On November 18, the POSCO TJ Park Foundation presented scholarship awards, encouraging the work of 28 Asian scholars at the POSCO Center in Seoul.
Over 100 people attended the award ceremony, including the POSCO TJ Park Foundation’s CEO, Ohjoon Kwon; 12 university-related executives including Sogang University Chairman Byungnam Yoon, Yonsei University International Campus Vice President Kyungtae Lee and KDI School of Public Policy and Management Dean Hongtack Chun. Fourteen directors of the Foundation were also present, including former Seoul National University President Joongho Sunwoo, Barun Law Attorney Ilhoan Park, Yonsei University Honorary Professor Bok Song, Seoul National University Professor Hokeun Song, Samchully Chairman Joonho Han and Samil PwC Chairman Kyungtae Ahn, along with 53 Asian scholars.
The scholarship for Asian students studying in Korea is an inbound scholarship supporting young and talented individuals from developing Asian countries to complete master’s or doctoral courses at approximately ten of the most prestigious graduate schools in Korea.
The POSCO TJ Park Foundation selected a total of 28 people as POSCO Asia Fellows this year: 9 from Vietnam, 3 from Indonesia, 3 from China, 2 from Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Kazakhstan, and 1 from Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran, India and Malaysia.
These scholars will study for two years at institutions in cooperation with the Foundation, such as the Seoul National University Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS), the Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Administration, Yonsei University GSIS, Korea University GSIS, Sogang University GSIS, Ewha Womans University GSIS, KDI School of Public Policy and Management, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Graduate School of International and Area Studies, POSTECH Graduate School and the Academy of Korean Studies. The Foundation provides full tuitions and living expenses of 1 million KRW a month for two years.
“Asia is the most rapidly growing and dynamic region in the world today, but it’s also scattered with more and more ethnic, religious, ideological and territorial conflicts,” remarked CEO Ohjoon Kwon while delivering words of encouragement at the ceremony.
“The POSCO TJ Park Foundation’s POSCO Asia Fellowship is POSCO’s effort in the private sector to broaden the scope of interaction and cooperation among Asian countries. We hope that, despite our different appearances and thoughts, all the scholars value the sense of cooperation for the joint prosperity of Asia.”
CEO Kwon’s speech was followed by a presentation titled “Growing My Dream with Korea” by Feruza, an Uzbekistan native who is currently an economics major at the Graduate School of Korean Studies of the Academy of Korean Studies. She discussed how she felt and thought of her experience in Korea so far. Moreover, all of the scholars sang a Korean pop song in unison, which they had rehearsed over the last month, receiving applause and a fervent response from the audience.
Furthermore, the POSCO TJ Park Foundation is providing all kinds of support for the convenience of the scholars during their stay in Korea, in addition to the award ceremony hosted by the Chairman for the scholars. A mentor-mentee program is offered for fellows who just came to Korea to help them with issuing the certificates and signing contracts for studio apartments.
Programs are also provided for them to experience society and culture in Korea. Learning the Korean language is also made mandatory so that they can comfortably speak basic Korean during the two years of their stay. Once they are about to return to their homeland after their studies, a conference will be hosted for the students to present their research papers to share the two years of their academic achievements, which will be a fruitful experience for them.
The POSCO Asia Fellowship, which is celebrating its 11th anniversary this year, has provided 12.3 billion KRW to a total of 324 scholars. Most of the scholars are growing into leaders in their home countries after graduation, working as public servants, college professors or employees at global corporations. Furthermore, POSCO Asia Fellows are also running and supporting the POSCO Reunion. Past examples include reunions at Vietnam in 2011, Thailand in 2014, Indonesia in 2015 and India in 2016.
As the core program of the Foundation, the POSCO Asia Fellowship consists of a total of five programs: 1) a scholarship for Asian students studying in Korea, 2) an Asia research grant that supports research by Asian scholars on the liberal arts and social sciences, 3) an Asia regional expert training for in-depth research on the Asian region, 4) scholarship for excellent Asian universities and 5) publication of the first Asian literary journal.