Korea wins the Nuclear Power Plant bid of the United Arab Emirates – Part5; Active Academic Exchanges of Universities


This month I have written 4 reports on this site focusing on the competitiveness of Korea in nuclear power in Abu Dhabi.  The reason why I did this is that there are so many lessons to be learned from this case.

Here, we are able to learn lessons on the importance of strategic approach to the target, to fully understand the needs of the customers.  And of course, lessons on decisions and actions with speed.

As I have written in ‘Part 2’, collaborative research in nuclear power and capacity development are important components of the proposals of Korea.  It was clearly stated in the Request For Proposal by the Emirates Government.  KAIST (Ref.1) and KUSTAR agreed on overall cooperation in education and research in science and technology including nuclear power. 

KAIST has a history of 40 years, but in the last decade, it is quickly transformed itself into a highly competitiveness, world premier institute to meet the challenges of the global world. The institution invited Nobel laureate physician Professor Laughlin from Stanford University as President, and in 2006, has welcomed Professor Shu Nam Pyo (Ref.1) from MIT as his successor. Indeed, KAIST is changing rapidly, and of course, all courses are given in English.

If you think of the rapid change this world is going through, drastic transformation is absolutely needed in every sector of the society, which includes university education, It is obvious that such daring appointments as above are sometimes necessary and indeed more effective and more ‘telling’.  More than a few universities (Cambridge、Princeton、 Harvard、 MIT、 University of  Pennsylvania、Brown, Princeton, etc.) welcomed women as their Presidents.   I am sorry to say that in Japan, this kind of appointment is hard even to imagine.  The world is making great effort to invest in education for capacity building of their people  capable of taking challenges of competing in the global world.  I am quite impressed with the number and eagerness of Korean students going overseas to pursue higher education as, for example, my comments in The Time magazine

Exampl such as this clearly indicates how badly Japan is closed to the outside world compared to other nations.  I have been pointing this out again and again in this site also.  I urge not only Universities (please refer to article by Dr. Glen S. Fukushima (in Japanese)), but also Professors to buckle up!  Don’t forget that students are our future human resource and our future heavily depend on them.  Nothing can be done if their mentors are closed minded.