South Korea’s Ambassador to South Africa, Mr Chull-joo Park, on March 16, 2022 visited the King Sejong Institute at the University of Botswana. King Sejong Institute was officially opened in October 2018 as part of efforts to promote Korean culture in Botswana as well as to offer short courses in Korean language.
Welcoming the Ambassador, Dr Thulaganyo Mogobe, explained the impact the Korean culture and media has had on Batswana youth which he said had become part and parcel of their daily routine besides cultural artifacts such pop culture music, drama and telenovelas that are regularly broadcast on Botswana Television.
Dr Mogobe further revealed that prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 45 students had enrolled at the King Sejong Institute to study Korean language and culture.
In response, Mr Chull-joo Park expressed the desire for more Batswana to visit and experience Korea either as tourists, students or researchers. He observed that the University of Botswana could in collaboration with the embassy organize seminars either in Botswana or Korea for the benefit of both countries in a number of areas of mutual interests.
Mr Chull-joo Park said if the Korean course at the University of Botswana could become an accredited programme, it could open doors for many Batswana especially on exchange programmes, scholarships and employment in Korea. He added that such an opportunity also had the potential to trigger investment and trade between Korea and Botswana.
Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, said during his recent visit to South Korea, he established some student exchange programmes. Professor Norris added that it would be of great benefit to students if the Korean language course at the University of Botswana were to become an accredited programme.
Regarding the proposition for seminars, Professor Norris welcomed the idea, noting that partnerships and collaborations were critical to the advancement of the university. He acknowledged the impactful contributions that Korean universities have had on their country’s economic growth which could promote prospects more collaborations.
Also present at the event were Faculty of Humanities Dean, Professor Fidelis Nkomazana and Deputy Dean, Professor Thapelo Otlogetswe.