy-emphasis on undergraduate programs,” Baik said. “We can nurture global science leaders only when we provide small-sized elite education from the very early stage when students freshly entered the university.”

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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