UST 21, the Start of New Challenges! (Kil-Choo Moon, President of UST)
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- Registration Date : 2016-06-29
President Kil-Choo Moon took office on January 19 declaring that he would establish a new education system, ‘UST 21’, to meet the changing demand of the 21st century. He has an ambition to improve the education methods and curricula in accordance with the changing environment to build an education system that foresees the next 100 years. His challenge to foster more professional and creative talents commenced with such ambition.
“Challenging spirit involves not ‘doing something unconditionally’ but ‘doing something differently.’
Following the same ways is not a challenge. Also, a successful challenge requires a prerequisite, which is a positive belief that a good chance is in my hand. If I take a UST student as example, you need to have the confidence that you are carrying out a task for your country and its future using the best quality equipment in the best facility. You have to have strong convictions that your project is worth a try. When you accomplish it, you can make yourself go forward,” he commented.
To President Moon, UST is synonymous to challenge. When he d from the research field to the education field, he set up a goal to build an education system that is better organized and can provide students with what they need. It is ‘UST 21’, an education system for the 21st century, which he declared during his inauguration speech.
He went on to say, “It’s been 12 years since UST was founded. During the time, the environment has changed by a great deal, and I believe the education method should be changed accordingly. If we only focus on separate curricula that are going on in 32 different campuses, we might fall into a trap, which is teaching only what we want to. But, our clear goal is to teach what students would need 10 or 20 years later. Additionally, a lecture should be given a sizable class; as such, it can encourage competition between students and can make advancements. To this end, we are going to introduce new lecture methods using our ting-edge techniques and to conduct in-depth research on education contents. We will try various new changes and settle them down.”
In the last five months after taking office, President Moon has focused on communicating with staff members by hosting a discussion session with each department or having dinner together, as well as doing certain extracurricular activities together. It is because the agreement of staff members should be earned first of all in order to accomplish changes. During the discussion session, he could fully recognize the great qualifications and passion of employees and share his vision with them. They share a common goal of driving the advance
ment of the school. He was able to be more confident about the growth potential of the school by personally witnessing their passion.
He has a plan to strengthen the school operation capability by recruiting the graduates of UST as staff members. He added, “The evaluation of the school can be performed by students. In this regard, the job of UST is not about creating the top ranks but about fostering ‘unique’ talents. In other words, we need to herald widely the exceptional qualifications of UST graduates. Furthermore, to nurture and launch talents, who have professional ethics and knowledge and can thus be used in wide spectrum, is another part of my mission.”
No Failure, No Success
Like everybody else, President Moon has reached the current position through various choices and decisions. Whenever he has stood at a crossroad, he thought differently and made a breakthrough by making a bold choice. When he decided to return to Korea to join the military after he ed his undergraduate course in overseas instead of beating his brain for other ways, and when he decided to come back again to Korea while he was working in overseas, he dared to choose to challenge his life.
“Despite the dissuasion of my family and friends, I decided to my undergraduate course for a while to join the military service, because I thought it was worth it. I decided to come back to my home country giving up a stable employment, because I thought I had a mission in my country as a scientist who majored in environment study. I cannot say that all these choices were successful or right, but they were certainly worth every try.”
If there is no failure, there is no success. This is the advice of President Moon as a scientist. Saying a mountain is high without trying to climb it is never a right attitude for a researcher. Only the one who does not know the genuine value of challenge says so. There is something that only challengers can feel. There is something only researchers who stay late at night at the lab concentrating on their project to finally earn a result can feel. The real accomplishment starts with those things.
“From my personal experience, I dare to give a piece of advice to the young scientists to be punctual in life and concentrate. For the last 40 years, I would leave my home at 5:30 in the morning to run so I can build up physical strength and to immerse myself in thoughts about finding solutions for many issues. If you do what everybody else do, you cannot achieve something different from them. You need to take more time and think for longer hours.”
The president will attempt continuous communication with more people. He will try to get closer to UST members through various occasions. At the same time, he hopes they would knock the door of his office whenever they want. Only when they make complaints about what they feel uncomfortable with can the school recognize what is going wrong and can thus achieve development through improvements. He hopes that his readiness to share any kind of opinion for our common goal to make the school better would be widely spread though this interview.
“When I got married 40 years ago, I got an advice from my senior colleague. To repeat, the colleague advised me, ‘I was lucky to get married’ every morning when I face the mirror. Then, I would be able to lead a successful marriage life. These days, I repeat that I am very lucky that I came to UST before going to work every morning. I wish every UST member would have the same pride in working for UST and making challenges.”