As a first step to increase exchange and cooperation between local and overseas universities and bolster the global competitiveness of its regional universities, the Daegu Metropolitan City Government met with approximately 60 Vietnamese students studying at Daegu’s regional universities and numerous local university officials in charge of international exchange. At the meeting, held on Wednesday, December 7, the invited students shared their thoughts about living in Daegu and proposed ideas to city officials.
○ In October, a group of government officials, led by Daegu City Mayor Kwon Young-jin, visited Vietnam and confirmed that the country’s economy has the potential to grow at a CAGR of more than 6% and that country is an enormous market for exports in the fields of economy, culture, tourism, and education.
○ During the visit, city officials further recognized the need to promote increased exchange and cooperation with Vietnamese universities in order to strengthen the global competitiveness of Daegu’s regional universities. The vice president of Vietnam National University also championed promoting exchange and cooperation between the universities of Vietnam and the regional universities of Daegu, and asked city officials from Korea to act a source of encouragement to Vietnamese students studying in Daegu. It was this latter request that solidified the Daegu Metropolitan City Government’s plans to meet with Vietnamese students in Daegu.
※ As of the end of November 2016, there are currently 3,327 foreign students studying at Daegu’s regional universities, 225 of which are Vietnamese.
○ The Daegu Metropolitan City Government plans to discuss measures for increased exchange and cooperation with other overseas universities as well and operate an international academic forum via additional meetings with Vietnamese students in Daegu. During these meetings, it will share with students the planned establishment of the Daegu-Ho Chi Minh air route as well as projects aimed at revitalizing cultural tourism and economic exchange.
○ In late 2015, the Daegu Metropolitan City Government enacted an ordinance aimed at fostering the regional universities of Daegu and establishing a legal basis for supporting regional universities and students. Following the passing of this ordinance, Daegu has focused heavily on postsecondary education and has undertaken projects related to internships, interest payments for student loans, and mentoring for regional university students.
○ Next year, Daegu plans to focus on exchange and cooperation projects with universities, including projects involving regional research support and domestic and global exchange programs for university students. Through these and other means, Daegu will continue to explore and promote different measures of cooperation with overseas universities.
○ At a time when a dwindling population and student preferences for universities in the Seoul metropolitan area are posing a threat to the existence of regional universities, cooperation between municipalities and universities is now more important than ever. In order to promote the globalization of regional universities, the Daegu Metropolitan City Government will join hands with universities overseas to attract foreign students and provide active support to help foreign students adapt to life in Daegu.
○ Daegu City Mayor Kwon Young-jin commented on the city’s recent meeting with Vietnamese students saying, “I hope that the meeting will provide a foothold for expanding exchange between regional and overseas universities.” He added, “I continue to give ear to the views and opinions of foreign students in Daegu and keep these things in mind for future tasks.”