The University of Seoul was founded in 1918 as Kyung Sung Public Agricultural College. It places a strong emphasis on environmental engineering, urban planning, taxation science, transport and landscape engineering.
In addition, the university offers vocational courses. The institution is one of the most prestigious in the country and associates itself with the ideals of liberal education, peace-keeping and democracy-building.
The university campus includes more than 220 buildings spreading over more than 4 million square meters. Luckily there is an app that helps students get their heads round the immense campus.
Mostly funded by the state, the University of Seoul has a culture of social involvement. Students regularly get involved in volunteering and social work. As a result, the Social Welfare Center on the main campus assists the needs of more than 100,000 senior citizens and disabled people per year.
The university encourages social engagement by offering a yearly Service to Society Award to a faculty member committed to helping others.
The university has formed many of South Korea’s political and cultural personalities. Notable alumni in politics include Ahn Cheol-soo, founder of security software provider Ahnlab; UN ex-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Korea’s 1988 Prime Minister Lee Hyun-jae; South Korea’s former president Kim Young-Sam; and minister of foreign affairs between 2008 and 2010, Yu Myung-hwan.
Alumni in arts, academia and culture include authors Yangji Lee, Kim Chi-Ha, Kim Seungok; film directors Jo Sung-hee, Jang Sun-woo and Min Kyu-dong; painter Oh Junggeun and Lee Ufan; architects Kim Swoo Geun and Min Hyun Sik and others.
The University of Seoul gives yearly prizes to an alumnus to honour outstanding achievements.