UQ launches Korean Studies Centre

22 January 2020

The University of Queensland will strengthen knowledge and understanding of Korean language and culture with the launch of their Korean Studies Centre next month.

His Excellency Mr Baeksoon Lee, Ambassador of Korea - Republic of Korea will host the event at Customs House on Wednesday, 5 February, highlighting the importance of Australia’s relationship with their fourth largest trading partner.

Housed in UQ’s School of Languages and Cultures, this new Centre will provide opportunities for strategic partnerships with industry, government and community groups – creating greater awareness and understanding of Korea in Australian society.

Co-Directors Dr Jae-Hoon Jung and Dr Isaac Lee said the Centre’s goal is to foster research in Korean language, culture, history, society and more through a series of externally facing public events and activities.

“A main focus for the Centre will be on the research of Korean language, culture and communication through translation and interpreting,” Dr Lee said.

Thanks to the philanthropic support of Susan Sookjin Lee, Vice-Chairperson, the National Unification Advisory Council Republic of Korea and CEO of Jae My Holdings Group, a Postdoctoral Researcher (Dr Seryun Lee) has been appointed to join the Centre in February.

This academic position will support teaching, external engagement, and research projects related to Korean language and culture and Korean studies.

Ms Lee said the Centre will take initiative in exploring a variety of comprehensive researches into the more systematic and strategic approaches to the Korean peninsula issues.

“Our aim is to seek permanent peace in the region rather than simply reiterating the hard-line views,” she said.

Dr Jung recognises the critical importance of increasing awareness of the Korean society, language, history and culture.

“We want to deepen ties between Australia and the Republic of Korea, and act as an international vehicle for research, teaching and community initiatives on Korean language, culture and studies,” he said.

UQ as an institution has a history of connecting people around the world through language and culture; with its Institute of Modern Languages (IML) celebrating 85 years of service last year.

What started as a vision of enhancing international understanding and awareness through language programs has seen IML grow to become one of our nation’s most comprehensive translation and interpreting services.

The opening of UQ’s Korean Studies Centre hopes to have a similar impact and initiate a qualitative and quantitative expansion of Korean studies and language education in Australia.

Media: Weston Bruner (Director of Advancement, HASS), wbruner@uq.edu.au, +61 435 386 424, Jae-Hoon Jung, jaehoon.jung@uq.edu.au.