The new Preston Sejong Institute at the city's University of Central Lancashire is one of only three in the UK and part of the King Sejong Institute Foundation run by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, in South Korea.
UCLan is seen as a world-leader in Korea studies and this latest development follows the success of the university's popular Korean degree programmes and a growth in interest in all things Korean across the North West. It comes hard on the heels of UCLan getting one of the largest ever grants for teaching and research of Korean studies.
University chiefs say the creation of this new institution will give people across Lancashire and beyond easy access to Korean language courses and cultural events usually held in London. Schools and colleges will also be able to take part in educational visits.
The opening of the Preston SI comes only months after UCLan’s International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU) received one of the largest-ever research grants dedicated to the teaching and research of Korean Studies.
Director of the Preston SI and UCLan Korea Foundation lecturer Dr Jeong-Im Hyun said: "It is rare for the Sejong Foundation to open an Institute outside of a capital city and this move is a clear reflection of UCLan’s already successful track record in teaching Korean studies.
"We want to encourage local people to learn the language and nurture a growing interest in Korean culture. We’re excited to get started."
Only a few months ago UCLan was awarded a £633,000 research grant by the Korean Studies Promotion Service, Academy of Korean Studies, Ministry of Education in the Republic of Korea , will to provide 41 MA scholarships in North Korean Studies and four PhD scholarships in Korean Studies for next five years.
Director of the UCLan IKSU Dr Sojin Lim said: "The university has firmly established itself as a world-leader when it comes to research into the Korean Peninsula and now, by founding our very own Sejong Institute, we are able to share our expertise and passion for Korea more widely with the local community."
Although activities are currently limited due to COVID restrictions, the Preston SI want to hear from local schools, community groups and other interested parties keen to work with the Institute.
People can contact the Preston SI director Dr Hye-Young Park on [email protected] for more information.