Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University and top Korean university agree to strengthen ties and create new academic program

  • Nov. 8, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Graduate School of Public Administration at Seoul National University have agreed to a history-making partnership that will give students and faculty new opportunities for research and study.

The institutions will offer a dual Masters in Public Affairs degree that would involve students taking courses either online or in person at the campuses in Bloomington and Seoul. It is the first such degree offered by GSPA, the home of public administration studies in South Korea.

"I am pleased that the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Seoul National University have created this outstanding opportunity for students," Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie said. "This collaboration brings together two of the world’s top schools of public affairs and is the latest example of Indiana University’s strong and growing ties in that region. The dual degree program builds on Indiana University’s strong, productive engagements with top universities in South Korea and around the world."

Work on the collaboration began four years ago when McRobbie and SPEA’s David Reingold and Roy Shin visited Seoul National University. The effort will culminate with the admission of the first students in the fall of 2014.

"The agreement marks a new beginning for GSPA, and it is hoped that students will take advantage of the collaborative venture between the two schools," GSPA Dean Junki Kim said. "GSPA has been the center of public administration studies in Korea since 1959. For more than 50 years, we have produced prominent leaders in the public sector as well as distinguished scholars. We have no doubt that SPEA students will also benefit from our new effort to produce world-class leaders in public administration and public policy."

Kim said GSPA students who earn the dual degree will be uniquely qualified to work in Korea’s government and business sectors or in the international political economy.

"SPEA students will have the advantage of unique insight into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies," said Reingold, SPEA’s executive associate dean. "We’re excited to be part of this partnership with an outstanding university and look forward to welcoming its students to our campus."

Reingold and Kim signed the agreement at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., at the annual conference of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration. The partnership is just one of the most recent examples of IU’s efforts to strengthen its ties in China, India, Vietnam, Korea and neighboring nations. 

"IU has, for many years, partnered with leading institutions of higher education in South Korea to expand opportunities for student exchanges and facilitate research collaborations among our respective faculty," said David Zaret, IU’s vice president for international affairs. "The new dual degree program with Seoul National University strengthens our longstanding partnership and opens a significant academic opportunity for our students. With the resulting cross-cultural exchange of knowledge and ideas, students will enhance their understanding of public affairs in a broader international context."

That global context is a key, according to Shin. An effective advocate for closer connections between IU and Pacific Rim nations, he is a professor emeritus at SPEA and a special advisor to McRobbie on global partnerships. Shin had previously arranged internship opportunities for SPEA students with the Seoul municipal government.

"The partnership forged between the IU-SPEA and Seoul National University presents a unique opportunity for our students to meet and network with fellow institutions' distinguished alumni and faculty who are passionate about putting their education into action," Shin said. "Many of the graduates from the two institutions are engaged in transformative projects with global partners and playing the leading role in their governments and the world community. They include former presidents, present and past prime ministers and chief justices, as well as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon."

IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel is scheduled to visit Seoul in December and meet with GSPA officials. At that time, she is also expected to reconfirm IU’s participation in cooperative agreement with Seoul National University.

About the School of Public and Environmental Affairs

SPEA was founded in 1972 and is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2012 "Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News and World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation's highest-ranked professional graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Four of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings. SPEA's doctoral programs in public affairs and public policy are also ranked by the National Research Council as among the top 2 in the nation. In addition to Seoul National University, SPEA has agreed to academic collaborations with universities in Hong Kong and Thailand.

About the Graduate School of Public Administration at Seoul National University:

GSPA was founded in 1959 and has more than 4,000 alumni, including many serving in prominent positions in Korea’s government. It is one of nine professional graduate schools at Seoul National University, which has 28,000 students and more than 5,000 faculty members and was Korea’s first national university.

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Sukwon Lee, left, of Seoul National University, and SPEA Executive Associate Dean David Reingold sign the agreement.

Sukwon Lee, left, of Seoul National University, and SPEA Executive Associate Dean David Reingold sign the agreement.

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Media Contacts

Jim Hanchett

  • School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Office 812-856-5490
  • jimhanch@indiana.edu