The Korea Herald


KNUA to recruit foreign professors

By Korea Herald

Published : Sept. 4, 2013 - 20:26

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The Korea National University of Arts will hire more professors from outside the country over the next five years, its newly appointed president Kim Bong-ryol said Wednesday.

Aiming to recruit “masters” and “rising stars” in the international art scene to share their knowledge and know-how, the school will establish a special fund to meet international standards of pay, Kim said at a press conference. There are currently 146 professors at the school and Kim plans to raise the number to 165 in the next five years, for a student-professor ratio of 25-1.

“According to the education law, the ideal number (of professors) would be 180 so that the ratio would be 20-1. Considering the number of those who are retiring in the near future, the number of newly recruited will account for around 30 percent of the total figure by then,” said Kim, who took office on Aug. 29. 
The Korea National University of Arts president Kim Bong-ryol. (KNUA) The Korea National University of Arts president Kim Bong-ryol. (KNUA)

“I am considering setting a special quota for foreign professors. And in order to give them ‘international standard’ pay I will strive to create a special fund,” he said. “We also need to make the employment contracts more flexible ―- some would prefer to teach a short period of time due to their hectic concert or exhibition schedules while some would like to have intensive and lengthy contact with their students.

“Art is still a territory of apprenticeship and giving freedom to the teachers is very important,” he added. “It does not necessarily have to be people from the U.S. There are great artists in Eastern Europe or China, too. We are open to all possibilities.”

Established 20 years ago benchmarking global powerhouses in arts education such as the Juilliard School and the California Institute of the Art, the KNUA has been spearheading the country’s effort to nurture the next generation of Picassos or Pritzker Architecture Prize winners. Graduates of the school have been sweeping awards at international competitions and begun receiving global recognition.

Kim said the school was about a quarter way to its goal.

“It is a small school but has been assigned with a somewhat special mission on a national scale,” the former architecture professor said. “I am not seeking drastic changes. Like a layered cake, I will add different layers of education and administration to the existing system to meet the demand.”

By Bae Ji-sook (