|Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) President Kim In-chul, center, poses with presidents and vice presidents of 10 other universities of foreign languages in Asia during their forum at Westin Chosun Seoul, Wednesday. They are, from left, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies Vice President Toshiki Kumagai, University of Humanities in Mongolia Vice President Chuluundorj Begz, University of Languages and International Studies-Vietnam National University President Do Tuan Minh, Busan University of Foreign Studies President Chung Hae-lin, Beijing Foreign Studies University Council President Zhen Han, HUFS President Kim, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies President Hirotaka Tateishi, Daegu University of Foreign Studies President Kim Soo-il, Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages President Ganisher Khudoykulovich Rakhimov, Shanghai International Studies University Vice President Li Yang and Cyber Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Vice President Cho Jang-youn. / Courtesy of HUFS|
By Chung Hyun-chae
The Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) and 10 other foreign language universities in Asia have formed a consultative body to step up cooperation and exchanges.
Leaders of the 11 universities launched the body during the Presidential Forum for Universities of Foreign Studies in Asia at Westin Chosun Seoul, Wednesday.
"I expect today's forum to serve as a starting point for the creation of an even closer network and to upgrade the quality of foreign language education provided in the Asian region," HUFS President Kim In-chul said during his welcoming address.
Kim hoped that the new consortium will boost joint research and student exchanges.
"It will be a cornerstone for creating joint degrees and developing e-learning content together," he added.
He also said he wants to invite more foreign language universities in other Asian countries including India and Bangladesh, and reach out to Europe and the Americas.
Ambassadors of China, Japan, Mongolia and Vietnam gave congratulatory speeches at the forum.
Korea's Education Minister Lee Joon-sik said in a congratulatory message, "Foreign studies universities can create a network in an Asian context to overcome similar challenges and environmental difficulties in the future by sharing and providing the impetus to implement policy initiatives, while supporting each other."
The 11 universities are HUFS, Cyber Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Busan University of Foreign Studies, Daegu University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, University of the Humanities in Mongolia, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Shanghai International Studies University, Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages and University of Languages and International Studies-Vietnam National University (ULIS-VNU).
The presidents and vice presidents of each university had a roundtable discussion to share their visions and introduce their strengths, before signing a memorandum of understanding to establish the consortium.
"The idea of making a network of foreign studies universities in Asia is very good as it will enhance the opportunities to work together for a better future not only for the universities but also countries," said ULIS-VNU President Do Tuan Minh, citing his school's slogan: "Creating opportunities together."
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies President Hirotaka Tateishi also said, "We will work closely to cultivate talented global citizens who could contribute to the world development."
He added that it is meaningful to expand exchanges of students, faculty, staff and scholars among foreign language universities in Asia.