“Now is the time for domestic companies to outgrow the perception that they tend to be consumers of talents, and they need to become “prosumers” that can develop and produce talented workers,” said President Lee Jang-mu of Seoul National University (SNU).
“Professors should not only be evaluated based on the number of their theses publicized in basic science papers. Their patents and contribution to industrial-educational cooperation also need to be taken into consideration. This way we can achieve national industry-university cooperation successfully,” said Chairman Lee Gu-taek of POSCO.
The two pointed out that it has been ten years since Korea’s industrial-educational cooperation began, and that due to problems occurred in the process, all parties concerned, including the government, universities, and companies, require a new model and fresh mindsets concerning their cooperation.
Chairman Lee of POSCO stressed, “Korea can no longer compete in the world by copying foreign technologies. Universities have an urgent need to cultivate the brightest and most talented creative minds.” He continued, “For efficient industry-university cooperation, existing assessment standards that appraise professors should be reevaluated.”
Chairman Lee added, “Due to rote learning in universities, students’ problem-solving skills are dramatically lowered. Many university graduates do not even gain sufficient knowledge of the basics, such as computer and language skills.”
“Special-purpose universities running courses that companies desire could be one of the answers to the new cooperative measures between companies and universities. Another way could be that both companies and universities determine subjects of masters’ and doctoral theses, and after their degrees are granted, students can begin work at such companies,” said Chairman Lee.
Meanwhile, President Lee of SNU said, “As many have become aware of the fact that universities are the driving forces behind industrial development, each university is beginning to assess professors according to their contribution to industrial-educational cooperation.”
He said, “Harmony between companies and universities, and between academics, will increase in the near future.” “Seoul National University plans to open ‘The Next Generation Convergence Technology Institute’ next February.”
He went on to say, “School report-oriented college entrance exams cannot identify the creative students that companies want.” He urged, “Universities must be allowed leniency to choose their own students.”
Feb. 7, 2007
SNU NOW / Newsroom