Kyung Hee University to use funds for grad school

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Kyung Hee University to use funds for grad school

The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced that Kyung Hee University has been chosen to receive financial support from the government from among 12 universities that applied for monetary aid.

CHA University in Pocheon will also receive funding.

The university will put the money toward its new graduate school, which opened its doors on Tuesday. The graduate school aims to educate the next generation of experts with practical experience specialized for elderly care in an effort to confront and manage Korea’s expanding senior population.

The graduate school will receive 300 million won ($254,000) per semester for three years and may also request to extend government financial support for an additional two.

Separate from the government’s support, Kyung Hee University plans to invest 4.4 billion won over five years into its master’s and doctoral programs.

Korea is categorized as an aging society, meaning that more than 7 percent of the country’s total population is 65 years old or older. And according to projections by Statistics Korea, the country is set to become an aged society by 2026, in which more than 14 percent of the entire population will be 65 or above.

South Korea also has the fastest aging population among member countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“The government and the university aim to train experts who can develop and improve upon services and products for the elderly and lead the industry through these innovations,” said Lim In-taek, an official in the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

“Because baby-boomers [born between 1955 and 1963] have higher incomes and academic status compared to the earlier generation, there is a need for services for the elderly to expand. Therefore, the senior industry must be revitalized,” he added.

“This specialized graduate school will play a highly important role in fostering professionals who can improve this field.”

Kyung Hee University is slated to create a new program that will combine the study of gerontology, medicine, Chinese medicine, social welfare, nutritional science and urban planning in order to train a new generation of experts who can solve current social issues using what they learned at the school.

The university is also set to establish a program in conjunction with 24 foreign universities, companies, research institutions and local governments to support the further development of the graduate school. Half of the program will be based on global exchange, while participants will focus on constructing a basis for the program, developing a student training program that seeks to solve issues related to an aging society, as well as the program’s expansion.

“By founding junior colleges, an occupational information center and an education center, the university will lead the graduate school to support students and combine social and natural science,” said Kyung Hee University President Choue In-won.

BY SHIN SUNG-SIK [koo.yurim@joongang.co.kr]

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