Ambassadors Natallia Zhylevich of Belarus, Kouassi Bile of Cote d’Ivoire, Jorge Roballo of Argentina and Mohamed Abdi Gello of Kenya with 20 other senior diplomats, including the charges d’affaires, visited Handong Global University in Pohang City on the Southeast Coast of Korea on Nov. 12, 2015 at the invitation of President Soon-Heung Chang of the University.
The tour, organized by The Korea Post, included also a visit to POSCO and a cruise ride around the harbor of the Pohang City.
The Korea Post has been organizing tours for the ambassadors and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps for the past 30 years, but it must be said that the one hosted by Handong Global University was one of the most impressive in terms of the interest on the part of the host who met the guests with a true heart and warm welcome.
President Soon-Heung Chang of the University made such an excellent arrangement out of respect and special regard for the distinguished international guests by asking his Vice President Simon Kang (for Administrative Affairs) and Professor Jinwon Ahn (School of Management and Economics) to come all the way from Pohang up to Seoul to welcome and escort the ambassadors and other senior diplomats to comfortably visit his University in Pohang.
The tour of the Handong Global University was a truly memorable one where many outstanding features of the University continuously surprised the visiting ambassadors and other senior diplomats.
Offhand, the entire campus of the university was literally open and was devoid of any walls barring anyone from entering the large campus property.
The second surprise was that the University had no owner. It was operated with donations.
The third surprise was the fact that the University was located away from Seoul, the capital city of Korea, but it was one of the most globalized international institutes of higher education in Korea.
Handong U. has a slogan, “Why Not Try to Change the World!” The University wants to change the world to make it a better place to live in. Handong U. is a ‘Global University of God.’
Handong Global University is the ‘Best-liked University in Korea’ as was assessed by the employee recruitment managers of Korea’s leading business conglomerates, namely Samsung, Hyundai, LG and SK business groups.
Handong also has a tradition where every graduate donates the entire amount of his/her first monthly salary to the University to be used for the benefit of his/her juniors.
Handong U. is located away from the capital city but the students are among those receiving the highest marks at the Scholastic Attitude Test across the country.
Welcoming the ambassadors and other senior members of the Diplomatic Corps at a luncheon, President Chang said, “Today, we are in an era of unprecedented cooperation among the Republic of Korea and partnership countries around the world in the name of globalization. Now, this partnership is possible because there is a global recognition that many issues and problems are interconnected and we have a shared responsibility among all nations.”
Then he said, “As president of Handong Global University, I consider our university motto ‘Why Not Try to Change the World?’ as a moral imperative. Korea has experienced ups and downs throughout her history and takes pride in not having a lopsided view on international development. I believe Handong has a moral obligation of bringing partner countries to work together and making this world more peaceful and prosper.” (See excerpts from his speech toward the end of this report.).
Warm welcome to the vising ambassadors and other senior members of the Diplomatic Corps was made also by Vice Mayor Jai-Choon Lee of the Pohang City Government who attended the luncheon on behalf of the mayor of the City.
Welcoming the ambassadors and other senior members of the Diplomatic Corps, Vice Mayor Lee said in part, “Pohang is the first city on the Korean peninsula that sees the sunrise and for this Pohang is nicknamed ‘City of First Sunrise.’ Thus, Pohang is the first city on the Korean peninsula that begins the morning where the citizens are ardent and hard-working. The people of Pohang have achieved the ‘Miracles of the Yeongil Bay’ making Pohang one of the outstanding ‘steel-making cities’ of the world.”
Then he said, “Pohang is also the ‘cradle city’ of the famous Saemaeul Undong (New Community Movement) which helped Korea extricate herself from the yokes of the chronical poverty and which caused Korea to achieve its rapid modernization and join the club of the ‘Ten Strong Economies of the World.’ ”
Before closing, Vice Mayor Lee invited all the ambassadors and their spouses to visit Pohang City again on the occasion of the “Pohang International Fire & Light Festival” in July next year. Vice Mayor Lee said, “At this time, I would like to invite all the ambassadors and other members of the Diplomatic Corps here today and many other ambassadors to visit Pohang again witn their spouses and kindly attend the Festival.” (See excerpts from Vice Mayor Lee’s speech toward the end of this article.)
