KF Global E-school Project in Eurasia

Project Description

Aim of the Project

The aim of this project is to launch a Eurasia-wide e-School in order to promote excellence in teaching in the field of Korean Studies and thereby support the development of a world-class innovative curriculum, with a particular focus on the social sciences. To do so Central European University (Budapest, Hungary), proposes to become the hub in the network of leading higher education institutions in Western and Central-Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East. The project brings together 12 institutions located in 10 countries.

Rationale, objectives, and contribution

In the field of Korean Studies considerable attention has been paid over the past decades to the development of the humanities (especially linguistics, history, and literature – culture more generally). A smaller but growing community of scholars has emerged in the social sciences, although these have traditionally been less central to the field of Korean Studies. This is partly because of a somewhat weaker demand from students and also because of a lack of a critical mass among faculty. The launch of an E-school tackles both problems at once without creating another one (e.g. engendering competition between existing institutions):

  • On the students’ side the e-school addresses the fundamental challenge of Korean Studies Program: creating and sustaining a critical mass of students, often scattered in small numbers across several universities in Europe and Asia.
  • On the faculty side, the e-school enhances collaboration and co-teaching, enables departments where faculty is not sufficiently present to offer a strong Korean Studies curriculum thanks to the input of online and offline lectures. It also enables synergies, in both teaching and research, by allowing greater networking opportunities within the consortium.

Although new resources are needed, the project builds on existing resources and networks:

  • The existence of Korean Studies programs at ELTE, Paris-VII, the University of Vienna, University of La Rochelle and the Middle East Technical University.
  • The existence of a collaborative interdisciplinary network on Korean politics (EUKOPAC) between the following institutions: Central European University, University of Vienna, Paris-VII, La Rochelle University, the University of Bologna and the University of Sussex.

Why a Global E-School?

Online platforms for university learning now abound. Several universities have established away campuses to recruit new students and expand their presence internationally. Distance learning programs are commonly available. And yet the remote experience does not ease the sense of common belonging of students to the online program offered by universities thousands of kilometers away. This project favors synergy over competition, the pooling of resources in favor of a critical mass over the fragmentation of the field (Korean Studies/ Social Sciences); and by means of both online real time and offline resources it makes an innovative contribution to the creation of a high-tech virtual learning environment.