Leading the 21st Century in world economics
The College of Economics and Finance was recently renamed from the College of Business and Economics and aims to meet rapidly changing demands of society by providing students with both analytical and practical tools in economics and finance. The college offers not only basic economics programs, but also programs in financial microeconomics, financial econometrics, global financial markets, economics of technology and knowledge, regulation and competition in the information economy, environmental economics, social security programs and other public policies, and international cooperation and bargaining. Other offered courses are financial informational technology, economic analysis, financial consulting, and digital economy.
Students are recommended to take English as a Second Language and programming languages such as C++, Java, and SQL as a third language for the purpose of increasing opportunities as a successful economist and consultant in the digital economy of the 21st century. In order to held students focus on at least one field of their choice in economics and finance, the undergraduate program of the college offers a career-path-oriented program (that is, sequences of related courses) and honor programs, as well as internship in business and governmental agencies. Honor programs are designed to make students complete their BA and MA degrees in five years. The college envisions itself as a leading professional school in economics and finance, distinguished by competent academic programs, and devoted faculty members, students, and alumni.
By Eunkyoung Lee, Graduate Student Editor
Photo Courtesy of the College of Economics and Finance
Did you ever wonder why people pay a ridiculous amount of money for just a tiny piece of diamond? And how come we consume precious air, which is so important in maintaining our lives, without paying any price? If we have to put a higher price to the more important goods, then air should be more expensive than diamonds. However, we know that the importance of the goods does not really matter in deciding the price. Rather, how rare the resource is decides its monetary value. And this is Economics is all about.
Economics, as a branch in the Social Science, is the study of how society allocates scarce resources. For over 50 years, the College of Economics and Finance (back then the ‘Department of Economics’) at Hanyang University has played a leading role in economics education and research. The college strives to equip students with the basic tools to understand the operation of a modern economy. Furthermore, the college put much emphasis on course integration and flexibility so that the students acquire not only specialized knowledge in economics but also practical understanding of real economic issues, particular skills of their interests, open-minded attitudes toward the society, and cultural diversity.
As the first college in Korea that specializes in Finance along with traditional Economics, the College of Economics and Finance at Hanyang aims to meet the rapidly changing demands of the society by teaching students both the analytical and practical tools in economics and finance. The college offers diverse courses which include micro/macroeconomics, financial economics, money and banking, international finance, international economic relations, labor economics, public economics, industrial organization, environment/ resource/ energy economics, welfare economics, digital/IT economics, international trade, and managerial economics. In 2008, the College ranks among the top Economics departments in the University Accreditation by the Korean Council for University Education.
Once a year, the College of Economics and Finance holds the Annual Academic Seminar in which all students are given a chance to research various issues on economics and finance. Students present their research results in the seminar and receive feedbacks from professors. This event helps students actively engage in research and gives them opportunities to practice theories they learned in lectures. There is also Mock Investment Competition in which students practice their investment knowledge and skills. The participant with the highest rate of return gets to be awarded with a certificate. Such diverse activities and programs are designed to help students further advance their studies through sharing their experience, debating, and practicing the theories they learn.
For Hanyang graduates in Economics and Finance major, there is a wide range of career paths that include jobs at private firms, public service organizations, financial company, as well as master’s and Ph.D. training for economic research careers. For years to come, the College of Economics and Finance will not stop its efforts to prepare students with the economic knowledge and insights, so that they could make a positive contribution to our society as true economists.
And now let us take a deeper look at the College of Economics and Finance at HYU through interviews with the Dean and the Manager of the Administration Team.
By Jihyun Nam, Student Reporter
Photo by Bomin Park, Student Photographer
Q. Can you briefly introduce yourself and the College of Economics and Finance?
A. I entered Hanyang University (HYU) majoring in Economics in 1978. Since 1995, I have taught College of Economics and Finance students at HYU and I was appointed as the dean of the College in Aug. 2012. My major field of study is Financial Econometrics and I am the head professor of the Financial IT Lab which consists of a large number of graduate students.
