Tuesday, July 17, 2007

No more North Korean studies at Kwandong

In an article titled, "North Korean Studies Unpopular", the Korea Times, well, discusses just that.
I was surprised that only six universities actually have or had a North Korean studies department and that the oldest was established in 1994. I guess history or Korean studies departments at other universities cover most of the same material.

My university is, or was, one of the six. It apparently closed the department last year although the last cohort of students are still completing their program. I had four third-year students from the North Korean Studies department in a class this year, spring semester.

The article states, "Also, Kwandong University, which is located in Gangwon Province, gave up the studies last year because the school has failed to meet the admission quota over the last few years."
I am unclear on what that means as I felt we exceeded our admission quota in the last few years. Perhaps the NK Studies department (I took 'school' in the article to mean university) is under quota.

Chosun University abolished the department a year after its establishment because it could not guarantee jobs for graduates.

I didn't know universities were expected to guarantee jobs.

My students were interested in working in the military and in politics, which would make the degree at least somewhat useful.

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