The London Sejong Institute, which is a joint initiative between Richmond The American International University, and the King Sejong Institute Foundation, was opened through an event held at Richmond’s south west London campus.
The institute will run Korean language courses for the university’s students, staff and faculty – and will also be open for classes for the local community, as well as frequent Korean cultural events.
The opening of the institute follows a successful trial, which took place over the last year.
At the event marking the opening, speeches were given by President and VC of the university Phil Deans, as well as the Korean Embassy’s Consul General Seung-shin Lee and Director of the Korean Cultural Centre UK Jungwoo Lee.
“Korea has many remarkable stories to tell the world, about change and continuity, and struggle and success, about its past and its future,” Dean said.
“I am delighted and honoured that, with the excellent work of the Sejong Institute, Richmond the American International University can play a part in telling this story.”
Despite opening the centre in its current situ in late 2021, the university is actually planning a campus move to Chiswick Park in the west of the city – the institute itself will make the move there as well.
This hasn’t deterred the view of students though – Michael Flynn, who is studying Korean at Richmond, said that the institute’s course has been a “great experience”.
“I have been really impressed by the dedication and professionalism of the teaching staff and find myself each week very much looking forward to the next lesson,” Flynn said.
“I believe that the London Sejong Institute will be a great example of Korean learning in the UK”
“I also find myself increasingly appreciating the logic and beauty of the Korean language – I am looking forward to continuing to the next course in 2022,” he added.
The consul general commented that the demand to learn about Korean culture in the UK was a great asset.
“Since I came to the UK two years ago, I have been able to witness the rapid increase in popularity of the Korean culture in the UK,” said Seung-shin Lee.
“This fever for Korean culture naturally led to people being interested in the Korean language.
“I believe that the London Sejong Institute will be a great example of Korean learning in the UK and also deepen understanding between the UK and the Republic of Korea,” he added.