Park Won-soon, the head of the management committee of the University of Seoul (UOS) and also the mayor of Seoul, is paying attention to UOS through his frequent visits to UOS. The UOS Times interviewed him and asked his opinion about the direction of the development of UOS. Also, Park informed us on how Seoul City will support UOS, and his feelings about the 100th anniversary of UOS.
Q. You have visited the UOS several times for a variety of occasions such as entrance ceremonies, discussions or speeches. How did you feel about UOS students or UOS?
I felt that UOS and the local region are well harmonized without any wall or boundary. A university and local area should be well balanced. “Governance” and “coexistence” are important keywords in the 21st century.
Seoul City is making several policies, such as “campus town”, to make coexisting relationships between the university and local communities. Half-tuition fee, a policy that I introduced in 2012, seems to give benefits to only students, but it is a system to cultivate talented experts and return them to society. Actually, I heard that the number of students volunteering increased after the half-tuition fee policy was implemented. I expect that the distance between UOS and local society will be closer.
Especially, I mentioned the concept “social friendship” in my New Year’s address this year. It means we should respect each other’s difference and cooperate together in our daily lives. It is the opposite concept to “selfish society” in the era of development and growth.
I wish UOS to fulfill “social friendship” with the local society and search for ways of coexistence as a public educational institute. In addition, I also hope UOS to go beyond the achievements of the past 100 years through this fulfillment I mentioned.
Q. Which direction should UOS develop in, and what would be needed to advance as you said?
The 21st century is the era of the human. In other words, this century is the era that makes competitiveness by the connection between the people. UOS should do its best to become a place of raising human’s competitiveness and coexisting with the nearby region.
Seoul City has raised awareness and competitiveness of UOS through half-tuition policy. Seoul City will guarantee the students’ right for learning, and support for the students to respect each other. Moreover, Seoul City will always support UOS to become one of the best places for nurturing the talented. The city will help the university, as the only public comprehensive university in Korea, to become a think-tank, which solves the urban problems Seoul has, prepares for the 4th industrial revolution, and builds the future of the city.
Q. Please give us your comment about the 100th anniversary of UOS.
Here is a maxim of Lu Xun, “There is no route made from the start. A route plays its own role when people pass the route.” I hope the next 100 years of UOS to be a new step forward and open a new route of UOS.
Especially, we are going to face the 4th industrial revolution, which is a new wave we didn’t experience before. Only humans can change a crisis into an opportunity. Seoul City will always be with UOS, and support UOS to be a think-tank that makes “Seoul City as a city that considers humanities importance” and be an engine that activates “Seoul City as a city that leads revolution”. Now, UOS is standing at the starting point of history of a new 100 years. Humans are the most important. Our UOS students are the most important.
Park’s last comment was “Great to Great. Let’s make the future of UOS, which leaps to a great university, beyond just a good university. With the people, we can do it.” He is the head of the management committee who finds humans the most important. His affection for humans, especially for the UOS students, is well shown in this interview. Like his comment, The UOS Times also hopes UOS to leap to one of the greatest universities in the world, and this year will be a turning point of the leap.