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SNU to Create Multicultural Education Center  

Jan 25, 2007

Seoul National University plans to build a research center for multicultural education by the end of this year.

The center will study the educational problems faced by mixed-race children and develop special curriculum for them, said Cho Young-dal, dean of the College of Education at the university.

All College of Education students are expected to join the effort and four different divisions will be created by a board of directors and an advisory board, Cho said.

The plans were first initiated last year and the university has already conducted joint research with the Education Ministry and investigated the current challenges facing families with multicultural backgrounds.

According to Pearl S. Buck International, there are about 35,000 mixed-race individuals living in Korea. About 15 percent of all newborns in Korea are from mixed marriages and the figure is likely to double by 2020, officials at the foundation said.

The new research center will also evaluate the current education programs designed for those children and translate Korean textbooks and learning materials into a variety of different languages, such as English, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese and Thai.

An online counseling center to assist mixed-blood family members will be created and volunteer programs to help the families will also be considered, university officials said.

"It is quite evident that our society is becoming a multicultural society today and education of children with multicultural backgrounds is rising as an important issue more than ever before because different cultures are being combined," Cho said."This center will conduct the needed research using an organized system."

Many college students welcomed SNU's decision.

Jan. 25, 2007