To inaugurate their new partnership, Western Washington University hosted a delegation from Kyungpook National University for a campus visit on Tuesday, Aug. 20. During the visit, Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard and Kyungpook National University President In-Suk Hamm signed an Agreement for Student Exchange between the two institutions.
Tuesday’s visit was a reunion of sorts. President Hamm had hosted a visit to KNU’s Daegu campus by President Shepard and a WWU delegation earlier this summer.
The Agreement for Student Exchange is just one of the cooperative ventures being discussed between the two universities. In addition to various exchange opportunities, the delegation will also confer with Western officials on specific activities to be undertaken through the Global Teacher University, a national teacher preparation initiative funded by the Korean government. The GTU grant supports KNU’s teaching, learning, research and internationalization objectives through faculty and student exchange with Western.
“The cooperation between KNU and Western provides a good example of how international higher education is evolving,” said Earl Gibbons, vice provost for Extended Education at Western. “No longer confined to the simple exchange of the occasional students, the relationship with KNU represents a multi-dimensional and mutually beneficial collaboration between two equal partners. The inclusion of the Woodring College of Education in KNU’s GTU project both underlines the excellent reputation of the college and provides new opportunities for Woodring faculty.”
The campus visit included a formal luncheon and signing ceremony, as well as a tour of the Irwin L. Slesnick STEM Education Center and Vehicle Research Institute. Delegation members also met with international business faculty from the College of Business and Economics, and Center for International Studies staff.
Western, often in conjunction with Bellingham’s Sister Cities Association, has sponsored programs with Korean partners for the past five years and has brought hundreds of Korean students in grades four through 12, as well as their teachers, for summer-long educational programs. This new partnership with Kyungpook National University will continue to strengthen both the university’s and the community’s ties to Korea, and will provide access for university students and faculty to benefit from a global approach to education.