Namseoul University introduces nation's first IBEC course - Korea Times
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Namseoul University introduces nation's first IBEC course

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Park Hee-suk, dean of the International Graduate School of Namseoul University / Courtesy of Namseoul University
Park Hee-suk, dean of the International Graduate School of Namseoul University / Courtesy of Namseoul University

By Bahk Eun-ji

Namseoul University has been operating a broad range of programs to achieve the goal of cultivating talented global citizens equipped with skills that transcend national borders.

A global dual degree program, which allows students to acquire a degree jointly from Namseoul and one of seven foreign universities in six countries ― the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Japan ― is the representative program of the university, and the International Baccalaureate educator certificate (IBEC) program is the driving force for the growth of the school as a global university.

Namseoul University International Graduate School became the first school in Korea to adopt the IBEC program last year, and among four categories, Namseoul is currently operating the IB Diploma Program (IBDP) which nurtures teachers to teach the high school-level IB curriculum.

Those with secondary teaching qualification here or abroad can get the IBDP teaching certificate if they take the course at Namseoul Graduate School. After finishing the course, they become eligible to teach at some 5,000 IB schools worldwide.

"Those taking the course and having the certificate will have an advantage in applying for jobs at IB schools," Park Hee-suk, dean of the graduate school, said in a recent written interview with The Korea Times.

"Not only international schools but also public schools in Korea are adopting the IB curriculum, so the demand for teachers with the IBEC ― both at schools and at private academies ― will grow," he said.

Park Hee-suk, left, dean of the International Graduate School at Namseoul University, poses with Cinde Lock, principal of Branksome Hall Asia, at the latter's office on Jeju Island after signing a memorandum of agreement, Oct. 13. Courtesy of Namseoul University
Park Hee-suk, left, dean of the International Graduate School at Namseoul University, poses with Cinde Lock, principal of Branksome Hall Asia, at the latter's office on Jeju Island after signing a memorandum of agreement, Oct. 13. Courtesy of Namseoul University

Those taking the graduate school's master's course in international education can take the IBEC program during their two-years of study.

"However, there are people who already have a master's degree or have difficulty entering graduate school due to their day job. For such people, we also have a separate one-year IBEC program instead of taking the two-year graduate course," Park said.

People currently taking the IBEC program vary, including existing school teachers, instructors at private academies, writers and homemakers. Their undergraduate majors are also diverse, including Korean, English, German, mathematics, physics and Korean history, the dean said.

Besides lectures at the school, the students also have an opportunity to undertake teaching practical at IB schools here or abroad. Namseoul has signed memorandums of agreement (MOA) with two schools in Korea ― Branksome Hall Asia on Jeju Island and the International School of Busan ― and three overseas ― Calorx Olive International School in India, Cita Hati Christian School in Indonesia and German European School in Manila, the Philippines ― so they can practice teaching the IBDP curriculum to students of the schools.

Namseoul is also working on opening an IB Middle Years Program (MYP) course in March 2022.

As the IBEC course started last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been offered online only so far through Zoom. "We are planning to blend the online and offline classes if the pandemic situation gets better. Also, for IB school teachers abroad who are interested in Namseoul's IBEC course, we are seeking to open online-only classes," Park said.


Bahk Eun-ji ejb@koreatimes.co.kr


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