Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE)

Enhancing University Competitiveness through Educational Facilities


Some 120 people from 19 countries attended CELE’s conference: “Enhancing University Competitiveness through Educational Facilities” (Seoul, 18-20 June). It was co-organised with the Korean Educational Development Institute’s education research centre (EDUMAC) and co-hosted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.


The aim of the conference, which is the third in the series “Higher Education Spaces and Places: for Learning, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange” was to present and share information on how university facilities impact on a university’s competitiveness, and how to develop and manage effective higher education environments.


The conference was opened by First Vice Minister Ung-Gweon Kim and KEDI President Tae-wan Kim. Deputy Minister Kyeongmo Koh gave a keynote address on the competitiveness of countries and their universities and on Korean government policies to enhance the competitiveness of universities.


The conference was organised in four sessions, covering university visions for the future, facilities design and creating the sustainable campus, using public-private partnerships for university facilities and the management of facilities. Speakers were from Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Through these sessions participants explored why university facilities matter. They discussed developments in university campuses across Asia through different presentations from China, Japan and Korea and compared these with international examples. While there are contextual differences, there is much commonality, particularly in response to the question of how to make relevant the university campuses of today. In the words of one speaker, “… thirty years from now, the big university campuses will be relics … today’s buildings are hopelessly unsuited and totally unneeded”.


As part of the conference programme, delegates visited Seoul National University and its dormitories, as well as the Ewha Women’s University Campus Complex: an unusual and visually striking underground building which attracts many visitors to the university.


 Photo 1


This ramp leads to the gianrt staircase


 Photo 2

Half way up the staircase ... looking out

The Ewha Women’s University Campus Complex, Seoul, Korea. It was designed by French architect Dominique Perrault and completed in 2008.

Further information on the conference can be found on: http://cele2012korea.com and on the Higher Education Spaces and Places series: www.oecd.org/edu/facilities/highereducation.


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