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Mason Korea

16 Feb Posted by in International | 3 comments
Mason Korea

It is always good to report a collective achievement: after years of planning and preparation, and a lot of work by many faculty and staff both in Virginia and in Incheon, Mason’s Korea campus will open in just a couple of weeks. Students move into the dorms right at the end of February, classes start March 3, and we will have a grand opening ceremony the following weekend. We have three faculty going over from Mason, several other experienced faculty hired and on the job, and the rollout seems to be proceeding pretty smoothly.

Our initial student cohort will be around 40, perhaps a few more, which is pretty much what we planned. We received full authorization from the Korean Ministry of Education only last October, which did not leave a lot of time for recruitment, so frankly we’re very pleased that we have essentially met our initial target. Most of the students are Korean, mainly from international schools, but there are a few from other parts of Asia and one American, from Montana. And we have six Mason Fairfax students going over for the semester. I’m looking forward to meeting them in a couple of weeks.

Just a reminder: our campus is part of an international university combine, with Mason focusing on economics, management and (next year) global affairs, though with other programs, including some graduate offerings, taking shape for the near future. Other universities will be contributing other specialties, and we are forming useful collaborations with the existing partners (currently, Stoney Brook, Ghent, and Utah).

We went into our share of the project with the goal of attracting additional international students, which is clearly underway, but also with hopes of establishing a clear University interaction with one of the currently and prospectively crucial regions of the world. Incheon is admirably placed for this goal, located close to centers not only in Korea but in other parts of East Asia, and the Songdo project, where the campus sits, additionally offers a vibrant contemporary urban environment that is interesting in its own right. It’s reasonable to hope and expect that a variety of Mason faculty and students will benefit from the perspectives possible on and from our new campus.

International ventures are rewarded but unquestionably difficult. We’ve learned some helpful lessons from past experience, but there will surely be some challenges as our current project proceeds. For the moment, however, and again in recognition of the tremendous collective effort that has gone into the launch, it really is a pleasure to report that we’re off and running, and excited about the prospects.