This year, Lyceum, the Politics and Economics Society at Division of International Studies (DIS), invited all students at Hanyang University (HYU) to participate in its newly established English essay/ presentation competition. Lyceum differentiated its essay competition from other contests by discussing one of the United Nationʼs (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 4.3: by 2030, which ensures equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including the university. More specifically, students were to write on the fairness of Koreaʼs “English Talent for University Admission”, a very popular topic for ongoing debate.
Kim So-yun, Former President of Lyceum, revealed, “The idea for the essay competition first came up during a discussion with a DIS professor, John McGuire, who suggested to have a student conference, where members of the society can freely debate on a topic.” She also added, “In the process of promoting more participation, the conference turned into a competiton with prize for winners.”
As already mentioned, the competition was open for all students at HYU, including students taking the semester off and exchange students. Students had the choice to enter as individuals, or at maximum, groups of three. The steps of the competition were as following: registration, essay submission, and presentation. Only four of the top scoring essays got the chance to present their ideas, which finalized the results. Along with certificate from the headmaster of DIS, the first place team received 600,000 won, second place 400,000 won, and two third places 200,000 won each with funding from the DIS professor, Min Byung-cheol.