Songdo, South Korea & Stony Brook, NY, March 19, 2012 – A delegation led by State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, SUNY Vice Chancellor Mitch Leventhal and Stony Brook University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dennis N. Assanis, arrived in South Korea this week to join with Officials from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in South Korea to celebrate the commencement of the inaugural semester, and the students who comprise the historic incoming class, of SUNY Korea. A total of 34 students began attending classes on March 3 in the four majors that are currently offered on the Songdo global campus: Masters in Technology & Society (26); Ph.D. in Technology & Society (3); Masters in Computer Science (1); and, Ph.D. in Computer Science (4). All students are residents of Korea.
In May 2009, the SUNY Board of Trustees issued a resolution authorizing the development and implementation of overseas educational programs and research collaborations with partner universities and institutions located at the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ).
Funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the IFEZ, and the Metropolitan City of Incheon, the SUNY Korea partnership makes SUNY the first foreign university to have a permanent physical presence within the global university in the IFEZ.
"SUNY's partnership with Songdo Global University makes us the most visible American university in the Republic of Korea and our substantial presence here serves as a model for higher education around the world," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "Today's ceremony is the culmination of outstanding work by excellent faculty and staff at Stony Brook and Songdo, and I congratulate all those involved for making this valuable partnership a reality. Together, we will create boundless new opportunities for cutting-edge research, business endeavors, and government affairs between our two nations."
SUNY Korea has received preliminary accreditation by Stony Brook University’s accrediting body, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, with a site visit planned later this spring.
“All around the globe US and other academic institutions are creating branch campuses, partnerships, faculty exchange programs, all with the goal of becoming international universities, competing for the best students around the world,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “All of this is exciting, but it pales when compared to the vision for the Songdo Global University Campus. Here at this extraordinary facility, one that appears designed for the 22nd century, great universities from around the world will converge at a single campus to integrate their signature programs, thus creating a truly global educational village. Stony Brook University, through SUNY Korea, is proud to be the first American University with a permanent presence in Songdo, it is a privilege, an honor, and a unique opportunity for our campus to expand what is already a strong relationship with South Korea.”
The SUNY Korea partnership has been awarded funding under a Ministry of Knowledge Economy grant entitled “Fostering Premium IT Professionals.” The total grant is for approximately $50 million for 10 years, and SUNY Korea will work with the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), a top-notch engineering university in Hyoja, for a 20 percent allocation of the grant.
“Stony Brook University, as well as the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, understand the deep importance that higher education plays in training students who will contribute to the growth and development of South Korea’s educational, social and economic systems,” said Dennis N. Assanis, Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Stony Brook University. “Stony Brook University will benefit from this partnership because it places the University on a world stage, and further builds upon our reputation as an ‘internationally’ renowned institution of higher learning. This joint venture strategically positions us to develop cutting-edge research that will contribute new knowledge and new technologies to our global community. With its educational mission and the leadership that we have put in place, SUNY Korea is destined to grow and prosper.”