Keeping the dream aliveThe lifelong dream of Park Tae-joon, founder of Korea’s giant steelmaker Posco, has finally come true and he’s not alive to see it.
Park, who established a polytechnic school with hopes to one day turn it into one of the world’s leading academies, had his dream become a reality when Pohang University of Science and Technology, more simply known as Postech, topped Times Higher Education magazine’s ranking of the 100 best universities established during the past 50 years.
The ranking may not be entirely credible, as most well-known U.S. and U.K. universities were excluded because it evaluated younger universities. But the news of global recognition in the science and research field nevertheless is a major morale boost to the school, as well as the country.
Park set the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, as his model when he established Postech 26 years ago.
The Pasadena-based research university, despite its small size, generated 31 alumni and faculty winners of the Nobel Prize and an irrefutable international reputation in science and engineering.
Postech also reserved a space for Nobel Prize winners in its hall of fame, although the school has yet to fill the space since it was founded in 1986.
The Nobel Prize should not necessarily be the ultimate goal for scientists. But given Korea’s talent pool and economic status, it is time we see a national win a Nobel Prize.
Postech, with its newfound international accreditation, should ask itself if it is doing its utmost to foster excellence in classrooms and labs to incubate and foster talents that could leave footprints in the national as well as global field of innovation.
Its new status sets the path for the school. It must stand at the forefront to nurture talents who can upgrade the scientific and research quality of the nation and stimulate ideas and innovation benefiting the technology and engineering industry.
Its global recognition raises expectations that the academy will be a national power and its future in the 21st century relies on science and technology development.
We hope the school will live up to the dreams of its founder and expectations of its country.