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What Dongguk Must Do to Be Globalized

   
 
 
 

Chinese homepage had erros.

After the studen'ts request it fixed.

 
 
   
 
 
 
"It would be better if UDRIMS was also in English." And "It would be more useful if the foreign language homepage had more content." These were among the comments received when this Post reporter gathered the voices of foreign students. Recently, a lot of foreign students have come to Dongguk University and the numbers are still rising. In 2010 the number of foreign students was 132 from 27 countries. In 2011 the number of foreign students was 188 from 24 countries and in 2012 the number of foreign students has dramatically  increased to 296 from 23 countries. This shows that Dongguk University is becoming a more global university than before and it is also a reminder that Dongguk University should prepare to make its foreign students’ lives more convenient. Now is the time to improve the quality rather than quantity.

Regrettably Dongguk University needs to make a greater effort to truly become a global university. Particularly the foreign language homepage and UDRIMS are matters which should be solved in the immediate future. In the case of the homepage, no one can deny that it is one of the most important things when students go to university. Nowadays, lots of notices and news about the university are posted on the homepage. There are job openings, information about concerts and festivals, as well as the kinds of camps that are being offered. However, the same cannot be found on the foreign language homepage. Only a little of information is posted on the foreign language homepage which is really uncomfortable for non-native students. There are problems like what important information for foreign students is, and what foreign students have to know.  On the Korean homepage a lot of information is regularly updated. Sometimes more than 8 notices will be updated in just one day, but on the foreign students’ homepage there are no notice updates for weeks and even months. This is huge when considering that many exchange students may only be staying in Korea up to six months or less than a year.

On September 5th this reporter counted the number of notices on the English homepage and there were 31 notices which were updated in 2012. Twenty-three notices out of the total of 31 were all about Buddhism lectures. The second one was about international summer school programs. Dongguk University is fundamentally a Buddhism school  but still it is weird that there are almost all Buddhism-related notices  on the foreign webpage. For instance, on the Korean homepage there was a notice about UDRIMS which said that it would be stopped for a while to fix a problem but there was no notice on the foreign homepage. When there is foreign language on the pages there are also problems that accompany it. On the Chinese language’s contact page you can find strange words. Weather this is because of a technical problem or an administrative one we cannot say for certain.

The Dongguk Post asked foreign students what makes them feel most uncomfortable and what they wanted to see changed when they use the foreign language homepage. One Chinese student whose major is international trade said that she often enters Dongguk University’s Chinese homepage, but after entering the homepage she feels annoyed. For her, it is because there is very little information. She said that when she tried to find the Nam San Residence hall in Dongguk she entered the Chinese homepage first. However, she could not find the information or additional links so she had hard time finding the Nam San Residence hall. She said this was a terrible experience, especially considering the hot weather. Also, a student who comes from US said that he rarely enters the English homepage because he knows that there will be no useful information and even when there is it is a really small amount. He said there are very outdated or broken links on the vast majority of Korean universities’ English homepages, including Dongguk University. He also said that if the Dongguk English homepage was as detailed and complete as the Korean site, then he would go to the Dongguk English homepage first because it would be faster for him. However, the Dongguk English homepage only has the bare minimum pages available.

After the interviews this reporter wondered if the department which controls the foreign language homepage was aware of this problem. An official was then contacted. The official said that it was hard to translate all of the notices and news which existed on the Korean homepage because they do not have enough staff that can translate. He said that his department tries its best to cover all matters through an E-mail service and Facebook notices. They send e-mails to foreign student if they think it is important enough and they try to solve matters to make things more convenient for foreign students. This reporter asked 30 foreign students what they thought about UDRIMS and whether or not it was uncomfortable to use. Students who used Apple products like Mac books and English versions of windows said they could not use UDRIMS. One of them said that it seems UDRIMS can only recognize a Korean version of the windows system and it makes him feel bad because he also needs to use UDRIMS. Foreign students also need to use UDRIMS to register for courses, to check their grades and to check their Nam San Residence Hall’s penalty points, but for the problems mentioned they cannot use it comfortably.

While there are technical problems there is also a language problem. Some students said that they have hard time to use UDRIMS even though they know basic Korean speaking, reading, and writing abilities  but still they are not native Koreans and they have a hard time with academic words. Even professors say that UDRIMS is hard to use. Although Dongguk University gives professors a guide book about UDRIMS, one professor said that if UDRIMS offered an English version than she would be glad and it really is a necessary thing rather than an optional thing because Dongguk University wants to be a world famous global university. Dongguk University should also offer convenient solutions for their software program including being compatible with Apple products. Although lots of Korean people use Microsoft’s window program, considering the global ambitions of Dongguk this needs to change.

When people want change it should be happen. This reporter has wondered why E-Class has changed but still UDRIMS has not. The answer to this is that E-Class has a lot of information but it is a small amount compared to UDRIMS. An official said that UDRIMS has a lot of information so it would take a lot of money and time to change it. One professor said, “Dongguk Univeristy should change UDRIMS and also make the foreign language homepage better.” Otherwise it would be unreasonable to pretend to call this school a global one.

Kim Du-hyeon  kimduhyeon51@gmail.com

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