Handong Global University

Handong Global University

Handong Global University
Motto “Why Not Change the World?”
Established 1995
Type Private
President Kim Young-gil
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 3561 (2007)
Postgraduates 430 (2007)
Location Pohang, Gyeongsang, South Korea
Campus Rural
Nickname HGU
Mascot Seagull
Website http://www.handong.edu [2]

Handong Global University (Korean: 한동대학교, Hanja: 韓東大學校) is a private, Christian, four-year university located in Pohang, North Gyeongsang province, South Korea.


  • Overview 1
  • History 2
  • Costs (2005) 3
  • Financial aid 4
  • Faculty 5
  • Location 6
  • Admission requirements 7
  • Application information 8
  • Undergraduate colleges 9
  • Graduate schools 10
  • Establishment of Handong Graduate School of Global Development and Entrepreneurship 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Handong Global University strives to be a “World-Changing Global Leadership University,” educating 21st century leaders for Korea and the world. To achieve this goal, the university emphasizes academic excellence, moral character, language skills, social development, computer proficiency, Christian commitment, interdisciplinary majors, a global perspective, and service projects. International programs are available at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

The student body numbers 3500 students and comes from 62 different countries.

Undergraduate programs are organized under twelve schools: Global Leadership School, School of International Studies, Languages, and Literature, School of Management and Economics, School of Law, School of Communication Arts and Sciences, School of Counselling Psychology and Social Welfare, School of Spatial Environmental System Engineering, School of Industrial and Information Design, School of Life Sciences, School of Computer Sciences and Electronic Engineering, School of Mechanical and Control Engineering, Global EDISON Academy

While the university offers 30 to 35% of its courses in English in any given semester, the majors that English speaking foreign students can pursue are: Information Technology, Global Management and Business, US and International Law, Psychology and Counseling, and Korean Studies

To graduate, a student must complete 140 credits, including two 33 credit majors, 21 credits of liberal arts courses, 12 credits of Korean language, 9 credits of Christian studies, 8 credits of computer studies, 6 semesters of chapel attendance, courses in both English and Korean Language, and mandatory courses in leadership training, character development, and reading.

Graduate programs are offered by seven schools. Although graduation requirements vary from one school to another, all programs emphasize active scholarship, Christian vocation and values, appreciation for objective truth, problem-solving and practical knowledge, creative and critical thinking, research and service, especially in the developing countries throughout Asia and Africa. About 700 Handong students engage in social service and development projects in developing countries every semester (as of Nov. 2007).

Trained in a strong academic program, several graduates from Handong Global University were accepted to graduate programs at Harvard, Yale, UCLA & Columbia and Seoul National University, Yonsei University, Korea University and Korea Advanced Institute for Science & Technology. 10% of graduates are currently employed at Samsung electronics company and LG electronics company. Graduates are also working at world leading firms like IBM, Microsoft, Yahoo & Google and Korean multinational corporations like Samsung SDS, Hyundai motors, Kia Motors, Shinhan Bank, SK Telecom, Korea Telecom and others. Handong International Law School is producing lawyers and attorneys; out of 120 law graduates, 64 passed American bar exams (NY, Alabama, Kentucky, Kansas & Tennessee).


Handong University was founded in December 1994. The founder of the university, Song Tae-Hun, was also the owner of a medium-sized company, and donated land and funds to establish a Christian university. He invited Dr. Kim Young-Gil to be the first president. Dr. Kim was well-respected as a Christian leader, and had formerly worked as a research scientist at NASA and also as a professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).[1]

The university faced many challenges in the beginning. The founder’s company went bankrupt while President Kim was recruiting the first professors and students. The university also met local opposition from Pohang citizens who expected the university to serve primarily Pohang residents. When it became known that the university would be a Christian university, recruiting students from all over Korea, many Pohang residents opposed the establishment of the university. This led to many lawsuits, and in one of these suits, President Kim was accused of having used government subsidies for purposes which had not been officially approved. He was acquitted and freed after spending 56 days in prison.[1]

