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Importance of Indo-Korean Joint Ventures in Education Sector

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
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Education is an essential nation building tool that provides the necessary human resources re­quired to run a state at the bu­reaucratic, technical, teaching, health and management levels. Good edu­cation makes people responsible and serves to bridge gaps of differences.
According to the ‘2011 Knowledge, Net­works and Nation’ report published by The Royal Society of London, the scientific world is becoming increasingly intercon­nected, with international collaboration on the rise. But fast growing scientific nations are collaborating less compared to devel­oped nations.
When countries collaborate in the fields of science, technology, military and so on, the common floor which supports the con­nection is education. With education fea­turing a prominent place in every country’s road map to success, and with increasingly migrating populations, collaboration in the field of education is inevitable.
Already several top educational institu­tions in India and South Korea have estab­lished joint programs in language, business and management studies, not to mention research programs. Such ventures enrich student and faculty experiences, enabling exchange of research findings, enhancing pedagogical approaches and improving use of technology to assist in both teaching and learning.
However, there is a need for greater col­laboration in the areas of scientific research and research in social sciences and humani­ties. To cater to this need, India and South Korea have signed a memorandum of un­derstanding (MoU) which will cover teacher training and enable research opportunities for scholars in various fields.
The MoU was signed during a meeting between a delegation led by Dr. Lee Ju-ho, Minister of Education, Science and Tech­nology, Republic of Korea and Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, India in December 2012.
Focusing on education in different fields, the two countries agreed to the exchange of scholars, teachers, and researchers, while also organizing training programs for teach­ing professionals. This move will facilitate recognition of educational qualifications from one country to the other and will en­able exchange of academic scholarships for higher education.
To make the collaboration effort more ef­fective, several seminars on various topics will be organized, often with the promotion of languages of both countries. There will also be a wider application of information technology and open educational resources like online courses.
As per the understanding a joint work­ing group is expected to be formed that will monitor the implementation of the programs and make sincere efforts to make them consistent and successful.
The Indian Prime Minister, during his March 2012 visit to South Korea, met Presi­dent Lee Myung-bak about the efforts taken to bring Nalanda University in India back to its past glory. The Korean premier promised cooperation in this endeavor.
Hannam University in Korea, based in Daejeon, established the HNU-UN Scholar­ship Program which offers scholarships to students from countries that were part of the UN forces during the Korean War, including India. This program is in appre­ciation of the contribution of nations which supported the democracy and freedom of the Republic of Korea during the war.
India is home to numerous colleges and higher education centers and is attractive to students from numerous countries ow­ing to the affordable fees. Parents in South Korea are keen to educate their children and do not hesitate to send them to India for higher education.
India is a favored destination for learn­ing English among Koreans. Nearly 1,100 students from South Korea are enrolled to study English in 43 schools across India. The high-quality of education delivered at nominal costs compared to the UK or Aus­tralia makes India more attractive. Many institutes of higher education have been ranked among the best science and technol­ogy institutes in Asia.
South Korean parents wishing to start ed­ucation in English earlier for their children often send them to boarding schools in In­dia. South Korean students go to schools in the Himalayan foothills with the same ease as attending residential schools in Chennai in South India. With increasing India-Korea collaboration in technology and infrastruc­ture building, Korean executives find them­selves posted in India. This gives them an opportunity to educate their children in In­dian schools. In cities like Delhi and Gurga­on in North India, Korean kids learn Hindi along with English.
Besides affordability and the offering of ESL (English as Second Language) courses, India’s status as an emerging economic powerhouse is making it attractive for stu­dents from not only South Korea but also the rest of Asia. The good educators and availability of other specialized courses like yoga, music and dance, traditional medi­cine, art and architecture furthers the at­tractiveness of education in India.
In 2010 the Academy of Korean Stud­
ies signed an MoU with Jawaharlal Nehru University in India to encourage academic exchange and research collaboration in Ko­rean language studies. Joint research pro­grams were launched along with exchange of students and researchers. The Indian uni­versity will support the network of Korean studies in South Asia. The MoU marked the first step toward both economic and aca­demic exchanges between India and Korea.
The Academy of Korean Studies is striv­ing to promote economic collaboration and also cooperation in the education sec­tor. The shortfall of high-quality education in India compared to its rapid industrial development can be offset by foreign edu­cational institutes investing in India’s edu­cation system.
Jawaharlal Nehru University established a major in Korean literature way back in 1971 and has since produced more than 300 university graduates majoring in the Korean language. Also over 100 foreign graduates have finished the master’s pro­gram in Korean literature since 1995. Re­search in Korean language studies is the main focus of the MoU between the Acad­emy of Korean Studies and Jawaharlal Ne­hru University.
Seoul National University offers schol­arships to attract Indian students while the English and Foreign Languages Uni­versity (EFLU) in Hyderabad, India offers courses in the Korean language. Also The Korean Foundation provides scholarships to Indian students who wish to study sci­ences and/or humanities in South Korea. Established by the South Korean National Assembly, this independent organization, which is affiliated with the Korean Minis­try of Foreign Affairs, promotes academic and cultural exchange programs.
Importance of Collaboration in Education Sector
Research benefits, knowledge and skills tend to multiply with sharing and exchange. Not only in science but also in other educational areas, collaboration ini­tiatives also enhance domestic prosperity and hasten achievements by synergizing expertise and experience. Changes in the world economy further highlight the im­portance of collaboration in education. Joint research programs and other activi­ties form the educational collaboration priorities in national agendas of many countries.
Both India and South Korea look for­ward to leveraging each other’s experienc­es and enhancing teaching, learning and research to break intellectual deadlocks. When universities join hands students get to interact with foreign students and fac­ulty, discuss and exchange ideas, thereby nurturing growth. They also get to study courses not available in their own country. The collaborative activities help the stu­dents, the universities, governments and higher education sectors.

Education plays an important part in creating employable citizens and in devel­oping skilled workforces. India and Korea can come together to develop curricula and design teaching styles for helping entrepre­neurial and creative learners.
To enhance employability and entrepre­neurship among people, the government and educational institutions should cre­ate platforms for the healthy exchange of ideas. Expertise in scientific and technologi­cal capabilities encompassing engineering should be exchanged between government agencies, the private sector, and in academ­ic institutions.
Education in basic sciences, space, en­ergy, nanotechnology, health and informa­tion technology are critical for both coun­tries. Indo-Korean strategic partnership in education should kick off a tradition of educational exchanges with joint scholar­ship programs awarding Korean and Indian students desirous of doing higher studies in the other country. Better university link­ages and support for junior faculty develop­ment are also required.
The Indo-Korea Research and Deploy­ment Initiative will enhance innovation, facilitate joint research and scientific ex­changes while enabling the sharing of inno­vation and improving deployment policies in the education field. Private sector com­panies can also play a crucial role in this initiative.
Information and Communication Tech­nologies (ICT) can be leveraged to the maxi­mum to design and launch distance learn­ing programs. Joint leadership development programs for senior university members and dual-degree programs will enrich stu­dent life in universities in both countries.
Globalization in its true sense can be ex­perienced by students if a global dimension is incorporated in the learning experience. Students will gain experience in living and working in foreign nations, making them more tolerant to foreign cultures and their ways of life

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