The welcome speeches of President Chang of Handong U. and Vice Mayor Lee of Pohang were followed by a congratulatory speech by Ambassador Zhylevich of the Republic of Belarus, dean of the visiting members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Appreciating the kind invitation extended to the ambassadors, she said, “I am happy to say that, as diplomats and people who have seen a lot in their life, we share your belief, Mr. President, that education would change the world. The more we learn, the more we realize how ignorant we remain and how much there is still to do to eliminate poverty to guarantee freedom and prosperity and sometimes for the life of the people.”
Then she said, “And may I presume that since today the mottos of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps would be ‘Why Not Try to Change the World?’ ” She was accorded a warm welcome response from all the participants at the luncheon, especially the faculty members of the University. (See excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Zhylevich of Belarus at the end of this Article.)
The speeches by President Chang, Mayor Lee and Ambassador Zhylevich were followed by presentation of a Plaque of Appreciation by Ambassador Zhylevich to President Chung for the kind invitation extended to the ambassadors and other senior diplomats to visit the University.
In the Plaque, she stated in part that the kind invitation of the ambassadors greatly contributed to the understanding on the part of the ambassadors and other diplomats of the educational and cultural aspects of Korea as well as promotion of friendship between Korea and the countries represnted by the visiting ambassadors and senior diplomats.
Following the welcome ceremony and luncheon hosted by President Chang, the vising ambassadors and other senior diplomats watched performances by the students who presented Acapella and a Korean Fan Dance.
The student performances were followed by an introduction of Handong U. by Prof. Jae-Chun Won (dean of International Affairs), introduction of UNITWIN Program by Director Jin Won-Ahn of the Center for International Development Cooperation, and brief introduction of experience by international students (from the US, China, Taiwan, Kenya, Nigeria, Myanmar and Afghanistan). Then came the Sharing from International Faculty presented by Headmaster Nicholas Scott Lantinga of Carmichael College.
The visiting ambassadors and other senior diplomats then were shown an introductory video on Pohang which provided the guests with a glimpse into how the Pohang City has developed and what the port city offered for cooperation with all the countries of the world for mutual benefit.
The visiting ambassadors and other senior diplomats then were invited to a tour of POSCO where they were briefed on various aspects of POSCO. As soon as one entered the room, they were greeted by a large framed calligraphic work of the late former President Park Chung-hee (father of the incumbent President Madam Park Geun-hye). It read Cheonggang-eun Gukryeok (鐵鋼은 國力) meaning “Steel is the Strength of a Nation.”
The Korean people have had chronical poverty for over 4,000 years until the 1970s when the late former President Park Chung-hee started economic development overcoming various difficulties. Korea started making rapid economic growth under the late President Park and this has, ultimately, made Korea what she is today, one of the ten largest economies of the world. Some people may have reservations on this assertion but the majority of people, especially the senior citizens who lived the difficult period of the country, agree that the late President Park played a vital role in changing the lot of the Korean people.
Welcome speech by President Soon-Heung Chang of Handong Global U.:
Honorable Ambassadors, distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of Handong Global University, I welcome each of you with a grateful heart and express my deepest pleasure on your presence in this beautiful season of Handong. I want to acknowledge honorable guests today.
Today, we are in an era of unprecedented cooperation among the Republic of Korea and partnership countries around the world in the name of globalization. Now, this partnership is possible because there is now a global recognition that many issues and problems are interconnected and we have a shared responsibility among all nations.
