.▶ Colleges under consideration to be merged at HYU are the College of Engineering, the College of Architecture and the College of Information and Comm unications
▶ The College of Engineering at HYU draws a sword of reform to recove r the past reputation
▶ How has the integration of Colleges of Engineering been changed and progressed after an year of report under the 299th article Cover Story of HIT, New Opp ortunity or New Crisis
Hanyang University (HYU) officially announced the Reorganization Plan for Department of Engineering Institute (RPDEI) on December 3, which mainly dealt with the content of merging three divided engineering colleges - the College of Architecture, the College of Engineering, and the College of Information and Communications - in order to increase and maximize the competitiveness of College of Engineering. It was the official announcement from a year? absence after the first official meeting between a chairperson and members of Restructuring Committee for Department of Engineering under the direct control of the president of HYU since December 11, 2007. At that time, Maeng Ju-sung in charge of the vice-chairperson, dean of academic affairs, said, "For the last six months in 2007, as a consequence of conducting a survey among three Engineering Colleges' professors, more than half of the numbers agreed to the Reorganization for Department of Engineering Institute (RDEI)." And he said, "Development speed of the studies has increased rapidly. The RDEI is the strategy to survive on sharp competitions." He explained why they needed the integration of the Engineering College. Therefore, HYU will admit freshmen to the Engineering College from 2009 according to newly revised school policy.
However, students show careful responses with regards to this plan because they have not yet heard about school's detailed explanations. Lee Kyung-min, junior of Division of Materials Science Engineering, said, "Through the questionnaires of press in HYU and the College of Engineering students' association, I heard about the plan named the RDEI." And he added, "But, I can not speak indiscreetly in relation to the integration plan of the Engineering College, because the school has not yet explained details on it even though we should know the changes if any."
Any change in school affairs is important not only for the school but also for the students. However, presently, the integration plan among Colleges of the Engineering Departments - the College of Engineering, the College of Architecture, the College of Information and Communications - may cause many problems as no agreement has been reached among the school authorities, students and professors. The goal is clear that we have to make sure that every concerned member is satisfied with the changes by sharing the views of each side. How is the RDEI going? And can the College of Engineering at HYU recover a past reputation as a result?
Power of the College of Engineering at HYU
The College of Engineering was established in 1939 as "Dong-A Polytechnic Institute." As a popular College of Engineering in Korea, it has been proud of its history and 70 year tradition with 52 thousand graduates, and has led Korean economic development. All the graduates have spread throughout all branches of the economy from Korean basic industry to high technology. They established the ground work of industrial development in Korea.
With the construction booms in the 1970's, the HYU College of Engineering played an important role and gained influence through high social status, even saying that "Gyeong-bu highway would not be able to be completed without HYU engineers." There is a famous story that former president, Park Chung-hee came to the construction sites to encourage workers. He praised their work and said, "We can see people from HYU everywhere." Half of the number of supervisors in the field in the Middle East in the beginning of 1980's had graduated the College of Engineering.
However, in spite of having a secured fame as an Engineers' Military Academy with one-hundred percent employment record for graduates during some periods in the past, the College of Engineering, currently faces a crisis against Research Universities such as KAIST and POSTECH. Professor A, the College of Engineering of HYU, said, "The College of Engineering has been told that there is no rival and even it is superior to the Engineering College of Seoul National University. However, nowadays the students preparing for the university entrance examination compare the school's competitiveness with Sogang University or SungKyunKwan University." He said, "While tuition fees of HYU have risen for financial reasons in comparison to other universities, investments for the College of Engineering are insufficient. So it is true that the students preparing for an examination show less interest and even the students at HYU become demoralized in comparison to the past."
Necessity of Progressive Change; Integration of the College of Engineering
Oh Yong-seok, Manager of Academic Services of the College of Engineering, said the reason for the integration of the Engineering Colleges. He said, "Characteristic Engineering Colleges' competitiveness is strengthened. So, under the current circumstances, we need to carry out the RDEI as a strategy to survive the competition among universities. We need a complex of science research and to bring up the talented students to develop their power in the future. To do this, we decided to integrate the Engineering Colleges which are currently divided into three." He also said, "We are trying to recover a past reputation of the College of Engineering of HYU by organizing the environment of open competition through separated and independent departments." It is the main background of the plan for the RDEI. Even if HYU is the University, it is to reorganize similarly like KAIST and POSTECH.
The RDEI has been started since December 2007. The school organized Restructuring Committee for Department of Engineering. The vice-president was taken charge of the head of committee and they have held the meetings six times until March 2008. Finally, the head office obtained approval of the reorganization plan for school regulations about the RPDEI from Corporate Board of Directors which is the top level organization of decision making for agendas. So, they announced a list of the 2009 pre-entrance requirements for HYU.
