University of Pennsylvania Announces MOU With Seoul National University

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | | 215-898-6460
Media Contact:Laura Cavender | | 202-415-9881May 23, 2011

SEOUL, KOREA –- In a ceremony today at Seoul National University (SNU), the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and SNU announced an agreement recognizing shared academic interests between the two universities. The memorandum of understanding builds on school and program partnerships already in place, and will allow the universities to explore further collaborative research projects and other academic activities.

"Penn and Seoul National University share a devotion to the pursuit of knowledge across academic boundaries and national borders,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann, who signed the agreement with SNU President Yeon-Cheon Oh. "We are pleased to partner with Korea’s oldest national university and one of its most eminent, and to build on the many successful faculty and academic partnerships we already share.”

Penn and SNU faculty are collaborating this week on a number of academic engagements, including a symposium, “Korea: From Historical and International Perspectives,” which brings together experts from both universities on the region. Contemporary Korea is the intersection point for the discussions, and Penn faculty members Jacques DeLisle, Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law and Director of the Center for East Asian Studies, and Eugene Y. Park, Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History and Director of the Korea Studies Program, will participate in a panel moderated by Penn School of Arts and Sciences Dean Rebecca Bushnell.

On May 24, faculty from Penn’s School of Dental Medicine will participate in the Penn Global Oral Health Symposium at SNU. Dean Denis Kinane and professors Syngcuk Kim, Dana Graves, Yan Yuan, and Kelly Jordan-Sciutto will participate in academic sessions on public and oral health.

The Republic of Korea represents the third-largest country of origin for international students at Penn—comprising roughly 11 percent of all international students at the University. More than 1,100 alumni currently reside in Korea, and during 2010-11, Penn had 543 students (graduate and undergraduate) from there.

Seoul National University has been one of Penn’s key partners in Asia over the last decade. Students and faculty from both universities have participated in exchanges and conducted research with one another. Alumni have joined the standing faculty of both institutions. Currently, Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and School of Dental Medicine have formal agreements with SNU.  Penn’s Wharton School also has an informal relationship with SNU’s Graduate School of Business.

Penn’s College of Arts and Sciences most recently signed an agreement for the exchange of undergraduate students and its Korean Studies Program has collaborated on a summer abroad program.  Through this partnership, the institutions will offer a two-part summer program for 10-25 Penn undergraduates, in which students will participate in internships with multinational corporations, government agencies, think tanks, and lawmakers in Korea.

The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League institution with a distinctive past. Founded in the 18th century by Benjamin Franklin, Penn has a longstanding reputation for excellence in graduate and professional education, with a number of its 12 schools ranked at or near the top of their fields. The University is located in Philadelphia on an attractive urban campus that serves a diverse, 20,000-member student body from around the nation and the world.

Founded in 1898, Seoul National University is Korea's first national university, committed to public service and democracy. The mission of Seoul National University in the twenty-first century is to create a vibrant intellectual community where students and scholars join together in building the future. As Korea's leading research university, SNU is committed to diversifying its student body and faculty, fostering global exchange, and promoting path-breaking research in all fields of knowledge.