Hanbat National University breaks down walls between students and real world
With partner universities, Hanbat is looking to strengthen its research capabilities in resolving societal concerns such as environmental protection, water management and securing an affordable fuel supply
Hanbat National University is perhaps the most collaborative school in Asia. South Korea’s premiere institute for undergraduate, master’s and doctorate education has 101 partner universities in 29 countries and half as many undertakings with industries and communities worldwide. This collaborative spirit has produced highly employable graduates with relevant skill sets and vast experience working in the real world.
“We expect Asian students interested in our academic approach to come to Hanbat,” says Dr Song Ha-young, president. “We have combined our traditional strength in engineering with the other disciplines such as human science, commerce and design.”
Hanbat boasts of a rich history in engineering education that started in 1927. Today, the university has 31 departments under its graduate school programme spanning environmental and urban engineering to economics, accounting and venture entrepreneurship.
Strategically located at the heart of South Korea’s scientific community in Daejeon, Hanbat offers a true learning environment by providing the students with a wide range of programmes. The university’s strong hands-on approach allows students to acquire, assimilate, transform and exploit knowledge.
Hanbat’s Capstone Design Programme, for instance, requires students to come up with a marketable product and execute the entire business process comprising prototype design, planning, manufacturing and product exhibition. Initially developed for engineering students, Hanbat has extended the programme to also include other departments.
“Innovation for Hanbat is training students to come up with the appropriate solutions and attitude to effectively support our rapidly changing society,” Song says. “Challenge is the foundation of innovation, and innovation is the key strength of Hanbat.”
The government has nominated the institute as the most innovative national university five years in a row. For 2017, Hanbat’s innovation concept is to remove all walls. These include tearing down the barriers between the university and the community or industry in order to give students more opportunities.
Such initiatives gave rise to programmes that are distinctively Hanbat. For instance, the university was the first in the country to implement a field training programme. Through strong collaborations between professors and industry experts, the initiative gives students the opportunity to improve practical skills domestically and internationally.
By receiving education while working with the industries, the students increase their chances of employment. The success of Hanbat’s field training programme has encouraged the university to expand the initiative overseas to countries such as Singapore, Dubai and the United States.
Guided by the same passion for collaboration, Hanbat is also tearing down the walls between professors from different departments to offer a far more integrated education. This strategy has given rise to innovative course offerings such as Hanbat’s pioneering five-year combined bachelor and
master’s programme. Launched by the university four years ago, the new offering allows students to save one whole year of studies.
Hanbat is offering these new courses to its growing number of international students from countries such as China, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Last month, the university opened its in-campus international exchange centre. Besides a generous scholarship programme, Hanbat also gives priority to foreign students wanting to reside in the school’s affordable dormitories.
With more partner universities, Hanbat is looking to strengthen its research capabilities needed in resolving pressing societal concerns such as environmental protection, water management and securing an affordable fuel supply.
This endeavour will also broaden international opportunities for students as Hanbat creates more student exchange opportunities with Eastern European universities while creating support community programmes with universities in countries such as the Philippines.
“Hanbat proactively addresses global issues with a strong challenge-oriented mentality,” Song says. “With our highly industry-integrated education, we see ourselves celebrating our 100th anniversary in 2027 as a truly first-class, global university.”