Therefore, according to the decisions made by the RPDEI, HYU divided the integrated Engineering College into four departments and nominated a dean for each department. They also newly established the Engineering College with a dean at the level of vice-president who controls four departments. Under the consideration that generally one college is controlled by a dean, it is understood extraordinary that four deans are nominated at HYU. HYU nominated Professor Im Seung-soon in Molecular System Engineering. Professor Im said, "It is reorganized for the purpose of synergy effects at Engineering College and it was previously divided according to the various supports by the government or projects."
About the Integration of the College of Engineering
Oh Yong-seok, a manager of Academic Services, explained, "After the consideration, we finally agreed on the Hanyang Institute of Technology (HIT) to be called as the Engineering College, which had been named during the preparation of the RDEI, even though we found many problems to be called as the HIT." And he explained, "But, Reorganization Plan for Department of Engineering has not been changed. Only the name is changed."
HYU combined the College of Engineering, the College of Architecture and the College of Information and Communications all together into one Engineering college which had been divided into three colleges and had been operated separately until now. It is again divided into four separate colleges with the principles that they will be operated "Separately and/or similarly." That is the key point of reorganization plan. HYU has already included the College of Architecture into the College of Engineering through the change of school regulations on December 19, 2008. Four Engineering colleges are divided through the considerations of the similarity and the future growth power; Architecture Engineering, Electronic Communication and Computer Engineering, Applied Chemical and Biotechnology Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Atomic Industry.
Also professors in the integrated new Engineering College can teach concurrently without any concern on science majors and academic fields to bring up the students of a consilience type talent and various research fields. For example, a professor of Chemical Engineering will serve concurrently in Natural Environment Engineering or Department of Architecture.
Professor Im said, "The basic principle is the independent profit system (self-budget). But, we intend to support more to the out-standing departments after the evaluation on the general and over-all managements." He added, "Of course, the evaluation is fit to the qualitative standards of growth speed and the standards of departments other than the absolute quantity." He plans that all the departments of the Engineering College will grow naturally through a favorable sense of qualitative competition that fits each departments' unique features not through quantitative competition such as the number of thesis or research.
Professor Lee Kang-up was appointed as the Dean of the Architecture Engineering who is famous in urban planning and a western architectural history. Professor Kwon Oh-kyong was appointed as the Dean of Electronic Communications and Computer Engineering who has worked in LG Technology Institute and Texas Instrument in America. Professor Lee Kee-jung was also appointed as the Dean of Applied Chemical and Biotechnology Engineering who has worked more than 10 years at KAIST in Chemical Engineering. The last is Professor Lee Kwan-soo who was appointed as the Dean of Mechanical Engineering and Atomic Industry.
However, the students are against the plan even though the school has strong confidence on the RDEI.
Students' association of the College of Engineering gave a written questionnaire directly to the students on the plan. After collecting the answers on questionnaires, they found students are mainly concerned about the problems of few benefits from integration. They are also mostly unsatisfied with the school's one-sided decision making of reorganization and they want their opinions to be reflected. The students' association of the College of Engineering has said, "We plan to submit a requisition letter about the integration of the Engineering College and request improvement of the education environment."
The College of Architecture is also in the same condition. On October 9, 2008, they submitted a statement of opposition to the RDEI to school. Kim Ji-in, a president of the students' association of the College of Architecture, said, "We had not received any reply or had any discussion about the integration of the Engineering College." she said, "It is true that the students felt repulsed by the school's arbitrary attitudes." They even made a plan to become independent under the name of the College of Architecture in 2010.
About this, Oh Yong-seok, a Manager of Academic Services, said, "I know that the students are worried about the plan because they have not known the details." He also said, "If we explain thoroughly and express the school's strong desire on the plan to the students, I expect they will agree and show a positive reaction to the plan."
However, Kim Jun-soo, a president of the students' association of the College of Information and Communications, wants to hear more detailed views on the RPDEI from school. He said "They have said that if they attract superior new students and improve the efficiency in management, HYU would increase their competitiveness and recover its reputation." And he added, "I think it is not sufficient to increase the Engineering College's competitiveness in comparison to other competing universities after the integration."
Problems of the Integration
The school side also knows an accurate grasp of the problems and inspires the students' spirit and the professors' That is because there are problems of not only the students' worrying about the integration but also each college's conflicting of interests during completing the plan. On December 19, 2007, the school requested the written opinion of each college dean in Department of Engineering in reference to the RDEI. Based on the written opinion, the head of school requested the discussion of reorganization plan for school regulations on June, 2008. However, the university conference decided to reserve their decision and said, "Because, at that time, the school's plan had little explanation about the long-time vision and strategies, we wanted to listen to more responsible letters." Nevertheless, the head of school obtained the approval of the reorganization plan for school regulations about the RPDEI from corporate board of directors, the top level decision organization for agenda, and announced a list of the 2009 pre-entrance requirements for the HYU.
