Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)

World University Rankings 2022
Impact Rankings 2022
World Reputation Rankings 2021
25-2 Sungkyunkwan-Ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 561-758, South Korea

About Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)

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 faculty members are 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.

Two Cities, Two Campuses

Seoul – The deep roots of SKKU are so strongly intertwined with Seoul that we cannot describe the university apart from the city.  Seoul is an ancient city that has existed for over two millennia.  Seoul’s architectural history has been carefully preserved to maintain a link between the city of yesterday and the thriving cosmopolitan megalopolis of today.  As the cultural, economic, and political center of the nation, Seoul provides infinite opportunities for discovery and excitement. University students reap the benefits of the city’s resources and are able to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom.

The campus is located inside the original city wall, which defined the boundaries of the old capital during Joseon Dynasty.  It is overlooking Changdeokgung, the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most well preserved royal palace in Korea. Like Seoul, our university grew rapidly, and an expansion was needed to build the modern campus.  When expanding, the science programs were moved to Suwon and the humanities and social sciences programs remained at this campus.

Suwon – Being the capital of Gyeonggi Prefecture in Korea, Suwon is one of the most notable cities that has preserved the traditional beauty of the Joseon Dynasty.  Located 40 km south of Seoul, it is a center for business, education, and economic research, thanks to its proximity to major industrial complexes such as Samsung Digital City, the headquarters of Samsung Electronics.  Today, the city is well known for its stone fortress, Hwaseong, which was built in 1796 during the reign of King Jeongjo to guard the tomb of his father.

SKKU’s modern Natural Sciences Campus was established in Suwon in 1978.  It is accessible via shuttle bus and public transit in a little less than an hour.  When the new campus was built, the idea of a dual campus system was revolutionary in Korean higher education.  Some comprehensive universities located in big cities have tried to meet the need for expansion by founding a separate, usually smaller school in an outstanding rural area.

History of Sungkyunkwan: Over 600 Years of Academic Excellence

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.

Student Success and Future Value

SKKU is dedicated to ensuring each and every one of its graduates have a bright future.  That is why in 2019 its newly inaugurated president, Dr. Dong Ryeol SHIN, put forth the bold new objectives of promoting “Student Success” and providing “Future Value”.  Student Success is a new keyword for SKKU’s educational policies that emphasizes motivating, incentivizing, and aiding students through scholarships, counseling, and new dynamic academic programs, particularly in high-tech and convergent fields driving the fourth industrial revolution.   With this in mind, the University opened the first “Student Success Center” in Korea, held the first “Student Success Forum”, and awarded scholarships for achievements in the areas of research, extracurricular activities, volunteering, communication, globalization, and start-ups.

The concept of Future Value takes Student Success even further.  With the inception and dissemination of revolutionary technologies that are changing humanity and society, such as AI, big data, IoT, and more, SKKU is determined to produce skilled graduates well-versed in these and other important fields.  Future Value means providing students with the skills and opportunities they need to survive and thrive in an ever-advancing era.  This means the creation of convergent programs and research institutes as well as incorporating software and AI education, among other fields, into different unrelated areas to strengthen every SKKU student’s fundamental knowledge and abilities and ultimately have a successful future.

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 and produced 576 patents.  The university was ranked number one in Korea in terms of SCI publications with an average of 0.8 per professor.  The amount of citations per paper was 5.1.  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 5 million USD.

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.

Industry-University Cooperation

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 450 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.

International Network

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 and research collaboration as well as student exchange programs with overseas institutions through its partnership agreements with around 700 international universities in 71 countries worldwide.  Furthermore, to offer various opportunities to SKKU’s students and to establish a global curriculum, the University has dual degree programs with many prestigious universities around the world.  Currently, SKKU is running 40 dual degree programs with partners including MIT Sloan School of Management, Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Nanyang Technological University, UNISINOS, Fudan University, Peking University, the University of Birmingham, and more.

Key Statistics

Number of Students: 25,796 (18,583 undergraduate/7,213 graduate)

Percentage of International Students: 13.9%

Faculty: 4,706 (1,449 full-time/3,257 part-time)

Explore rankings data for Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)

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Key statistics

  • 19.2
    No. of students per staff
  • 19%
    Percentage of International Students
  • 44 : 56
    Student Ratio of Females to Males
  • 23,104
    Number of FTE Students
Based on data collected for the (1) 2022 World University Rankings