COLUMN


Hopes for IGC to become 

the mecca of global education and 

a leading player 

in future growth engines for Incheon 


Kim Hee Choul 

Chairman, Industry and Economy Committee, Incheon Metropolitan Council





At the center of Incheon Metropolitan City's rise as a global education city is Incheon Global Campus (IGC). IGC is a shared global campus that is being strategically developed by the central government of the Republic of Korea and Incheon Metropolitan City with the goal of attracting ten prestigious overseas universities. It has been highly spotlighted both at home and abroad as an exceptional educational system that allows students to take the same curriculum and program as the home campus and receive the identical degree to the one on the home campus, all while in Incheon. IGC is also receiving so much anticipation that it will help to significantly enhance the growth potential of the country as well as Incheon. With the completion of the first phase of the project, IGC is now home to some of the world's top 100 universities, 


Ghent University is a top national university in Belgium, boasting its life science programs that have been ranked within the international top 30 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. George Mason University, Virginia’s largest public research university, is considered one of the most innovative (U.S News rangking - 33rd) and diverse (U.S News rangking - 37th) universities in the US. The University of Utah has been listed in the top 100 universities in the world for twelve consecutive years, and named a Top-Tier 1 research university by the Carnegie Foundation. Stony Brook University is one of the top three universities among the 64 SUNY universities located within the State of New York. Students at IGC have the opportunity to study at their university's home campus for about one semester to one year while learning from excellent faculty members appointed by the home campus. Students of the home campus are also allowed to study at IGC. IGC is fast becoming a truly global campus as overseas universities have moved in one after another and students engage in active and lively exchange activities.


The number of students at IGC has grown rapidly from 47 in 2012 to over 3,200 as of the spring semester of 2020. IGC is also expected to achieve financial independence within three years. In addition, the effect of South Korea's overseas study balance improvement amounts to KRW 140 billion on an annual basis, and the concomitant consumption effect on the local economy is considerable. It also significantly contributes to attracting investments in the free economic zone through the improved settlement conditions for foreigners. Recently, IGC has proved the excellence of its curriculum beyond all doubt by producing many graduates who go on to graduate schools such as Seoul National University, ETH Zurich and other world-class universities, as well as getting jobs at Google, Facebook and other multinational companies. The brand values of Incheon Metropolitan City and Songdo International City are increasing from day to day thanks to the IGC, and I am proud as a member of the city council. 


IGC's potential should be further increased as the revision to the “Industry-Academia-Research Cooperation Promotion Act” recently passed the National Assembly. This means that South Korean companies are now able to use the excellent researchers and industry-related infrastructures of foreign universities for their industry-academia cooperation activities, without going abroad. IGC has not simply attracted foreign universities but created a new value called “global collaboration” in each field of the country. I have great expectations that IGC will provide energy and vitality to the economy of Incheon by becoming the center of industry-academia-research clusters, thanks to its location being adjacent to global companies in many different sectors including bio, fashion, retail, and logistics, as well as domestic leading universities such as Yonsei University and Incheon University.  


Going forward, as the chairman of the Industry and Economy Committee and at the Incheon Metropolitan Council level, I will spare no active effort to make IGC part of a great future for South Korea as the best global educational institution in Northeast Asia and the center of successful global collaboration. 

 

Kim Hee Chou  Chairman, Industry and Economy Committee, Incheon Metropolitan Council