A former chancellor stresses global sharing
It was an old family motto that prompted Kim Young-gil to accept the offer to serve as the first chancellor of Handong Global University in 1995.
The value of sharing, he thought, was something Korean society needed to learn.
“I was always told at home, ‘you should share with others what you have studied,’” he said on Wednesday at Seoul City Hall during a forum hosted by the organization True Happiness Inperience Sharing.
The organization chaired by former Konkuk University Chancellor Chung Kil-seang is comprised of senior scientists and scholars.
The group uses the term “inperience” to refer to experiencing happiness from the inside, rather than from outside factors.
“My father used to stress, ‘Help others and live together,’” Kim added.
“In such an excessively competitive society, a lot of people lack education about sharing,” Kim added.
Feeling the need to instigate change, he stepped out, rather than complaining. He challenged the conventional education system and became the first chancellor at Handong Global University to emphasize the value of sharing, rather than competiveness.
“There are a number of universities that are good at researching, but few focus on educating students,” Kim said.
“I wanted to make a university that provides a good education and teaches students how to live together.”
His education motto was deemed a success, and many graduates from the university have gone on to donate a portion of their earnings to the school in the hope that it continues that vision.
“Even though the university was poor, the students learned how to share,” he said about the graduates.
But his family motto not only influenced him, but his brother, Kim Ho-gil, the first chancellor of Pohang University of Science and Technology.
After working as a researcher at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Kim Young-gil took a professorship at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) from 1979 to 1994.
Shortly after, he became the first chancellor of Handong Global University in 1995.
Although he stepped down as chancellor in January, he continues to preach the value of sharing. Kim is currently the co-president of the Korean association of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), an organization that encourages higher education in cooperation with universities around the world.
For the next step, for Korea to immerse itself in the international community, Kim emphasized the pillars of global citizenship: responsibility, honesty and the willingness to make sacrifices to share.
“The underlying concept of sharing is to know that you could lose out,” Kim said.
BY WI MOON-HEE [email@example.com]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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