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UK’s first South Korea campus to open this year

Scotland’s University of Aberdeen will open the UK’s first branch campus in South Korea later this year, it has announced.

University of Aberdeen Hadong campus South KoreaUniversity of Aberdeen vice-principal Seth Kunin (centre left) with Korean partners at the announcement of the Hadong campus in 2015. The campus was initially set to open in September last year, but will arrive a year behind schedule due to financial and bureaucratic delays. Photo: University of Aberdeen

The Hadong campus will focus on teaching engineering subjects needed for the offshore oil and gas industry

The campus, based in the Gwangyang Free Economic Zone in Hadong District in the southeastern South Gyeongsang province, will focus on teaching engineering subjects needed for the offshore oil & gas industry – a key area of investment for South Korea.

“We look forward to the campus becoming a centre of expertise in offshore engineering”

As part of this investment, the campus is backed by “establishment funding” from the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

In the first year, it will offer a one-year graduate course in petroleum engineering. The curriculum will later expand to offer courses in subsea engineering and oil & gas topside engineering.

The campus will be licensed to offer one-year master’s and MBA courses, as well as PhD programs in engineering.

“The Korea project is a major step forward in our internationalisation plans and we are very excited about the prospect of taking our expertise in offshore/oil & gas related teaching and research to the region and having the opportunity to work with our educational, governmental and industrial partners to make this a huge success,” the University of Aberdeen’s principal, Ian Diamond said in a statement.

The campus was initially set to open in September last year, but will arrive a year behind schedule due to financial and bureaucratic delays.

It was given the go-ahead last month after a visit to the University of Aberdeen’s home campus by nine representatives from the Hadong and South Gyeongsang municipalities.

Eighteen members of faculty from the campus in Aberdeen will transfer to the Hadong campus in time for the September opening.

Speaking at the launch of the branch campus in 2015, Hee Bong Lee, commissioner of the Gwangyang Bay Free Economic Zone Authority, said: “The Korean partners actively support the establishment of the university’s Hadong campus, which we look forward to becoming a centre of expertise in offshore engineering thanks to the strong curriculum on offer and the university’s reputation for excellence in offshore teaching and research.”

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