Irvine, Calif., March 27, 2013 – Continuing his effort to expand affiliations with top research universities internationally, UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake will travel to South Korea on April 5-6 to visit with leaders in education, business and government.

Among his stops are Ewha Womans University, the largest women’s college in the world; Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, consistently ranked as one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in South Korea; and KAIST, the country’s first research-oriented science and engineering university.

“At UC Irvine, we have always had a strong affinity with our educational partners in South Korea,” Drake said. “We have also been privileged to see vibrant business growth and political contributions by the Korean American community in Irvine and throughout Southern California. So we look forward to partnerships such as these, which are a natural and fitting extension of our local relationships.”

The chancellor also will meet with Chung Jin-suk, secretary general of South Korea’s National Assembly; Sung Kim, U.S. ambassador to South Korea; Sohn Kyung-shik, chairman of the South Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry; and Moon Yong-lin, superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. Sukhee Kang, former mayor of Irvine and the first Korean American mayor of a major U.S. city, is helping coordinate the trip as part of his role as special adviser to Drake on South Korean relations.

Ewha Womans University, like UC Irvine, is known for promoting interdisciplinary study, especially in the areas of life sciences and international development. Drake and Ewha President Kim Sun-uk will meet on the Seoul campus to sign an agreement promoting collaborative research and faculty and student exchanges.

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies aims to train the global leaders of the future by facilitating study-abroad opportunities and student exchanges with other top-rated research universities. The Seoul institution has strong programs in law, social sciences, education, and business and economics, as does UC Irvine. Drake’s meeting with HUFS President Park Chul is designed to foster a large-scale linguistic collaboration to help bolster student exchanges.

Instructors at KAIST, formally the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, in Daejeon, have strengths mirroring those of UC Irvine faculty – particularly in science and engineering. They conduct research in cooperation with academies and industries worldwide. Meeting with KAIST President Sung-mo “Steve” Kang, former chancellor of UC Merced, Drake will sign a memorandum of understanding to strengthen ongoing partnerships in science, technology and business administration.

A year ago, Drake and three UC Irvine faculty members embarked on a similar academic mission in Israel, forging research collaborations and student and faculty exchanges with that country’s leading universities. Other agreements have been made with institutions in Norway, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Japan, China and Vietnam.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,400 staff. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.3 billion. For more UCI news, visit

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