For this reason, the head office received the opposite statement by university conference, professor conference, the College of Architecture, their alumni association, and labor union of personnel. Even the professors of the College of Architecture held to their stance that if the school continues the integration, the professors will quit their jobs. The real root of the problem is that there was a difference between the reorganization plans submitted by Restructuring Committee for Department of Engineering and the head office.
Park Yong-hwan professor, a former dean of the College of Architecture, said, "The agreement made among the College of Architecture, the College of Engineering, the College of Information and Communications was to put six colleges under the College of Engineering." He said, "But the current reorganization plan is not as same as the one we discussed on Restructuring Committee for Department of Engineering."
Moreover, Im Seung-soon, Dean of the Engineering College, mentioned another difficult problem in naming the college after the integration. For example, when the college contains those such as Department of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Urban Planning, the proper name which covers all would be the Department of Construction. However, in that case, the Department of Architecture would not agree with the name.
Also, many students say that they are not satisfied with the integration. Kim Myeong-jin, a sophomore in Information and Communications, said, "If the Engineering College is integrated, Division of Electronics and Computer Engineering should not be divided into the Division of Electrical Communication Engineering and the Division of Computer Engineering." He said, "They are very close and have similar relationship in electronics, communications and computers. So, when we apply to a company, it will have a more reasonable recognition if those two are combined rather than separated."
Kim Yong-gi, a sophomore of Department of Architecture, mentioned about the students' real desire such as the improvements of educational environment. He said, "The students want more investment in superior class facilities and the use of new buildings for the class environment of the students other than the reorganization of the colleges."
Positive Effects of the Integration
In spite of the students' disagreements with the plan and its own problems, some of the students have positive reactions toward the RDEI. Last December, the students' association of the College of Information and Communications carried out the questionnaire about the integration. As a result, 76 percent of the students showed that they are positive. Kim Jun-soo, the president of the students' association of the College of Information and Communications, said "Because the College of Information and Communications has enforced the certification of engineering and the curriculum fits with the College of Engineering, some of the students think positively."
HYU has shown great confidence in the 2009 Reorganization Plan for the Engineering College. HYU aims to be listed in the top 50 world's Engineering Colleges in 2020. For this reason, they will invest a total of 1.43 billion won on the RPDEI and try to reach an internationalized standard for research capabilities of the College of Engineering. It totals more than 60 percent from all the 2.2 billion budget within the College of Engineering in 2008, except the practice fee in research.
Oh Yong-seok, a Manager of Academic Services, said, "We have a plan to invite prominent professors from abroad to secure and to bring the high-class men powers up. The HYU College of Engineering will stand at the center of an Asia research network." He said, "The plan has a significant target to maximize the synergy effects by gathering prominent researchers in one place. We will fix the foundation of self-administration by each college."
Kim Hee-sun, a sophomore of the Department of Architectural engineering, said, "Everyone who is registered in the College wants the school to be developed. Also I expect the RDEI which is effective from 2009 to be successful and hope that through this opportunity, the school would support to make a better class environment."
Perspective of Outsiders on the College of Engineering
The RDEI at HYU became the main subject of a conversation among the Science and Engineering Universities. What do the other universities think about the integration of the HYU Engineering College?
Park Seung-oh, a dean of the College of Engineering at KAIST, expressed his opinion. He said "I think every university has their own system for themselves and does not need to operate in a standardized organizational system by keeping in step with other universities," he added "The department organization of university and college's are the ones that show each university's and college's unique characteristics. The RDEI at the HYU would be the movement of the HYU's developments."
Mutual Relationship Between the HYU and the College of Engineering
Section of Secretaries said, "The integration of the Engineering College at HYU is to keep and develop not only the other branch studies, but also themselves of the College of Engineering at HYU." And he said "There are some possibilities of re-allocation of certain numbers of students to the School of Business, the College of Social Sciences and the College of Humanities after the reduction of fixed numbers at Engineering College. It will be the chance to increase the fixed numbers for the College of Humanities as some of the students demand it." He explained about the influences of the integration plan of the Engineering College to the future of the HYU. He also said "We hope to recover the reputation of the Engineering College which is newly started with the consultation from LG Economic Research Institute from 2009."
Many students gave their opinions with the hope for the successful RDEI on bulletin board at Seoul campus. ID keuleuleuleung wrote "KAIST or POSTECH's principal's object to develop the school is the benefits of new students. The integration of the Engineering College at HYU gives benefits such as the autonomy security of personnel affairs and budgets, and unity of similarly research field. However, if we do not concretely offer to the new students things like a scholarship, the synergy effect would be deficient." He wrote "The benefits for the new students are the proper course to develop."
