ON THE STREET, the excitement and controversy surrounding the recent London Olympic Games continues. The steaming summer heat provided students with a good excuse to get away to the cool of the beach and the mountains over the break, but some industrious students spent their vacation getting more deeply involved in academics and society. The Yonsei Annals was there to get the lowdown on their efforts during July and August.
Yonsei International Summer School: A Global Village on Campus
The Yonsei International Summer School hosted 1,400 students this year from all over the globe. Founded in 1985, this summer program has grown steadily, and today it stands as the biggest program in Korea for hosting international students, with over 100 courses on offer in nine fields of study. In addition to the lectures, there were numerous field trips to attractions such as the Yeosu Expo, Suncheon Bay, and Jeonju Hanok Village that provided students with the opportunity to learn about Korean culture, environmental protection, and technology. Through such cultural aspects of the program, students were given an enviable chance to gain a better understanding of Korean culture. Thanks to this blend of academics and cultural experiences, the YISS program has grown so popular that the number of applicants to the program far outweighs the number of available spots. But students hoping to enter the program next summer need not despair; the university administration has promised to expand educational and housing capacities so that more students can enjoy their summer studying at YISS.
GLAD International High Schoolers
The Graduate School of International Studies has been hosting the Global Leaders and Dreams (GLAD) program since 2010 for high school students of all nationalities. This year the program was hosted by the Underwood International College (UIC), with 267 students from ten different national backgrounds joining the two sessions of the program: the first commencing July 16th and the second on July 23rd. Also, participating in the program for the first time this summer were students from Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. The English-language program ran for five days and centered on three main themes: leadership achievement, academic development, and special projects. Celebrated guests, such as Mr. Ka-Fa Wong, Programme Officer at UN-ESCAP (UN Eco and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), were invited to give lectures on diverse subjects ranging from leadership to successful self-growth.
Debates on major academic issues
Course retake policy is a significant issue to not only students but also to the administration. With a long ongoing rumor on how the grading system may change in future, Yonsei University's academic department has decided to step in and answer questions in a debate session that lasted 100 minutes on August 20, 2012. Among the attendants were the representatives from the Academic Support Department, Learning Center, student council, and other students. The student council put forth questions on topics ranging from course retake policy to objective grading system. The answers the school gave were mainly based on the future prospect of Yonsei University's status as a prestigious world-class university, and the officials from the school emphasized that decisions made now could set new standards for other major Korean universities in the future. The core objective of the discussion was not to clearly pronounce yes or no, but to value student opinion and frankly respond to the inquiries students possessed. The school board's current opinion was that the course retake policy had to be revised, specifically the amendment established on 2010 that gave unlimited opportunities for retaking courses. While students were concerned about the abrupt change and its possible effects, the head of the academic department assured that any change to the policy would be applied to next freshmen. In the opening of the session, there was huge tension between the school and the students since their opinions greatly differed, but both sides later agreed that there must be some kind of reform to the current course retake policy. However, the two sides could not reach a concrete agreement on the issue. The academic department ended the session with a promise that there would be more specific outlines by September. Meanwhile, other topics introduced in the panel such as course drops and 4000 level courses did not have much place within the session, as these policies were yet to be implemented or out of interest. There was no further information on the exact date of the possible next session.