Due to the shortage of finances, the university faced many crises of bankruptcy. President Kim and the vice-president visited many churches and met Christians both in Korea and abroad to ask for donations. Many Korean churches and Christians contributed so that Handong would not be bankrupt. The pastor of Onnuri Church (Seoul) became the chairman of the Handong University board, which helped to establish a long relationship between the two institutions.[1] President Kim himself donated his severance pay from KAIST. Many professors worked without payment for several months. Evaluated by the Ministry of Education as reformative in education, Handong won various government educational projects, and the university was financially able to operate.[1]

Since the foundation of the university, Handong University has continued to pursue excellence in innovative education and in internationalization. Despite financial hardships, many competent Christian professors and students came to Handong.[1] Pursuing the integration of spirit, academics, and character, the university has worked to accommodate all students inside campus dormitories. With required computer courses and English courses, the university became popular among recruiters of large corporations for its competent and practical graduates. In 2007, Handong University joined the University Twinning and Networking (UNITWIN) program, an initiative of UNESCO.[2] The university was selected as an “Advanced College Education” institution by the Korean Ministry of Education in 2010 and 2011.[3] It was also nominated as one of the 10 UNAI hub universities in 2010.[4]

In 2014, Dr. Jang Soon-Heung was inaugurated as the 2nd president of Handong Global University. After President Jang assumed office, he announced new primary objectives for the university, framed as “Ten World-Changing Projects,” which he hopes will guide the university’s future endeavors.[5]

Costs (2005)

The cost of attending Handong Global University is comparable to costs at other universities in Korea. The average tuition charge is approximately $4,000 or 3,200,000 (South Korean won) per semester, although tuition will vary from 2,528,000-3,276,000 won depending on a student’s program. In addition, there is an admission fee of 550,000 won for new students, a student activity fee of 25,000 won, and dormitory fees totalling 1,395,000 won (half of which is for campus meals) per semester. Students also will need approximately 300,000 won ($300) per semester for food and 300,000 won ($300) per semester for books. Personal expenses may vary considerably depending on each student’s needs and choices.

Financial aid

Handong University provides generous academic grants and scholarships for students coming from developing countries or social-economic backgrounds that may pose an obstacle to higher education. Many generous sponsors have also established scholarship funds to assist students in specific demographic or academic categories. International students may also apply for full or partial scholarship grants.

Through the school Papyrus Basket Foundation, the school provides many scholarships to students, most of which are limited or partnered with other funding institutions. The school's foundation is key to Handong's effort to train the next generation of leaders and scholars from developing countries, regardless of the young person's ability to afford an education at Handong and in Korea. This is in keeping with the university's goal to make education and life advancement opportunities available to students regardless of their social status or economic background. In addition, the university offers scholarships based on academic merit and financial need for local Korean students.


The faculty at Handong Global University are international in scope and varied in background. Most hold terminal degrees in their fields of instruction. To teach foreign languages and to enhance the global environment at HGU, the university has recruited many international faculty who are native speakers of English and Chinese. Especially important is the commitment of HGU faculty to mentoring students, supporting global and cross-cultural perspectives, and integrating Christian values with their academic specialities. Faculty who teach at Handong are all professing Christians who have signed their adherence to the University's Statement of Faith, which can be found on the university's website.


Covering approximately 200 acres (0.81 km2), Handong is located in Pohang, South Korea. Pohang is a rapidly growing city, currently numbering approximately 500,000 people. Pohang City is known to the world as the headquarters for several large steel factories, two of which are Posco and INI Steel. Posco is Korea’s largest steel mill which supplies 50-70% of its output for domestic steel needs. Pohang is a seaport city drawing many visitors for its variety of fresh fish and its proximity to Kyungju (30 minutes), the ancient capital city of the Shilla dynasty. The city is expected to grow by 30% in the next three years with the completion of a new sea cargo port and the installation of a new shipyards by Hyundai.

