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Wednesday,October 21,2020
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DU, Let's Think of a New Way-Attracting Companies' Capital
On March 31, an unlawful occupation of the president's office in the Main Hall was conducted by members of the General Student Council (GSA). The main reason of this occupation was the tuition fee problem. And it will happen again and again without radical reform of Dongguk University (DU)'s funding structure. 
Under DU's current funding structure, there is only one way to raise money; raise the tuition fee. This is because we lack of funding from our foundation and alumni compared to many other universities. 
 It is common to hear of other universities constructing state-of-the-art buildings and facilities financed by certain companies. Korea University (KU), for example, already has constructed a large-scale basement plaza called "GOEX." Due to GOEX, KU's space-using rate has definitely increased. Ewha Women's University is planning to spend approximately 150 billion won to construct a beautiful eco-friendly basement campus. Two thirds of the construction funds come from the school and the rest is from corporations. And Konkuk University  expects to get a considerable fixed income from "The Sharp Star-City" construction project.   
It is obvious that our campus is already full to capacity;  DU needs a new "striking" plan such as a basement campus. But school officials say, we lack the funds. That is why we don't have any large-scale innovation project at the moment. What is the solution? With DU's 100-year anniversary in the offering, the University is making every effort to gather funds from its foundation and the alumni. But we already know it is not easy to raise large-scale funds quickly.
That DU made a contract with NongHyup was therefore sensational news among Donggukians.  DU and Nonghyup reached an agreement on industrial-educational cooperation in various ways. NongHyup will lend DU 20 billion won to help with funding problems related to the Buddhist General Hospital and the two groups plan to help each other further.     
This news means that DU has started to search for financial support, from outside the University.    Korea Univ. has LG-POSCO Hall (for College of Management). It was constructed by LG Group and POSCO and it is a typical model reflecting a win-win strategy between the University and those two companies. The Hall is equipped with top-of-the-line educational facilities.
KU students are very proud of it. As for the companies, it gives them a good public relation image with KU students. The project happened because there were mutual interests and benefits. 
 Our industrial-educational cooperation with NongHyup is a similar example, too. DU needs financial aid to open the hospital and NongHyup needs DU's oriental medicine technology. If the current agreement is successful, DU-NongHyup cooperation will grow.        
It is the 21st century, and Korea is a capitalist society. We can't deny that "enormous capital" can enhance the University's power, especially for professors research and to better equip facilities for students, which will attract talented high school students and so on. We hope and expect more good news like the NongHyup case. The school officials, including the president and executive officers, should strengthen the Management Strategy Team's role and give them the power to negotiate similar plans. DU's strategy of attracting business funds should be continued. It can be the NEW way to lead DU into the future if we Donggukians do our utmost.

Shin Dong-kyu  korea232@dongguk.edu

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