The College of Economics and Finance was first established in 1964 and was reorganized with the new name, ‘College of Business and Economics’ in 2001. As a result of the financial crisis in 1997, the role and importance of finance was emphasized throughout Korea. Following this trend, in 2007, we again renamed ourselves to be the current ‘College of Economics and Finance’ which is at present the only college in Korea that combines Economics and Finance.
Q. What are the distinctive features of the College of Economics and Finance?
A. The College has a clear educational goal called ‘EPS’: ‘E’ stands for ‘Excellence’ of our studies; ‘P’ is for the ‘Pride’ we attempt to instill in our students through practical curriculums that consist of combined knowledge of economics and finance; and ‘S’ refers to the total ‘Satisfaction’ we are striving to maintain in the quality of the education we provide that involves our professors, students, and their parents. From this perspective, our College can be viewed as promoting specialized education programs to nurture highly qualified professionals in the field of finance. We have a great number of outstanding professors in our College who teach courses ranging from financial information technology to financial consulting.
Q. HYU emphasizes practicality in its curricula and apparently the College of Economics and Finance is also focusing on developing pragmatic programs. Can you provide specific examples of some of these programs?
A. We not only provide practical lectures but also highlight the importance of internships. In 2009, we launched the Work Study Program to train our students who are interested in having careers in the finance field. In this program, our students undergo intensive training for 7 weeks before working as an intern in global financial consulting companies. After the training session, students then work as regular employees in prominent companies, banks, insurance companies, and investment management corporations for one or two months. Through this experience, students are well-trained and are able to apply their knowledge from the intensive training to practical situations. We also have another program called the Job Shadow Program which requires a lot of effort to complete successfully but every student of our College has thus far completed the program with outstanding performances. This program does not end with the student training however. They work as on-staff employees and managers of sites during which their work performance continues to be evaluated. At the end of the session, the evaluations are collected sent to the students’ academic advisors. This qualitative analysis of students’ work performances can be used as useful recommendations when the students later apply for jobs.
The College of Economics and Finance plans to extend the size of this program and to continue promoting it to increase the participation of other students. Furthermore, we also plan to cooperate with the alumni association of the College to implement a ‘one-to-one mentoring program’ between current students and their senior counterparts who are working in diverse fields related to economics and finance. This mentoring program is designed to give students opportunities to receive valuable advice on choosing their future career paths. Professors of our College are also participating in these programs by providing consultation to financial companies as advisors. Their contributions are helpful in broadening the range of company choices for students. As a result of these efforts, the employment rate of our College has been the highest compared with any other college at HYU. In fact, our employment rate is quite high even among other universities.
Q. What other features can you introduce about the College of Economics and Finance?
A. These days, we have begun to focus on cultivating finance professionals who possess global mindsets. For this reason, we are inviting renowned professors from other countries. In fact, we currently have two distinguished foreign professors among our 19 faculty members. In addition, the 116 foreign students enrolled in our college are helping to create a global atmosphere. We also have student club activities that are designed to give students practical experience which will help them become finance professionals in the future. For instance, in the field of finance we have a club that focuses on the stock market named ‘Stockwars’. And there are numerous clubs preparing contests about finance. Each student has his or her own abilities in different fields so providing them opportunities to gather with others to cooperate helps to create synergy effects.
Q. Can you tell us about what the ultimate goal of the College of Economics and Finance is?
A. Every college at HYU including us working to help the University achieve its goal of becoming one of Top 100 Universities in the world by 2020. Our College in particular has become a leading college that is helping Hanyang achieve this goal. To do so, the accumulation of research achievements of professors should be a top priority. Our College invited five scholars and there will be three more coming this autumn to form a research group which will engage in active research projects and publications in renowned academic journals. We co-held an ‘Economic Society Summer School’ with the World Econometric Society in August to create a broad research network with distinguished scholars from all over the world. If our professors continue to achieve outstanding research along with our hosting of regular events, I have no doubt that we can be one of the top 100 universities in the world soon.
Q. Do you have any last words for future students of the College of Economics and Finance?
A. Economics is a subject that pursues the optimal choice in using limited sources in the best way. I think students applying for our College may not be familiar with everything that we do. However, if you choose our College, I guarantee you that it will be one of your best choices of your life because we are doing best to provide our students with 4 years of high quality of education.