Handong is located in the rolling hills of the “North Beach” district of Pohang between the city proper and the smaller town of Heung-Hae. Perched atop a hill, the campus looks out over the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and surrounding rice fields. A small lake borders the east-side while an undeveloped expanse of land which also belongs to Handong borders the southern campus. Only 1/3 of the campus property has been developed; the remaining land is expected to be finished by 2010.

Admission requirements

Admission to Handong Global University is competitive, and applicants are evaluated on three criteria: previous academic performance, an interview, and English proficiency. To be considered for admission, high school students from Korea must have outstanding academic records and be ranked in the top 5% of the National College Entrance Exam. Transfer students must possess minimum scores on English proficiency tests ( 650 or higher on TOEIC; 521 or higher on TEPS; 69 or higher on TOEFL(IBT)); in addition, they must have completed at least 70 university level credits (60 credits if a student is transferring from a university outside Korea). Applicants from outside Korea must meet standards that are equivalent to those of the Korean educational system.

Application information

The application and selection process includes two stages: the document stage and the interview stage. To apply, a student must submit the following documents.

  • A completed application form
  • One self-introduction form
  • An original copy of the applicant’s high school transcript
  • One copy of the financial statement form
  • A copy of the applicant’s entry document into Korea (if applicable)
  • A copy of the applicant’s “Birth Statement” book (or birth certificate) issued by a government office
  • A copy of the applicant’s foreign registration card, as well as her/his parent’s foreign registration cards (if applicable)

Undergraduate colleges

  • Global Leadership School
  • School of International Studies, Language and Literature (ISLL)
  • School of Management and Economics
  • School of Communication Arts and Science
  • School of Industrial and Media Design
  • School of Spatial Environment System Engineering
  • School of Mechanical and Control System Engineering
  • School of Life Science
  • School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
  • School of Law
  • School of Counseling and Social Welfare
  • Global EDISON Academy

Graduate schools

  • Handong International Law School (HILS)
  • Information Technology
  • Bio-Technology
  • Mechanical and Control System Engineering
  • Spatial Design and Engineering
  • Global Management
  • Interpretation and Translation

Establishment of Handong Graduate School of Global Development and Entrepreneurship

UN declared 8 Goals as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in the year 2000 with the main objective of halving the world extreme poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability by the year 2015. The world community has been spending much of its effort to reduce world hunger and poverty, especially since the establishment of the MDGs, but the results have fallen short of the goals. The traditional model for assisting developing countries has been based on cash grants with either unprincipled or too rigid specificity. In January 2011, the UN designated Handong Global University (HGU) as the UN Academic Impact Global Hub for Capacity Building in Higher Education Systems (http://outreach.un.org/unai . As a UNAI Action Program for the Global Hub of Capacity Building, HGU established the Handong Graduate School of Global Development & Entrepreneurship (HGS GD&E). Its main goal is to cultivate professionals who, in response to the needs of communities in developing countries, can contribute to the establishment of the indigenous and transformative capability that will lead to comprehensive and sustainable development for the communities.


  1. ^ a b c d e Kim, Phyllis Young-Ae. The Papyrus Basket: The School in the Wilderness. S.l.: Xulon, 2006. Print.
  2. ^ http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/ED/pdf/listnetworks3112014.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.handong.edu/eng/sub01/sub01_05_01.jsp
  4. ^ http://unai-capacitybuilding.org/
  5. ^ http://www.handong.edu/handong/sub01/sub01_02_04.jsp

External links

  • Handong Global University home page
  • NANUMI(The Promotion Team of HGU) blog
  • Handong Global University Facebook
  • Handong International Law School
  • Handong University Global Leadership Center
  • Handong Information System Network
  • Handong International Church
  • Handong Today (Handong Global University English Newspaper)