Sometimes an outside opinion helps when doing a little soul-searching. This year and last, Seoul National University benefited from two comprehensive external reviews of two different schools, both of which lauded the colleges for some impressive achivements as well as giving a few gentle suggestions for future improvements.
Earlier this year, a two-month outside audit praised SNU's School of Mechanical and Aerospce Engineering for its competitiveness with the world's top ten"in terms of faculty productivity in scientific publications, graduate degreess produced, student quality, and research/education facilities." We can't help but be pleased that other people have noticed that we've got some of the best people around - from 18 year old first year undergrads to freshly hired researchers and hoary old professors. Electical and biomedical engineering were singled out respectively for being number one for schools in countries with less than 100 million in population and for being number one in the Asia Pacific region. The assessors also concluded that the School of Engineering can be rated as comparable to the top schools in the U.K. and the U.S.A. in research performance and support.
Similarly, last year, a group of independant evaluators found SNU's School of Natural Sciences to be comparable to the top twenty American university departments. In particular, the review empahsized the impressive capabilities of young professors and undergraduates as well as giving high marks to teaching methodologies. A look at the number of SNU scholars cited in the Science Citation INdex also resulted in a top twenty finish.
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