The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU) is celebrating today having received one of the largest-ever research grants dedicated to the teaching and research of Korean Studies.

The £633,000 research grant, awarded by the Korean Studies Promotion Service (KSPS), Academy of Korean Studies, Ministry of Education in the Republic of Korea (South Korea), will enable the University to provide 41 MA scholarships in North Korean Studies and 4 PhD scholarships in Korean Studies for next 5 years.

The money will also fund annual international conferences in addition to a summer school series for aspiring Korean scholars.

UCLan’s Dr Sojin Lim, Co-Director of IKSU, said: “This award acknowledges the world-leading research expertise we have developed at IKSU over the last six years.

“We are the only UK research institute which covers both South and North Korea while our MA in North Korean Studies is the only degree programme which analyses North Korea outside of the Korea Peninsula.

“In addition, IKSU academic staff come from a wide range of academic disciplinary backgrounds including anthropology, development studies, sociology and international relations which means we can provide an authoritative commentary on the many aspects of Korean life.

“What’s also notable is that KSPS has awarded funding of this magnitude to only two universities across the world this year. For UCLan to be one of those universities is a major achievement.”

Kang Hahn Lee, Director of KSPS, added: “UCLan has been selected as one of the two recipients of our Core University Programme this year as it has the biggest Korean Studies institute in the UK with great potential for growth.

“The University also has high quality academics in social sciences subjects related to Korean Studies. We look forward to some good research results that will contribute to the overall development of the subject. Finally, UCLan’s strong support for its Korean Studies programme was also evaluated positively.”

The IKSU-AKS summer school will be of particular significance to those students interested in both South and North Korea. With access to international organisations, governments and businesses linked to both North and South Korea, students will make the sought-after connections to become junior Korean experts and enhance their employability skills at the same time.