KAIST has connotations of academic excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship, but also the launch of large-scale projects. The university often ranks highly among other universities of a similar age.
KAIST was established in February 1971 as Korea Advanced Institute of Science, with a loan given by United States Agency for International Development. The university aimed not only to educate young researchers in science and engineering, but also to provide a solid basis for the development of future higher education institutions in Korea.
Its structure was created by an international team, which included the American electrical engineer and vice-president of Stanford University Frederick Emmons Terman. Unlike other public institutions in South Korea, KAIST has freedom to decide upon its entry requirements and course structure, which gives the university a special status.
Today, KAIST has a rich academic portfolio in disciplines such as physics, mathematics, engineering, humanities and social sciences, business and management. The courses are delivered by 6 colleges and 2 schools, with over 33 divisions. KAIST’s unique institutes include the National NanoFab Center, which conducts research into nano-devices and their potential applications.
KAIST consists of 2 major campuses situated in Daejeon and South Korea’s capital Seoul. They offer over 25 dormitories, 4 libraries and a medical centre. To ensure students are actively engaged in the campus cultural events, the university organises traditional opera and jazz recitals.