To cope with a rapidly globalizing education environment on its 50th anniversary, Inha University is actively promoting its strategic ties with a group of seven world-class universities: the "Global U7 Consortium." Dr. Hong Seoung-yong, president of Inha University since 2002, has been expanding the school's cooperation with universities of high global status and is discussing the establishment of a "Global University" with the help of these universities. The Global University concept closely resembles that of the European Union's "Erasmus Mundus" program, and its aim is to unite the top educational programs and students of the Eastern and Western worlds.
At the inaugural convention of the Global U7 Consortium presidents hosted by Inha University in April 2004, the group proclaimed the "Incheon Declaration" on the final day, which officially launched the consortium. The Global U7 Consortium will ultimately collaborate in three fields: education, research and building administrative capacity. The member universities recognized joint education as one of the most important areas for collaboration. The consortium will facilitate the student exchanges through credit transfers as the first step of joint education and will then implement joint degree programs as the ultimate goal by fully taking into account the differences in education systems and regulations on the conferment of degrees among countries. Detailed action plans on joint education will be developed by the committee for joint education hosted by RMIT in Australia in the fall of 2004.
Dr. Hong said that the consortium will provide ample opportunities for cooperation in management and advanced technology. The consortium set a high priority on the five areas for collaboration, namely global logistics, marine affairs, information technology, bio-technology, and nano-technology.
Additionally, in the interest of improving global communication, the seven universities will establish a language training center in Songdo New Town, which is part of the new Incheon Free Economic Zone. Intensive courses in English, French, Chinese and Korean will be taught there.
The U7 universities consist of Korea's Inha University, Australia's RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University), China's Xiamen University, France's University of Le Havre, Israel's University of Haifa and America's University of Rhode Island and University of Washington. Other universities have shown an interest in joining the group.