UBC fosters academic exchange with scholars from North Korea

[For the second year in a row, the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, is hosting six economics professors from the DPRK. The following Program Information comes to us from CanKor Brain Trust member Park Kyung-Ae, as issued by the university’s Public Affairs Department. The North Korean scholars are unavailable to speak to media. However if you wish to speak to a UBC spokesperson, please consult the original July 2012 document here. –CanKor]

Kim Il Sung University, Pyongyang (Photo by David Stanley)

The University of British Columbia is hosting six North Korean professors for six months starting in July 2012 as part of the Canada-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Knowledge Partnership Program.The KPP was established in 2011 when a first visit of six professors was organized by Kyung-Ae Park, director of the KPP and a professor of political science at UBC. It aims to foster academic study and knowledge exchange between the two countries.

“This program is an example of how universities can promote constructive engagement through teaching, learning and research,” says Grace Wong, senior advisor international, office of the Provost and Vice President Academic at UBC. “We hope to continue to increase collaborations in the peninsula through our Korean studies programs.”

This year’s six participants are professors at Kim Il Sung University, the University of National Economy and Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies. They will be taking courses in English and in their areas of expertise – international trade, finance and economics.

Prof. Park has been a leader in facilitating non-official and non-governmental academic exchanges with the DPRK, making several trips to Pyongyang since 1995 to meet with scholars and officials, and hosting delegations to UBC.

“This kind of long-term knowledge exchange with the DPRK is unprecedented,” said Prof. Park. “I have worked for many years to promote this academic exchange.”

UBC is a recognized leader in teaching and research on Asia with a large number of internationally renowned scholars and programs that date back seven decades. In recent years, UBC’s connections with the Asia Pacific region have increased through international research collaborations, faculty and student exchanges and joint programs.

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