Mason Forms New Partnership with Kyonggi University

Posted: October 12, 2009 at 1:01 am, Last Updated: October 12, 2009 at 11:14 am

By Anne Schiller, associate provost for international projects

caption. Photo by

Kyonggi University President Ho-joon Choi visited the School of Art's printmaking studio. With him are student Patrick Sargent, art instructor Susan Goldman, and communications and publications coordinator Kiley Cogis. Choi is holding one of Sargent's prints, and Goldman is holding a print by visiting artist William Wiley that students also worked on. Photo courtesy of Hwankwon Ahn

Just as Mason seeks to build strong partnerships in Asia and beyond that create new opportunities for students and faculty, top universities in the Asia-Pacific region also seek to extend their international reach.

Among Asian nations most actively developing strategic partnerships with overseas institutions is South Korea. In an exciting convergence of interests, Mason recently hosted a delegation from Korea’s Kyonggi University on the Fairfax Campus. The visit was capped by the Oct. 5 signing of two memoranda of understanding (MOU) that covered student exchange, research collaboration and more.

Kyonggi University is based in Suwon, a city of one million that is home to 14 institutions of higher learning. Like Mason, Kyonggi is located in a major metropolitan area and is only 20 miles from the nation’s capital. In addition to its main campus in Suwon, Kyonggi University maintains a smaller campus in Seoul.

Among the strongest of Kyonggi’s 10 colleges are the College of Arts and the College of Tourism Sciences. During their visit to Mason, Ho-joon Choi, the president of Kyonggi University, and other delegation members met with Harold Linton, director of Mason’s School of Art, as well as representatives of the School of Recreation, Health and Tourism, including Director David Wiggins.

The discussions led to plans to pursue establishing dual degree programs in visual communication/graphic design and in tourism and events management. The Kyonggi delegation also indicated interest in hiring Mason MFA graduates in the College of Visual and Performing Arts as visiting faculty at the Suwon campus.

The delegation was interested to learn that 127 Korean students are currently enrolled at Mason, making them the third-largest group of international students on campus. The delegation also noted the large Korean-American student presence at Mason.

At the MOU signing, Provost Peter Stearns spoke to the value of nurturing enduring relationships with Mason’s international partners and expressed his appreciation to delegation members for their role in building this partnership.

In his address to the group, Choi spoke of Mason’s reputation of distinction in many fields and his enthusiasm for the relationship now successfully forged between his institution and our own.

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