Ajou News

NEW Ajou University President Choi holds meetings with UCLA and other US universities on partnership opportunities

  • 2024-04-23
  • 1360

President Choi Kee-choo visited a number of universities in the Western US for meetings on cooperation in education and research. He was accompanied by Kang Shin Goo, Chief of the Office of International Affairs and other members of Ajou University.

From January 4 to 19, the delegation visited the University of California, the University of Southern California, the University of California, Irvine, and three other universities. Meeting with university officials, the delegation outlined the various global programs and research projects Ajou University is involved in to explore avenues of cooperation.

A particular emphasis made during those meetings was on how the US universities might partner up with Ajou University in research as part of the LAMP (Learning and Academic research institution for master’s and PhD students, and Postdocs) Project of the Korean Ministry of Education. Begun last year, the LAMP Project supports innovative joint research in the basic sciences. The eight participating universities, including Ajou University, pursue joint innovative research that is theme-based and not restricted by subject or major. A budget of KRW 14.8 billion over the next 5 years has been set for the project.

At the University of Southern California, the delegation met with officials from the Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and discussed the possibility of creating research internship opportunities and summer/winter school programs for students over summer/winter breaks. At the University of California, the delegation visited the UCLA Center for Korean Studies and Dr. Dennis Hong’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory and engaged in discussions on student exchanges and research cooperation. At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the delegation held exchanges over research cooperation opportunities in energy and semiconductors, while at the University of California, San Diego, student exchange programs and dual degree programs were discussed. While at this last stop, the delegation met with Ajou University students there on a student exchange program: Han Yeon-seo (mathematics), Cho Min-jun (electrical and computer engineering), and Lee Hee-jae (French literature), and spent time talking with them about their experiences. 

At the University of California, Riverside, an MOU was signed for an alliance between its Winston Chung Global Energy Center and Ajou University’s Energy Systems Project Group, formed and operated for the Korean government’s BK21 Project. At the University of California, Irvine, discussions were held on such topics as research and education exchanges, student exchange programs, and dual degree programs. 

On the evening of the 4th the delegation had dinner with Ajou University alumni living and working in Los Angeles and other parts of the Western US. The seven Ajou University graduates, among them Shim Jae-gwang, an electrical and computer engineering graduate of 1987, are members of the Los Angeles branch of the Ajou University Alumni Association and are today active in engineering, apparel, real estate, and more. At the dinner, Ajou President Choi Kee-choo informed the alumni on the progress and vision of their alma mater, and discussed in depth plans for expanding the foreign branches of the Ajou University Alumni Association. 

On their itinerary, President Choi and his entourage made a stop at CES 2024 held in Las Vegas, where student and faculty entrepreneurs from Ajou University had their breakthrough offerings on show. On the 9th, President Choi attended a conference on the fostering of startups by Ajou University and Suwon City alongside Suwon Mayor Lee Jae-Joon and other Suwon City officials. The conference was a gathering of students interested in startups and startup CEOs for discussions on how the university and local community can work together to support startup entrepreneurs. 

With officials from the USC Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

With Ajou University students at the University of California, San Diego and university officials

With Ajou University alumni in the Western US. Ajou University President Choi Kee-choo at center.