For the Future of HYU
Recently, according to the book Development of Korea Enterprise after Liberation published by the Division of Economics of Seoul National University, HYU has produced many Chief Executive Officers (CEO) in the forth. This is the result after the first Seoul National University, the second Korea University, the third Yonsei University. HYU has produced many directors as well as CEOs. Especially, HYU also has entrepreneurs graduated from the Engineering College. So, we should try to promote the school? social rank.
Kim Ji-in, a president of the students' association of the College of Architecture, said "I am sure that the RDEI has an effect on the present College of Engineering." And she said "But, nobody knows if it is a new opportunity or crisis. Only I know and I am sure that everyone wants the development of the HYU." She hopes the school knows what the most important things are for the development of the school. She also said "The demands of the students are simple. Students want to be provided with a higher level and quality of classes and educational environment beyond an administrative change."
The integration of the Engineering College is an important plan not only for the school officers but also for the students. The school should explain details exactly to the students with a certain view. Also it will bring the improvement of education standards and improve the research environment of the professors or researchers not just a simple reorganization. The RDEI will take effect on after 2009. The students expect it is the opportunity for the development of HYU.
A Letter from College of Engineering
a dean of College and Graduate School of Engineering at HYU
Hanyang University (HYU) brings on change by reorganizing the College of Engineering. So, we met vice-president, Im Seung-soon professor who was newly appointed, as we want to deliver students opinions to him and to hear his answers with regards to the integration of the Engineering Colleges. Student opinions were collected through Seoul bulletin board of HYU's homepage for five days from October 27 to 31.
Professor Im explained the whole plans in detail rather than answering to the questions of the students in person. How are the College of Engineering's administration affairs to be managed after the integration?
A Principle of the School Affairs' Reorganization
First of all, Professor Im explained the principles of the school affairs' reorganization which many students may need to know at the most. He said, "You know, this plan is to integrate the Engineering Courses of Colleges into one Engineering College. So, the professors under the Department of Architectural Engineering and the professors under the Department of Engineering on the College of Information and Communications will change their position to the College of Engineering. In the case of professors changing their positions, the number of new students to admit is to be allocated to the ratio of total number of professors assigned to the changed College." And he added, "Four departments under the Engineering College also have the separated independent administration system. It will be a foundation for the College to operate independently with a self-administration system."
Divided Bachelor's Degrees in the College of Engineering at HYU
He explained about the conferment of divided bachelor's degrees at four colleges. Except for a Bachelor's Degree of Architecture and a Bachelor's Degree of Information Systems, all students will be conferred a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering.
Professor Im said "We reorganized based on the role-model of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). By adopting the present apprentice system of MIT, we will make one result through participation from experiments and research from the bottom to the top combining professors, students and researchers all in one, instead of merely transferring knowledge from the top to the bottom. For example, the professors will not limit their roles to only lecturing in class or preparing an examination paper, but also making researchers and students do professional tasks by participating in the experiments and research to help professors. In this case, the students and the researchers would be granted the privilege of free tuition or depend on courses to the professors after graduation."
Establishment or Abolition of Departments and Majors
We have also listened to the students who are registered in the College of Engineering, the College of Architecture and the College of Information and Communications including the students who have suspended their studies temporarily.
Professor Im said, "They will maintain their departments and majors but the name of the College of Architecture and the College of Information and Communications will be changed into the College of Engineering. However, when the students alter the school register, they can be conferred by former degree of graduation before change."
He also said, "When the students who have been on the register of the Division of Electronics and Computer Engineering of the College of Engineering before the new school regulations take effect, including the students who are out of school temporarily, they can re-attend or be re-admitted to the Division of Electrical Communication Engineering or the Division of Computer Engineering of the College of Engineering after the consideration only in the case when there are none of the students at relevant grade. When the students who have been registered in the Division of Information and Communications of the College of Information of Communications including absent students, they can re-attend or be re-admitted to the Division of Electrical Communication Engineering or Division of Computer Engineering or Major in Information System of the College of Engineering after the consideration only in the case when there are none of the students at relevant grade. But, when those who entered school before the new school regulations to effect re-attend or be re-admitted to the changed department, they can be conferred by former degree of graduation before change upon their request."
To HYU Students
Professor Im ended his explanations by expressing his thanks to the students and said, "The College of Engineering of HYU celebrates its 70th anniversary next year." He also added, "We will try to be re-born as the strongest and most competitive College of Engineering of HYU in the new era through the collaborations with deans of four colleges rather than holding on to the past glories."
|▲ HYU reorganized based on the role-model of the MIT