Building reputation by focusing on four brands
Chonbuk National University (CNBU) has been focusing on creating its own unique brands. Instead of focusing on external development that can be translated into figures, CBNU firmly believes that the key to the university’s mid and long term growth is nurturing and presenting its four unique brands that people can relate to:
- Nurturing adventurous students
- Fostering research areas to become an academic powerhouse
- Creating a pedestrian friendly campus walkway ‘Dulle-Gil’
- Building the most traditional Korean style campus.
The plan aims to overcome the limited reputation of local universities. CBNU’s four brands will attract talented students and faculty members, which will produce distinctive alumni, increase employment rates that will strengthen the university’s reputation. They will lure more research and development funds as well as new students, creating a virtuous cycle for university growth.
Coexisting with the community
CNBU’s core foundation lies in connectivity to the region. The university has been sharing its resources with local residents and utilising regional cultural heritages. Many people think of Hanok when they are in Jeonju city, known as ‘Korea within Korea’. CBNU is the leading regional university in Jeonju. As the city is blessed with Korea’s rich cultural heritage, the idea to become the most Korean-styled university came naturally. This illustrates the fact that the university will not simply focus on the numbers, but will concentrate on becoming a prestigious world university with its own unique brand: the most Korean styled university.
To become the most Korean styled university, CBNU has secured around KRW 50 billion from central and local government to renovate its main campus. It recently unveiled the 70th anniversary plaza with new pagodas, decorated in Hanok style. Construction continues. New buildings include the Law School, International Convention Center and the Whole Person Education Center. The new buildings will feature Hanok’s significant beauty. Adding to that, campus walkways are decorated with traditional lights and patterns. The view of CBNU at night has garnered attention from many people.
Sharing university resources with the local community
CBNU unsparingly shares its rich resources with the local community. The university tore down its fences to invite local residents to the campus. CBNU moved on to merge existing bypass ways to its campus, reconstructing the roads so as not to detour the campus. It also planted trees, created cultural space for performances, exhibition and a resting area, now called ‘Way to Sympathy’, to mark the starting point of the cooperation between the university and the local community. The new 11.4km road, socalled ‘Dulle-Gil’ walkway, is rich with natural resources leads to CBNU’s old main gate and Deokjin Park. It is rare, not only in South Korea, but also in the world to have Dulle-Gil within the campus; Dulle-Gil has been a go-to place for local residents where people can relax in nature. CBNU fine-tuned the road conditions and now it has become the university’s landmark.
Local residents are welcome to use idle lands on CBNU’s expansive campus. The university has rented more than 100 campus gardens to local residents to encourage city farming. CBNU holds ceremonies during the seeding and harvesting seasons, to which local people come to celebrate.
Local and national think-tank for development: CBNU research facilities
The world’s leading prestigious universities have one thing in common; they lead local and national development. CBNU has been contributing to local and national development through its stateof-the art research facilities. These facilities serve as a think tank for development. Major research centers will become CBNU’s brand in the global society: the biggest Zoonosis Research Center in Asia, Center for High-Temperature Plasma Application, the biggest university-owned LED plant farms, Center for Industrialisation of Microorganisms, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Center for Intangible Culture Studies.
Cradle for adventurers
The era of the fourth industrial revolution has arrived. We are living in a society where one cannot thrive on one’s talent alone. Talent now means the ability to cope with unseen risks, to combine given resources, and to solve problems in creative ways. With the new era’s demand for new talent, CBNU has come up with the new slogan: Beyond growth to maturity.
To nurture adventurous students, CBNU operates both a Residential College (RC) and an Off Campus program. Dorms were previously considered places for board and lodging. The RC program combines spaces for learning and living: students can enjoy multiple classes that instill leadership, communication skills, teamwork skills, and cultural experiences. This helps students become a ‘whole person’ while they learn. CBNU students can go abroad through the Off Campus program and learn foreign languages and cultures. By learning about other cultures and lifestyles, students learn to accept differences, to solve difficulties in creative ways and they become global citizens.
University rankings: standing strong
According to QS, CBNU was runner up of Korea’s national universities. It ranked among the top ten best comprehensive universities in Korea. In particular, the learning environment has been in the top ten for seven consecutive years. And research outcomes have been very competitive. According to the 2018 Leiden Ranking, CBNU has been at the top of national universities in Korea for three consecutive years. Moreover, Reuters ranked CBNU as the most innovative national university in South Korea. Dr Lee Namho, CBNU’s president said in an interview: “I’d like to appreciate the hard work and effort that all university members have contributed to these astonishing outcomes. CBNU will continue to create its uniqueness to build up its reputation.”