COLUMN


Effects of IGC in the COVID-19 and

Non-contact Era

 

LIM Dong-joo

Chairman, Industry and Economy Committee,

Incheon Metropolitan Council





Universities around the world are suffering from campus lockdowns and other measures as a non-contact lifestyle has become a daily routine due to COVID-19. It is the same with South Korean universities. They are struggling to make preparations in the face of this novel and challenging situation in all aspects of school management, switching to online lectures. While the education industry has been hit hard in this way, interest is growing in Incheon Global Campus thanks to the success of K-quarantine. The paradigm of education is also changing in the non-contact era. IGC has proposed a new paradigm from early on that advanced education from foreign prestigious universities can be enjoyed in South Korea. Located in Songdo International City of Incheon, IGC has attracted five foreign universities - SUNY Korea Stonybrook and FIT, George Mason University Korea, Ghent University Global Campus, University of Utah Asia Campus as a result of its first-phase development project. 


More and more students are choosing IGC. This is because IGC can offer great values, ranging from the personal economic effect of being able to complete all the courses of foreign prestigious universities at low cost right here in Incheon without having to go abroad, to the effect of helping the regional economy create a center of education and industry-academia cooperation. I am so glad to see that IGC is emerging as an alternative to studying abroad in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. 


Upon completing its first-phase development project, IGC currently operates 24 different majors. The IFEZ Authority is now seeking to attract strategic departments of world universities within the top 50 global rankings while promoting its second-phase project. For example, if more universities are invited with a focus on arts colleges and such specialized areas as hotels, tourism, and logistics, they should contribute to fostering talented people with interdisciplinary abilities while supplementing the departments of the first-phase universities. In addition, the revision to the "Industrial Education Enhancement and Industry-Academia- Research Cooperation Promotion Act" to include foreign universities in the category of industrial education institutions, which became fully effective at the end of last September, should bring positive influence to the economic development of Incheon through industry-academia cooperation by IGC universities going forward. World prestigious universities with advanced educational systems in IGC will continue to lead in the New Deal policy in Incheon, and the development of South Korea. Incheon Metropolitan City will not spare its support for the sustainable growth of IGC so that IGC will stand tall as a worldclass educational hub.


I expect IGC to spread its wings according to its original blueprint on the back of this support, and grow into a leading educational institution, contributing to the development of Incheon by strengthening its competitiveness through mutually prosperous, shared growth with local communities as well as by fostering excellent global talents.

LIM Dong-joo
Chairman, Industry and Economy Committee,
Incheon Metropolitan Council