[Full Transcript] President Kim Woo-Seung’s 2020 Year Opening Ceremony Address
"University's role in lifetime studies is crucial and the establishment of a mutual cooperation platform is needed to achieve innovation"
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*Below is the full transcript of the year opening ceremony address, which was delivered by President Kim Woo-Seung on January 2nd, 2020 at the '2020 New Years Greetings and Year Opening Ceremony.'
Dear beloved Hanyang family!
The new year of Gyungja (庚子年) has begun.
I wish you a happy new year, a year full of desired accomplishments, healthy and joyful moments. I also wish greatly that your households be abundant in bright spirits of the new year.
The year of Gyungja is the year of a powerful and strong white rat, which drives us to remember and strengthen our will to achieve unstoppable development and intelligent changes.
Despite the hardships that have occurred inside and outside of the country, I would like to thank you for all of your hard work during the past year, which was done with commitment and passion, day and night, solely for the development of Hanyang. Along with that appreciation, I strongly believe that all of our Hanyang family will move forward with a high spirit in the year of Gyungja, sharing greater hope and passion and believing in each other, with the help of diligence and the strong life force of the white rat.
While the environment surrounding universities these days are changing constantly, Hanyang has been making gleaming accomplishments through steady progress and a greater step forward by embracing and encouraging each other.
However, when observing the ecological system of higher education, the future ahead of us is facing an era that we have never experienced during any period of history.
The change in the fertility rate in Korea is quite dramatic. The total fertility rate, which is an expected number of a woman to give birth within one's lifetime, decreased from 6.0 in 1960 to 2.1 in 1983, which is equal to the number of population replacement levels. The rate decreased to less than 1.3 in 2001, reaching 1.09 in the year of 2005. In the wake of these changes, the number had been fluctuating, until it recently dropped to 0.98 in 2018. Ever since entering this century, Korea's fertility rate has been persisting within the degree of 1.3 and 0.9, which can be considered a record-breaking number when considering both the rate itself and the duration of persistence.
It has been stated that Korea will be facing a future in becoming the world's fastest aging society, catching up and going ahead of Japan around the 2040s.
Universities are bound to face great hardship soon. According to data that was recently announced by the government, it has been predicted that the number of university entrants will meet with the university entrance quota starting from 2020, due to the rapid reduction in the number of the student population. Assuming that the university entrance rate will decrease after 18 years, from 67% to 60%, which is when the 326,822 newborn babies of 2018 will be eligible for entry into universities, the number of university entrants in the year 2036 will be 196,100. This number is 301,124 less than the number of university entrants in 2018, which was 497,218. After 16 years from now, it can be considered that more than 60% of the current university entrants from the current number is decreasing.
It is important for school staff that is leading the school to view this matter with the stance of the colleges and the majors that they belong to. However, because the new faculty that are being hired nowadays will be working after the year of 2050, I believe that looking at the issues beyond one's individual views and to consider them in terms of the bigger structure which would be the greatest help for the professors that will be leading Hanyang University and for the continuity of the Hanyang Foundation, striving hard for the Hanyang community as a whole.
With such a situation, the university's role in lifetime studies is crucial. As the number of average life expectancy is constantly increasing, the existing lifetime classification on studies, working, leisure-time, and social involvement according to one's life cycle stages such as adolescence, middle life, senescence and more are becoming less relatable to our lives. In the future aging society where the years of senescence are increasing, all activities of studying, working, leisure, and social involvement should be continued throughout one's life, simultaneously. When taking that side of view, we need to expand the definition of students and include all members of the society within the definition, along with preparing for the changes of the study system under the new definition.
A heavy boulder is hard to move in the beginning, but once it starts rolling down, it creates progress that no one can stop. I believe that what Hanyang is accomplishing at the beginning of the Gyungja year looks very similar to that of the boulder. Just as all of our efforts have already moved the heavy boulder, I promise that, in this new year, we will make endless races for Hanyang to make higher and further progress.
Dear honorable Hanyang family!
Hanyang is reaching its 81st anniversary this year. Today, I want to talk about the new accomplishments and new fruits that we will be yearning for as of this moment.
We understand that the high status of this leading private university was due to all of our Hanyang family's passion and devotion for the past 80 years.
Therefore, I would like to say that our future accomplishments should also be done with the minds of all of our Hanyang families together. What, we, Hanyang are aiming for is something that cannot be done by one individual, and even if it were possible, it would end with no meaning to be seen. These will be the works that we will strive for and make progress in changing and innovating the areas of studies, research, social innovation, business start-ups, and more, with the core value of 'Love in Deed and Truth' leading Hanyang become more Hanyang throughout the years.
I believe that innovation is created through integration based on mutual cooperation. Nevertheless, we have to ask ourselves whether we are making mutual cooperation when we are talking about innovation and integration.
Nowadays, there is a coined term called 'AI for All'. I recently visited a university in the U.S., which had 163 core professors from the school of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. Meanwhile, the total number of professors within the 5 majors from the college, which are Computer Science, Informatics, Intelligent Systems Engineering, Data Science, Information and Library Science, reached 217. This was made possible through the joint-appointment professor system. Although I gave an example of a college related to computer studies, I promise that I will make thoughtful deliberation on creating such a mutual cooperation platform throughout the fields of studies with you.
Dear Hanyang family!
I think the biggest virtue of the word 'New Year' lies at 'being new' or 'starting something new.' Such newness can be realized not by normative activities but by practicing it with a strong will. We can say that greeting a new year is meaningful because we can start something new and try hard to practice it.
As the president, I think of the future that the Hanyang community will form. I wish the future that the Hanyang community dreams of would be more diverse and dynamic. As all living things change, I wish dynamic moves to lead and respond to the ever-changing world would sweep around the campus. It will be an important power source, more important than domestic and global university rankings.
Some say that the difference between a community and a group is whether the members can share the destiny, superseding their interests. We wish Hanyang's future to march in through active discussion, consensus, and practice within the community of Hanyang.
I wholeheartedly thank Hanyang's family for loving and blessing Hanyang. As you are precious members of Hanyang University, I will do my best to make you feel proud of Hanyang this year as president.
Have a happy new year, and I wish you the best. Love.
Global News Team
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