[KS] Threats to Korean Studies at the University of Copenhagen

Andy Jackson gp200 at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 6 17:00:10 EST 2014

Dearfellow Koreanists,

Iusually write to the Korean Studies list about positive events occurring at theUniversity of Copenhagen Korean Studies unit, which has been in business sincethe 1960s and has been going from strength to strength for many years. TheKorean Studies unit has held 7 successful Korean Studies seminars in 2014, and wehave plans for 6 more seminars in 2015, as well as a workshop and a conference.We regularly have over 100 applicants for 15 places on our Korean Studies BAprogrammes. The first year of an annual intake of BA Korean Studies students isdue to graduate this year and we were looking forward to raising the intake to20 per year and also to resurrecting the MA Korean Studies programme.  

It is thereforesomewhat surprising then that the Korean Studies unit at the University ofCopenhagen may face possible closure over the next few years. The Korean Studiesunit faces two threats. Ministers in the present Danish administration are keenon reducing graduate unemployment by attacking humanities. For details see:


Recently,ministers appear to have backed off from the worst of their scheduled cuts, but many fearthis will only be a temporary stay of execution. 

More worrying isthe University leadership’s proposed solution to funding problems, which is tomerge smaller subjects like Korean Studies into bigger subjects like JapaneseStudies, Chinese Studies or Asian Studies. Our fear is such mergers will leadto the loss of language training and cut off funding opportunities fromorganizations like the Korea Foundation. Korean Studies, Tibetan Studies, MongolianStudies, Persian and many other small subjects are under threat. 

Iappeal to my fellow Koreanists to oppose these threats to Korean Studies inDenmark. 

Pleasesign this petition against government attacks on the humanities.


Please email protests to the consolidation ofsmaller subjects like Korean Studies into bigger subjects to:

RectorRalf Hemmingsen: rektor at adm.ku.dk 

DeanUlf Hedetoft: hedetoft at hum.ku.dk


Allthe best, 

AndrewDavid Jackson (krm769 at hum.ku.dk)

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