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08/28/2019 Special > Special Headline News


[HYU High] Why did Hanyang university students go to DHL during their exam period?

“Education is now heading to Industry-Coupled Problem-Based Learning (IC-PBL) which connects universities and industries.”


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Instead of staying on campus during the exam period, Hanyang University students headed to the DHL Korea headquarters in Seoul. This was to present an on-site project with DHL, where students prepared an answer to the question, 'How can exporting e-commerce companies use DHL instead of other express logistics companies?' The lively discussion at the scene seemed like a meeting of DHL employees, but it was actually the final exam scene of Hanyang University's Management Problem Solving Practice class. The students received in-depth basic training and had a Q&A session on e-commerce duties from the DHL staff in advance. They also acquired on-site knowledge needed to complete the assignment by visiting the DHL gateway directly. In addition to DHL, Hanyang students are taking special classes to receive projects from various companies. This teaching method is ‘IC-PBL(Industry Coupled Problem Based Learning)’, an outstanding educational model unique to Hanyang University.

What is Hanyang University’s IC-PBL?
Hanyang University provides specialized PBL education to strengthen the connection between the university and industries. IC-PBL refers to Industry-Coupled Problem-Based Learning. In this context, Industry means society as a whole beyond the industry itself.  In Hanyang’s IC-PBL class model: (1) companies directly deliver the project to the students, (2) the students design a class scenario using the given topic. Then, (3) based on the scenario, lectures will be organized to have discussions and trainings, and lastly, (4) students will be evaluated by company experts. IC-PBL can be divided according to different class types as follows. ‘Merge: field integrated type’; ‘Evaluate: on-site evaluation type’; ‘Create: problem solving type’; ‘Anchor: on-site problem type’ (Refer to the diagram below). As of 2018, a total of 28 companies are participating in the IC-PBL program and the number is increasing every year.


Conventional university lectures were mostly teacher-centered; students passively take in the lectures, and receive good grades on the subject by memorizing lecture notes. However, this approach has only made students passive, and they lacked the ability to find answers on their own. One of ‘The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ presented by the World Economic Forum is 'Problem Solving Ability'.  In the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution, it is crucial to foster problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, as well as cooperation skills to solve problems, rather than simple memorization. In line with this, universities have the duty of finding and innovating more effective teaching methods. Hanyang University's IC-PBL teaching model is one of the best teaching methods for this demand. By expanding on-site practical learning in classes and carrying out problem-solving projects, students can naturally cultivate ‘creativity’ through generating new ideas, through the ‘ability to cooperate’ and through ‘critical thinking’ to make a rational decision among team members. As a result, these lectures help students improve their problem solving skills.

The performance of introducing IC-PBL classes has also been steadily shown. The number of students taking IC-PBL classes at Hanyang University increased dramatically from 96 in 2016 to 4,015 in 2018. At the same time, the class satisfaction rate rose from 3.7 to 4.0. The rise in education satisfaction is largely attributed to the fact that students are leading the class, unlike conventional classes. In fact, the students had to put a lot of effort, but they said that they had much to learn. The IC-PBL class can kill two birds with one stone by increasing students' educational satisfaction and improving their problem solving ability.
(left) Number of Hanyang students completing IC-PBL classes
(right) Satisfaction rate of students completing IC-PBL classes
Increasing international interest in IC-PBL classes
Hanyang University's IC-PBL class in line with industry-university cooperation is also attracting international attention. This can be proven by the fact that Hanyang University's IC-PBL class is listed at the UNESCO PBL Center. On the PBL Center page, hosted by AALBORG University in Denmark and sponsored by UNESCO, introduces PBL cases from 20 universities around the world for the exchange and development of PBL curriculum, and Hanyang University’s IC-PBL is also listed as a representative example.

Moreover, Hanyang's IC-PBL homepage shows that various institutions are paying attention to the program. The website, opened with the establishment of the IC-PBL Center in September of 2016, allows viewers to download IC-PBL cases, forms, and materials. It is a very active community for sharing information. The cumulative number of downloads by universities and educational institutions in Korea and abroad through the website is approximately 7,500. (

Efforts to Spread – IC-PBL TIP Program

IC-PBL is also of great interest to the Korean government. In July of 2019, Ministers in charge of personnel management of Korean government officials and 34 personnel from 9 government agencies visited the Hanyang IC-PBL center to participate in the program called IC-PBL TIP (Hereinafter referred to as TIP). TIP is a program designed specifically to drive diffusion and innovation by sharing the best practices with IC-PBL excellence. In addition to the designated programs, TIP offers customized courses for the applicant group. To devise a new paradigm shift in human resource development of government agencies, officials participated in the '1 day TIP' that includes the following programs: (1) consulting managers preparing for the introduction and upgrade of the IC-PBL curriculum, (2) developing scenarios to successfully lead the IC-PBL class, (3) preparing an optimized operational plan, and (4) experiencing new educational approaches by sharing successful IC-PBL classes.

Hanyang University has successfully introduced the IC-PBL classes that communicate with industry for the first time in Korea. Hanyang shares the know-how of IC-PBL operation with universities and institutions around the world. Hanyang is leading the ‘Sharing Education’ paradigm.
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