To build upon this recognition, Korean government is working closely with partner nations and international organizations in a variety of ways to combat the threats those pose to peace and prosperity in the world. University, representing higher education, has taken part of it in concert with collaborative effort of eradicating educational poverty and inequality around the world.
As President of Handong Global University, I consider our university motto ‘Why Not Change the World?’ as a moral imperative. Korea has experienced ups and downs throughout the history and take pride in not having a lopsided view on international development. I believe Handong has a moral obligation of bringing partner countries to work together and making this world more peaceful and prosper.
Handong Global University was founded on the spirit of love, humility, community serving with a better understanding of international community. In line with our university’s educational philosophy, we have been leading innovative projects and joint programs and researches with global partners including international organization such as the UN and World Bank. As to be introduced next, Handong is open and welcome of any world changing project that might save a life and community around us. Handong is made for simple but profound value, “Love for Humanity (others)”. All actions and activities are followed by this value.
In order to bring a real love for humanity, we must not just crossover policy alliance. We need to integrate policy. We need to nurture sources of knowledge and innovation. We need also to look at how we bridge education and real world problem here and now. Handong is committed to be a global hub for all.
Once again, thank you for coming. I want us to have meaningful sharing and valuable network. Also I hope your visit bear meaningful outcome, which is active and fruitful cooperation.
Welcome speech by Vice Mayor Lee Jai-choon of Pohang City:
Good afternoon, I am Vice Mayor Jai-choon Lee of the Pohang City. On behalf of the 530,000 citizens of the City, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to Her Excellency Ambassador Natallia Zhylevich of the Republic of Belarus; the Excellencies of Cote D’Ivoire, Argentina, Kenya and many other countries of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps to the Pohang City. My hearty welcome also goes to Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post and the members of the Chinese Press Corps in Seoul.
Pohang is the first city on the Korean peninsula that sees the sunrise and for this Pohang is nicknamed the “City of First Sunrise.” Thus, the Pohang City is the first city on the Korean peninsula that begins the morning where the citizens are ardent and hard-working. These hard-working and enthusiastic people of Pohang have achieved the ‘Miracles of the Yeongil Bay’ making Pohang one of the outstanding ‘steel-making cities’ of the world. Pohang has made itself a dynamic city that has played a leading role in the industrialization of the Republic of Korea.
Pohang is also the ‘Cradle City’ of the famous Saemaeul Undong (New Community Movement) which helped Korea extricate herself from the yokes of the chronical poverty and which caused Korea to achieve its rapid modernization and join the club of the ‘Ten Strong Economies of the World.’
Now Pohang has now begun re-writing its history.
Pohang is now striving to achieve another ‘Miracles of the Yeongil Bay’ through another great leap forward as a ‘City of Creativity’ with an affluent future and Pohang is thus becoming a city where people want to come and wish to live in.
The Port of the Yeongil Bay, which is the only international-standard container harbor in the Eastern Sea (Sea of Japan) area, has grown into a logistics hub of the Northeast Asian region. The hinterland of Pohang has become a large-scale industrial zone with many businesses moving in.
The Yeongil Bay and its surrounding area have been designated as a Free Trade Zone where a foreign investment zone and a free economic zone are being formed. Pohang has become a ‘two-hour zone’ which is reachable within two hours from any and all parts of the Republic of Korea by air and by speed train. Thanks to such an easy and convenient accessibility, Pohang has become a city where it is good to do business.
In fact, last September the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry published a ‘Map of Good Environment for Foreigners Investors’ which selected the Pohang City as a place which foreign investors in Korea find to be the most satisfactory.
When the new national industrial zone, the Blue Valley, is formed, the Pohang City will become a ‘Global Industrial City’ in the true sense of the phrase.
The Pohang City, which has the world’s leading industries such as POSCO, POSCO Tech and various advanced knowledge-based businesses and infrastructure with highly trained human resources, is now readying itself to advance into the outside world far beyond the Republic of Korea.
