UCLan scoops mega grant on road to becoming world-leading authority on all things Korean

From K-Pop to Kim Jong-un, Preston's university is set to become a world-leading authority on all things Korean

By Sonja Astbury
Thursday, 18th June 2020, 4:20 pm
UCLan  has received a major research grant for its Korean studies.
Pictured is   North Korean leader    Kim Jong-un with  South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
UCLan has received a major research grant for its Korean studies. Pictured is North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The city's University of Central Lancashire has scooped more than £630,000 in one of the largest-ever research grants dedicated to the teaching and research of Korean studies.

The cash from the Korean Studies Promotion Service , Academy of Korean Studies, Ministry of Education in the Republic of Korea (South Korea), will enable UCLan to offer 41 MA scholarships in North Korean Studies and four PhD scholarships in Korean Studies for next five years.

It will also pay for international conferences and a summer school series for would-be Korean scholars.

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The official opening of UCLan's Korea Corner in April 2019

UCLan is already a world leader in Korean studies and its International Institute of Korean Studies has built up an enviable reputation over the past few years as the largest in the UK.

Dr Sojin Lim, co-director of IKSU said the grant was testimony to the esteem the university institution is held in and added: "We are the only UK research institute which covers both South and North Korea while our MA in North Korean Studies is the only degree programme which analyses North Korea outside of the Korea Peninsula.

“In addition, IKSU academic staff come from a wide range of academic disciplinary backgrounds including anthropology, development studies, sociology and international relations which means we can provide an authoritative commentary on the many aspects of Korean life."

Dr Lim added; “What’s also notable is that KSPS has awarded funding of this magnitude to only two universities across the world this year. For UCLan to be one of those universities is a major achievement.”

Kang Hahn Lee, director of KSPS, added: "UCLan has been selected as one of the two recipients of our Core University Programme this year as it has the biggest Korean Studies institute in the UK with great potential for growth.

"The university also has high quality academics in social sciences subjects related to Korean Studies.

"We look forward to some good research results that will contribute to the overall development of the subject. Finally, UCLan’s strong support for its Korean Studies programme was also evaluated positively.”

UCLan’s International Institute of Korean Studies was established in 2014 as a hub of research, teaching and public policy in the study of contemporary Korea. IKSU is based in the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies it brings together university wide research expertise on global Korea in the context of language, development, political economy, society and culture, anthropological discourse, and international relations surrounding both Koreas.

It became an official Test of Proficiency in Korean test venue in 2019, and launched the only Korea Corner, funded by Korea Foundation in the UK in April last year.