HEADLINE ISSUE 1
Foreign Universities in Songdo included in
“Industrial Education Institutions”
Foreign universities located in IGC were included in the category of industrial education institutions, laying the foundation for promoting industry-academia cooperation with domestic companies. This was made possible when the revision to the “Industrial Education Enhancement and Industry-Academia-Research Cooperation Promotion Act”, initiated by Rep. SONG Young-gil, passed the National Assembly plenary session on March 6, 2020. The revision states that foreign educational institutions shall be included in the category of higher educational institutions among industrial educational institutions when their establishment has been approved in accordance with the Article 5 of the Special Act on the Establishment and Operation of Foreign Educational Institutions in Free Economic Zones and Jeju Free International City, and individual laws of the Article. This allowed five foreign universities in the IGC -- The State University of New York Korea, George Mason University Korea, Ghent University Global Campus, and The University of Utah Asia Campus -- to promote industry-academia cooperation projects with domestic companies. It is expected that these universities will be able to seek continuous and stable operations of IGC through industrial-academia cooperation, while domestic companies will be able to utilize their excellent technologies and human resources without going abroad.
Foreign universities in IGC had been restricted in their industry-academia cooperation activities, unlike their domestic counterparts, because they had not been included in the category of industrial education institutions, although they are extended campuses of foreign universities with recognized academic excellence worldwide. For this reason, these universities had continuously suggested that the authorities ease relevant laws. An official from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said, “We expect a great deal of accomplishments as foreign universities are now allowed to participate in the Ministry's R&D projects.” “With this revision, foreign universities in the free economic zone will greatly contribute to the growth of the local community and the country, by fostering the development of professional human resources required by industries, and commercializing the knowledge and skills needed for industrial development.” LEE Wonjae, commissioner of the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority(IFEZA), emphasized that “Foreign universities in IGC will become a new driver to lead Incheon to innovative growth, by becoming a base for industry-academia cooperation.”