Meeting the distinguished ambassadors and senior diplomats here from various countries of the world today, I would like to express my hopes that exchanges and cooperation between Pohang and all the countries of the world will be further promoted and increased and I pledge my best effort to promote the exchange and cooperation between Korea and all the countries represented by the distinguished diplomats present here today.
At this time, I would like to available myself of this opportunity to invite and solicit the kind attendance of all the ambassadors and other members of the Diplomatic Corps here today and many other countries to kindly visit the Pohang City again on the occasion of the “Pohang International Fire & Light Festival” that is slated at the end of July next year.
I express my profound gratitude to the Excellencies and other members of the Diplomatic Corps for their taking time out of their busy schedule to kindly visit the Pohang City. It is only a short visit, but I truly hope that the Excellencies, Madams and other members of the Diplomatic Corps will take home a good memory of our City, Pohang. Thank you.
Congratulatory speech by Ambassador Zhylevich of Belarus:
Honorable President Chung Soon-heung, executives, ladies and gentlemen.
It is my honor and my pleasure to express deep gratitude for inviting us-ambassadors and members of the Diplomatic Corps here in the City of Pohang and the Handong Global University.
I am happy to say that, as diplomats and people who have seen a lot in their life, we share your belief, Mr. President, that education would change the world.
The more we learn, the more we realize how ignorant we remain and how much there is still to do to eliminate poverty to guarantee freedom and prosperity and sometimes for the life of the people.
It is only when we are united by common values and aims that we can make this world more peaceful and prosperous.
While we are staying in Korea, we have learned that this country has a lot to offer to other nations.
We appreciate the generosity with which you share your experience, your gain and mistakes which sometimes turn out to be the best lesson.
Thank you once again for inviting us to Handong Global University and for our discovering this beautiful city and coming to know what noble work you are pursuing.
And may I presume that since today the mottos of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps would be “Why Not Change the World?”
President’s message for the students:
“See Globally, Educate Globally”
Handong Global University has been writing a new history since its foundation twenty years ago. Our vision is to practice love toward neighbors and change the world by maximizing both students’ and professors’ talents. HGU has uniquely contributed to the advancement of undergraduate education by creatively using global human resources for holistic education that harmonizes character and knowledge. In addition, HGU has been drawing attention with its innovative educational curriculum that advances the 21st century’s requirement of learning and problem-solving in a globalized era. Competency is strengthened not with knowledge-delivery education styles or teaching by rote memorization but with practical education that guides students in solving problems.
HGU helps students build their competencies through project-based courses and nurtures well-balanced talents that play an important role in the world.
I extend my warmest gratitude to you for your interest and support for HGU.
List of participating diplomats and journalists in the Handong U. tour:
Amb.NatalliaZhylevich of Belarus, Amb.and Mrs. SylvestreKouassi Bile of Cote d' Ivoire, Amb. Jorge Roballo of Argentina (with Prof. Ruben Alejandro Raineri) and Amb. Mohamed Abdi Gello of Kenya; Charges d’Affaires (CDA) Madam Myo Thant Pe of Myanmar; Economic Counsellor and Mrs. Yen Kuo-ruey of the Taipei Mission, Counsellor ZaalTchkuaseli of Georgia and Counsellor Faith MbulaKangwa of Zambia; Attache& Vice Consul MassielAnayansi Serrano Ruiz of Panama; First Secretary Ms. NthembaKamangaMinja of Zambia; 2nd Secretary Jaljeet Kumar of Fiji, 2nd Secretary Mrs. Marcelo Boffi of Argentina and 2nd Secretary and Mrs. JamaluddinFirozi of Afghanistan; 3rdSecreatrySardorSadikov of Uzbekistan; Legal Daily of China Seoul Bureau Chief Seon Sa Roe, China News Service Seoul Director Wu Xu and People's Daily of China Seoul Correspondent Ms. Chen Shang Wen; Publisher-Chairnan Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post with his President Kim Hyung-dae and Special Editor David Chung.