Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) is a world-class institution of higher education that has existed for more than six centuries. Since its founding as a royal Confucian academy in 1398 at the dawn of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), SKKU has demonstrated strong academic leadership. Contemporary SKKU has embraced globalization and emerged as a leading university in Asia and the world. In fact, SKKU actively encourages international collaboration through exchange of faculty and students, and the development of cutting-edge research and educational programs with its global partners.
The name “Sungkyunkwan” is synonymous with both tradition and innovation. The literal meaning of the university’s name is, “An institution for building a harmonious society of enlightened human beings.” The founding philosophy of Sungkyunkwan was needed in the past just as much as it is needed in today’s technologically advanced society. The university’s full-time faculty of more than 1,400 is committed to quality teaching and research; offering students a challenging environment for intellectual and personal growth.
As the oldest university in East Asia and Korea’s top higher educational institution for centuries, Sungkyunkwan generated countless graduates that shaped the nation’s history and culture. SKKU's motto, “Su-Gi-Chi-In”, which means “Benevolence, Righteousness, Propriety, Wisdom”, teaches that the university’s students should strive to improve themselves and contribute to society. This ideology is the fundamental principle by which the university has fostered so many influential leaders, thus contributing to the development of Korean society. SKKU aims to educate future global leaders equipped with these essential values so that it will further contribute to the advancement of all of humanity. Sungkyunkwan University continuously integrates its founding philosophy with modern technology in order to cultivate talented individuals capable of leading society into a brighter future.
New Challenge Project for VISION 2020+
Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) is currently carrying out its “New Challenge Project” which has five divisional strategies: Educational Innovation, Faculty/Research Development, Academic-Industrial Cooperation, Brand Power, and Management Innovation. These are designed to lead global issues and create positive change in the university and society. The name “New Challenge Project” suggests the specific plans of action for SKKU’s Vision 2020+, the purpose of which is entering into the top 10 ranked universities in Asia and top 50 ranked universities in the world.
Global Leading University, SKKU
The results of Sungkyunkwan University’s innovation and effort can be seen in several objective indexes. The number of students per full-time professor and the percentage of full-time professors are each 21.3 and 101.14%, which is the highest among Korea’s private universities. Furthermore, the university has achieved a 231.2% total educational restitution rate which exceeded the national average of 116.6%. SKKU had the highest employment rate among the 4-year universities of Korea with a rate of 68.3% last year.
SKKU had 5,275 publications last year, an amount that has steadily increased year after year. The university was ranked number one in Korea in terms of SCI publications with an average of 0.8 per professor. The amount of paper citations per international thesis was 8.53 and there were 317 paper citations in the top 1% of theses, which means that they were not only quantitatively high, but also showed high qualitative results. SKKU earned high acclaim as an “outstanding” institution, which is the highest ranking among the 85 universities in the Leaders in INdustry-university Cooperation (LINC) evaluation. The income generated by technological transfer was last year was 33 million USD, another amount that has continued to increase each year.
Global SKKU with SAMSUNG
SKKU-Samsung Customized Partnership
Since Samsung Group partnered with the university, remarkable progress has been made thanks to Samsung-style management know-how. Such close cooperation between the university and an industrial partner has allowed for significant developments aided by Samsung’s generous support. Samsung has thus been able to steadily acquire qualified personnel while SKKU has made every effort to create a leading model of industry-university cooperation that will help attract talented students as well as develop further collaboration in Korea. SKKU and Samsung currently manage 110 joint research projects, allowing students the chance to work for one the world's top companies.
SKKU has created a strong academic-industrial foundation by expanding and reorganizing the research institutes within the school and building a cooperation system based on strong research abilities. In addition, the Sungkyun Advanced Institute of Nano Technology (SAINT) and the Sungkyun Interfaculty Collaboration Center were established to promote convergence education between departments and research. For this purpose, many research and education teams such as Future Nano Science Education and ICT Convergence Facility Administrative Education are receiving 6,840,000 USD in funding. Also, the Faculty of Engineering is running a business team for nurturing specialists that have practical abilities and a deep understanding of materials.
To strengthen academic-industrial engagement, SKKU has recruited former executives who worked at companies as professors exclusively appointed for industry-university cooperation. The assessment of professors was also changed from a quantitative evaluation to a differentiated assessment method that considers technology transfer and job creation. As a result, Sungkyunkwan University has attained 329.4 billion KRW in research funding, which has increased significantly since 2010 when it was at 219.9 billion won.
Sungkyunkwan University is also reinforcing industry-university links. SKKU, together with the Korean Government, opened the Grand ICT Research Center in Pangyo Techno Valley where 80,000 venture entrepreneurs are gathered. The Grand ICT Research Center runs consortiums in various research areas such as intelligent ICT convergence and convergence software development with the university as well as enterprises by operating the Graduate school of Convergence. Through this, Sungkyunkwan University is creating a hub to handle the development of new technologies, transfer of technology, and creation of patents which are all directly connected to business ventures.
As one of Korea’s most prestigious higher education institutions, Sungkyunkwan University discovered the importance of having a global presence early on. SKKU is reinforcing the links between overseas universities to achieve its objective of generating creative global leaders in the era of internationalization. SKKU has academic exchange programs with overseas institutions and partnership agreements with 705 universities in 73 countries worldwide. To offer various opportunities to our students and to establish a global curriculum, SKKU is expanding its dual degree program with many prestigious universities all around the world. Currently, SKKU is running 33 dual degree programs with partners including MIT’s Schools of Engineering and Business, Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Fudan University, Peking University, and the University of Birmingham.
Sungkyunkwan was originally established by royal decree to promote Confucian scholarship. As the nation’s primary source of political and academic leadership for so many years, Sungkyunkwan went through many vicissitudes with the country it served. It would be misleading, however, to view the university merely in the context of its pre-modern history. What the university has achieved in the past 50 years meets and exceeds that of the 500 years preceding our current century.
After the Korean War, and the emergence of the Republic of Korea, Sungkyunkwan underwent a renaissance as a private university. As Korea modernized and underwent social and economic reforms, the university grew to address the diverse demands of the rapidly developing country. Though a long history alone cannot guarantee the excellence of an institution, the rich culture emanating from SKKU’s heritage is a unique and valuable characteristic.
In addition, SKKU takes pride in its innovative spirit. As a result of extensive effort to place the university’s engineering and science capabilities on an equal footing with its strong foundation in humanities, SKKU operates two campuses: The Humanities and Social Sciences Campus in Seoul and the Natural Sciences Campus 34 kilometers south in Suwon. Since 1996, the university has been continuously developing and prospering due to a highly successful partnership with Samsung, which has generously funded several core initiatives.