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New year's Greetings for 2018 2018.01.02

Respected members of Yonsei,


The New Year of 2018, the year of the Golden Dog, has dawned. We wish you and your family health and happiness by the grace of God.


Two years have already passed since my inauguration as President. During this time, we have implemented various policies to prepare for the future of the “Age of Hyper-uncertainty.” Yonsei University’s mission is to transform into a university that will lead the next 100 years. The 10 tasks we plan to accomplish by 2020 thus the “10by20 (Ten by Twenty) Agenda” are the directions that Yonsei will take in moving forward.


Yonsei University is developing its curriculum in order to nurture talent that is needed by future society. If a smart person was needed in industrial society, an empathic person with good character is required in the future. In order to cultivate these talents, Yonsei is breaking down the barriers of the traditional classroom and educating empathy skills in students so they can understand the pain and difficulties of others. In this light, the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies generously donated 10 billion KRW to create a foundation for innovative educational initiatives, including humanistic education, peer learning, and problem solving.


Creativity is another talent needed for future society. Yonsei provided students the opportunity to debate freely and show their hidden creativity through the Yonsei-Nexon √i RC Creative Platform, and the results were amazing. Yonsei supported teams of students from different majors to develop ideas. Since the platform launch in 2017, 69 teams were created and 26 teams produced innovative results, including the campus shuttle bus reservation system and emergency evacuation application. We plan to begin the OT2 (“One Team One Task”) program, where students from diverse majors are trained through convergent teamwork to intervene actively in solving social issues.


The creativity of students is an essential element of start-ups. “Y-Valley” is the live ecosystem area located in the heart of Yonsei- Samsung Library, where we help students create innovative ideas. Last year, Yonsei opened 32 entrepreneurship support courses and 1,431 students attended. 351 students are actively participating in 49 start-up clubs. To spread the entrepreneurship culture of Yonsei together with the local community, we are operating “Seoul Startup Café” in the underground walkway in front of the main gate.


Innovative education and outstanding research are the two most important missions of Yonsei University. We have been making efforts to further strengthen our research performance. We have launched the Yonsei Frontier Lab (YFL) to expand international collaborative research by promoting diverse initiatives, such as inviting special professors and researchers with exceptional research accomplishments. YFL will be a window for Yonsei to communicate with the world through international joint research. In addition, we have significantly expanded our research support funding for new faculty by four-fold.


We strongly believe that Yonsei University's future lies in convergence research. It is for this reason that we are promoting the "Yonsei Science Park," where various fields of study can converge, ranging from medicine, life science, science and engineering, to humanities and social sciences. Yonsei Science Park, an industry-academic-industrial complex, has been established at the Yonsei International Campus to build an innovative industry-academic R&D ecosystem. We are also discussing various cooperation initiatives, such as launching a joint research institute with POSTECH. The School of Pharmacy has already been selected for the pharmaceutical industry specialization program and is also undergoing a project to build a new drug research institute that will remunerate contributions to Yonsei after a certain period of time.


In the future, universities will be given a new role to contribute in solving issues of the global society. As a first step, we opened the Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment to reciprocate the love Yonsei has received back to the regional, social, national, and global community. Yonsei will be born as an “Engaged University” that passionately participates in solving problems in our society and around the world by connecting the intellectual, human, and material resources of the university and the Yonsei University Health System. We will practice the spirit of sharing, caring, sympathy, and service of Christian values that our founders have long ago practiced, all over the world.


In reflection of this spirit, the Yonsei family has continued to bestow great love upon our students this last year. The Office of the Chaplain launched a Lunch Sharing Program where 729 donors have joined to sponsor lunches for 319 students last semester. Our students received more than just a meal; they received the love of their neighbors. We will provide create even more opportunities, such as support for living expenses, for our underprivileged students.


Yongin Dongbaek Severance Hospital, which is currently under construction with a planned opening in 2020, is a medical institution that will feature advanced medical technology and information technology system. It will serve as a new regional hospital for Yongin as well as the southern area of Gyeonggi province. In addition, Yongin Yonsei Medical Complex will be built in partnership with Yongin city as a mast complex area of 200,600 m2 (63,214 pyung) equipped with cutting-edge industries such as IT and BT, and educational, research, and residential facilities. Qingdao Severance Hospital is also under construction in China with a goal of opening in the second half year of 2021.


The Wonju Campus’ prominent progress has also been remarkable. It has been selected for several highly competitive government-funded projects, including ACE+, LINC+, and HK+, securing annual research funds that total 7.9 billion KRW. These impressive achievements will help us dramatically improve our educational environment by providing innovative undergraduate education, promoting focused cutting-edge research, expanding industry-academic cooperation, and enlarging the Justice Hall building. In addition, Yonsei will provide a medical provider for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. Our faculty and staff will provide medical services throughout the official grounds, from the polyclinic of the athlete’s village to the International Broadcasting Center (IBC) and Main Press Center (MPC).


Respected Yonseians!


Our endless advancement towards the betterment of the future will continue in the New Year. The soon-to-be-launched Institute for Higher Education Innovation will provide the theoretical and practical foundation to revamp our curriculum and educational contents. The Institute for Higher Education Innovation, along with the Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment which opened last year, will pave the path Yonsei will take in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


In addition, we will dramatically increase the number of Flipped Classroom courses this year through Adobe's one-person media system. By first taking the lecture online and then holding discussions in the classroom, our students will learn how to think creatively and critically, as well as acquire wisdom to suggest alternative options. We will thus cultivate Yonseians who can make a difference in society, rather than training cynical intellectuals.


In the New Year, we will devote our efforts and financial resources to enhance Yonsei’s research performance. We will create a research support system that minimizes administrative burdens. Also, we will promote international joint research by providing one-stop administration service and research support funds to departments that establish strategic partnerships with strong corresponding departments in foreign universities. We will implement a “College Deans Special Support Project” so deans can conscientiously promote research that reflects the academic characteristics of the department. In addition, we will acknowledge researchers in the top 20% of research performance and prepare a more substantial compensation system for them. I am open and willing to implement any proposal that can raise our research capability.


This year, Yonsei will also construct new buildings and commence renovation projects. IBS Pavilion will open shortly and Underwood Memorial Hall will be newly renovated soon. We will also begin construction to transform the second basement level parking space of Underwood Theology Hall into a study café. We will also begin reconstruction of Miwu Hall into a 10-story building with two underground floors. We also plan to open the “Yun Dong-ju Literature Garden” surrounding the Yun Dong-ju Memorial Stone to share his poetic soul with those who visit the garden grounds.


Our devoted Yonseians!


We hope to create a “university that respects others and receives respect”, where the administration and university members communicate with each other without hierarchy and in accordance with our middle-up-down policy. A large organization like Yonsei cannot be led by its administration office alone. We all must work together. The future development of Yonsei University depends solely on the cooperation of its students, alumni, faculties and staff members.


Yonseians, I trust we will continue to give our best efforts in 2018. I send you my compassion, my gratitude, and my respect.


We are all part of the Yonsei family! We wish you all well and may the grace of God be with you and your families.