Government announces blueprint for engineering

2014_01_RnD_universitiesThe Park Geun-hye administration is embarking on a concrete project to turn engineering colleges into outposts for her “creative economy” initiative. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced yesterday it will launch the “college of engineering innovation committee” today in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, as well as scholars and industry insiders.

Park, the country’s first president with an engineering background, pledged more support for engineers. Many of the country’s best science talents have opted for medical school, raising the concern over the stated engineering. According to the Science Ministry, the committee will steer professors of engineering colleges toward practical projects rather than writing dissertations.

Currently, engineering professors at many Korean colleges are evaluated mainly on the number of papers they publish. The quality of education at the country’s engineering schools also has been criticized. Schools will be encouraged to use more practical curriculums, the ministry said. The ministry said impractical schooling has hindered Korea’s economy compared to investment in research and development (R&D).

According to the Science Ministry, college spending on R&D has increased since 2004. The figure increased almost 1.5 times to 5.28 trillion won ($5 billion) in 2012, compared to 3.8 trillion in 2008. Korea’s total R&D investment recorded 55.5 trillion in 2012, 1.6 times higher than the figure in 2008.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

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