The Korean Studies Office was established on the 5th of February 2013 which was preceded by the presentation and award of prizes for the best students in the concluded Essay Competition 2012. The office was officially opened by the Korean Ambassador to Kenya, the Honorable Chan-Kim Woo.
The opening of the office was a land mark to Korean sponsored activities at the University of Nairobi.
The month of September 2013, saw the inception of the Korean Studies at the University of Nairobi. The programme encompasses a Certificate course in Korean Language, Literature and Culture and a B.A degree course. The courses are being taught by a team of qualified professionals with some of them being delivered by lecturers from Korea. Currently, we have Dr. Yong Yoon based in the School of Economics and Ms. Yuh Jin Park in the Department of Linguistics and Languages.
The programme, which is housed in the Department of Linguistics and Languages, offers a multi-disciplinary approach to students who have an interest in Korean career options through featuring a number of departments within Faculty of Arts and School of Economics.
The Studies kicked off with 11 students but the number has since grown to 16 registered students within two semesters.
Being that Korean Studies has the prospects of growth and development, it has managed to attract the attention of other stakeholders who have contributed in a big way to the achievement of objectives set by Korean Studies.
At the fore front of funding of this Korean Studies Project is the Academy of Korean Studies. It has supported three main projects.
- Bridging the Divide: Networking African and Korean Researcher(201-2013)
- Korean Studies Comparative Research(2010-2012)
- The establishment of the Korean Studies at the University(2012-2015)
The first project, which is bridging the Divide saw the signing of MoUs between the University of Nairobi and Korean Institutions.
- In 2010, an MoU was signed between the Academy of Korean Studies and University of Nairobi.
- In 2011, it was with the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and the activities involved: -Collaborative research
-Kiswahili/Korean Studies support,
Korean students to University of Nairobi.
- Dr. Jeong Park(PhD, 2000-2004)
- Ms Haeran (M.A 2012-2014)
- Ms. Usuk Kim(M.A 2012-2014)
- Ms. Seo Hwa(M.A 2013-2015)
University of Nairobi to Korea
- Ms. Beatrice Okech(M.A, Korean Studies, AKS)
- Mr. Joseph Owiti(M.A, Korean Studies, AKS)
- Diana Rop(M.A Literature, Kyongpook University)
-Exchange of staff
- In 2012, an MoU was signed with Korea Foundation, it involved:
-Visiting professorship to Kenya and Korea
-Korean Studies support
-Exchange of students
- Leroy Misaro(Law, International Summer School, Korea University)
- Juliana Njoroge (Sociology, International Summer School, Korea University)
- Jushi Gitau (Economics, International Summer School, Korea University)
- Phoebe Shikuku(CBPS, a tour of Korea, Embassy of Korea)
- Joel Okwemba (IDIS, a tour of Korea, Embassy of Korea)
- In 2013, an MoU was signed between UoN and Sookmyung Women’s University, that would entail exchange of students.
Korean Studies office managed to host the Korean Galore which was sponsored by the Embassy of Korea. The aim of the event was to popularize Korean Studies and enlighten the Kenyan public on the Korean culture and music. Various prizes were won, with the winners going to Korea for yet another battle with the K-POP. The Kenyan team managed to emerge number two amongst twenty participants in the singing and dancing competition.
On the 24th of July, 2013, the programme had the Bridging the Divide: Networking African and Korean Project. During which there was a seminar and the launch of the Korean Studies Association. The President of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies donated to the Korean Studies Office, which has gone a long way in facilitating the teaching and delivery of the Korean Studies program.
The 14th of October, 2013 saw the donation of office items by the Incheon Football Club through the Global Peace Foundation. Amongst the items donated were high back chairs, a conference table, a projector and a screen, a home theatre, a white board and markers.
The most recent activity held by the Office was the Africans Sing Korean Soul, which was sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that of Trade and Korea Foundation. It was an audition open to the general public. The winner got an opportunity to visit Korea and produce an album.
The Essay Competition of 2011 saw the publication of a book entitled, The Essay as a Handshake, it was a compilation of the Best ten Essays.