Colorado State Educator Wins Fulbright to Study Korean Education

The director of international student programs at Colorado State University has been selected to spend two weeks this summer on a Fulbright grant studying the South Korean system of higher education and culture.

Mark Hallett of the Office of International Programs was chosen, along with administrators from New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., by the Fulbright Korean-American Educational Commission. They will participate in the summer 2000 International Education Administrator’s Program in Korea. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and the rest of the world.

Colorado State has important ties to Korea-currently, 88 Korean students and visiting scholars are at the university, the second largest representation of any country, and the university has international memoranda of understanding with Seoul National University and the Korean Institute of Energy Research. Colorado State also has a large number of Korean alumni, and Hallett hopes to meet with some.

As a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Hallett will meet with educators, government officials and students to share information about the structure, mission and governance of the organization, as well as the highly developed level of student services at Colorado State and most American universities.

Korea also is important economically, Hallett said. "Korean higher education is working hard to ‘globalize,’ something that runs contrary to their historical traditions," he said. "Invaded in past centuries by the Chinese, Mongols and Japanese and more recently dominated by the United States and Russia, Korea has traditionally looked inward for reasons of cultural self-preservation and economic independence. Today, Korea is looking outward in education and commerce to enhance those same goals."

According to Hallett, a major initiative of the Korean Ministry of Education is promoting "international manpower." The ministry is funding nine universities with professional graduate programs to produce people with international competence, emphasizing trade and negotiation skills, area studies and the knowledge of culture in an international context.

"Korea is a trading partner of growing importance to Colorado," Hallett said. "It is a fascinating combination, a technologically advanced society with ancient cultural roots in Confucian and Buddhist traditions.

"Educational changes like those I mentioned are important to Korea, but they’re also important to the United States and to Colorado. The exchange will ultimately benefit both parties."

Hallett, who joined Colorado State in 1995, will visit Seoul National University and Yonsei University in the capital city of Seoul. He expects to visit the Pohang University of Technology and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology as well as the Ministry of Education and other organizations involved in higher education in Korea, including junior colleges.

In addition to studying the Korean system of higher education and culture, Hallett will give presentations about American education, international educational exchange and his work at Colorado State University. He will spend a week touring the country outside Seoul.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983 and a master’s degree in college student personnel administration from Indiana University in 1992.