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UPLB-CPAf forms academic partnership with Yeungnam University-Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul

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Article by Emely D. Dicolen

The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) through the College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf) partners with Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul (PSPS) of Yeungnam University (YU) in South Korea to develop collaborative activities in academic areas of interest. UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. and YU President Sur, Gil-Soo signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UPLB-CPAf and YU-PSPS on April 16 at the Office of the President, YU. Present during the MOU signing were PSPS Dean Kim, Kisu; Vice Deans Lee, Sang-Ho and Moon, Yong Sun; PSPS General Manager Choi, Jung Ho; the Vice President of the Office of External Cooperation Huh, Changdeong; and other YU officials. From UPLB, Assistant Professor Emely D. Dicolen of CPAf witnessed the MOU signing.

The partnership will allow the exchange of faculty, researchers, students; collaborative research projects; conduct of lectures and symposia; exchange of academic information and materials; and other academic cooperation that will be mutually agreed upon by both universities. Immediately after the MOU signing, a meeting was held with PSPS Dean Kim, PSPS Vice Dean Lee, and UPLB Chancellor Sanchez to discuss specific projects that can be launched. One project identified was the training of CPAf faculty and students on the practice of Saemaul Undong, through the Park Chung Hee Saemaul Undong Institute. The guidelines and mechanics of the proposed training will be prepared by Assistant Professor Dicolen and for review of both parties.

Saemaul Undong is also known as the New Community Movement or the New Village Movement. It was a community-driven development program of South Korea launched by President Park Chung Hee in the 1970s to modernize and improve the community well-being in rural communities through agriculture, increased household income, improved village life, communal empowerment, and increased women participation. With the proposed training, it is hoped that CPAf faculty and students will share this community development strategy to the leaders of the communities and local government units they closely work with.

The UPLB-CPAf and YU-PSPS partnership was initiated in June 2016 under the leadership of the two former Deans, Dr. Virginia R. Cardenas of CPAf and Dr. Park, Seung-Woo of the PSPS.

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