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Germany awards professors for boosting culture, research ties

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Published : 2014-04-14 10:17
Updated : 2014-04-14 10:17

German Ambassador to South Korea Rolf Mafael presented two Korean professors with awards in Seoul on Thursday for their efforts in developing cooperation in scientific research and academic scholarship, and for facilitating the study of German language here in South Korea.

Shin Yoo-chul, director of the Law Research Institute at Chungnam National University in Daejeon, and Kim Yoon-su, who served as president of Chonnam National University from  2008 to 2012, were each awarded an Order of Merit of Germany by the ambassador at his residence in Seongbuk-dong, Seoul.

Shin worked toward developing future generations of scholars in Korea and Germany, as well as in developing the ADEKO, a German-Korean networking community, the embassy said in a statement.
Professor Kim Yoon-su (right), who served as president of Chonnam National University from 2008 to 2012, speaks during a reception at which he received the Order of Merit of Germany from German Ambassador Rolf Mafael (left), at the ambassador’s residence in Seoul on Thursday. (German Embassy)

Shin also played a significant role in recruiting noted Korean judges and attorneys to ADEKO. He studied in Germany himself, and has been acting as a key figure in deepening academic exchanges between Korea and Germany.

Kim also helped to foster closer ties with the city of Leipzig, in the former East Germany, where massive pro-democracy “Monday demonstrations” took place in 1989.

Kim felt particularly affectionate toward Leipzig because, just as just citizens of Leipzig marched in the streets in 1980s, Kim marched in the streets for democracy during Korea’s dictatorship era in the early 1980s, Mafael said in a press statement.

Kim took to heart not only Germany’s green forests but also Germany’s culture and scholarship while pursuing his forestry studies in Munich, southern Germany, said ambassador Mafael.

“We succeeded in establishing two branch institutes of the Fraunhofer Institute, which is focused on utilization and commercialization of science, on my campus,” Kim said. “We also established a Goethe Institute in Chonnam University. All these endeavors helped to enhance the collaboration between Germany and Korea in the fields of science, engineering, education and culture.”

Kim played a particularly important role in establishing the German Language Center, which reopened in March, at the recently refurbished Goethe Institute near Namsan Mountain. In addition, Kim expressed a particular fondness and active support for the Department of German Literature at Chonnam National University when he was its president, Mafael said.

By Philip Iglauer (ephilip2011@heraldcorp.com)

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