Ewha Womans University

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Ewha Womans University
Ehwa badge.png
Other name
Idae (이대·梨大)
진·선·미 (眞·善·美)
Motto in English
TypePrivate research higher education institution
Established1886; 136 years ago (1886)
FounderMary F. Scranton
PresidentEun Mee Kim
Academic staff
Administrative staff
South Korea

37°33′45″N 126°56′42″E / 37.56250°N 126.94500°E / 37.56250; 126.94500Coordinates: 37°33′45″N 126°56′42″E / 37.56250°N 126.94500°E / 37.56250; 126.94500
CampusUrban, 54.5 ha (135 acres)
Colors  Ewha green
Korean name
Revised RomanizationIhwa Yeoja Daehakgyo
McCune–ReischauerIhwa Yŏja Taehakkyo

Ewha Womans University (Korean이화여자대학교; Hanja梨花女子大學校) is a private women's university in Seoul founded in 1886 by Mary F. Scranton under Emperor Gojong. It was the first university founded in South Korea. Currently, Ewha is one of the world's largest female educational institutes and one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea.


Ewha campus complex
Street near Ewha
Main entrance
Autumn at Ewha Womans University.

Ewha Womans University traces its roots back to Mary F. Scranton's Ewha Haktang (Korean이화학당; Hanja梨花學堂) mission school for girls, which opened with one student on May 31, 1886.[2] The name Ewha, which means “Pear Blossom,” was bestowed by the Emperor Gojong the following year. The image of the pear blossom is incorporated in the school's logo.

The school began providing college courses in 1910, and professional courses for women in 1925. The high school section, now known as Ewha Girls' High School (not to be confused with the coeducational Ewha Womans University High School, the university's demonstration school, founded in 1958),[3] separated from the college section and is currently located in Jung-gu, Seoul.[4] Both institutions share the same motto and the "pear blossoms" image in their logos.

Immediately following liberation of Korea on August 15, 1945, the college received government permission to become a university. It was the first South Korean university to be officially organized.

Student population[edit]

According to figures provided by the university in April 2018, there are 21,596 enrolled students at the university.[5]

While figures on the student body's gender breakdown are not available, Korea JoongAng Daily reported in 2003 there were 10 male students enrolled at the time.[6] In 2009, Asian Correspondent reported that male students make up 30% of all foreign international students at the university.[7]


The university collaborates with around 830 partners in 64 countries including Australian National University, Cornell University, Freie University of Berlin, Ghent University, Harvard University, Indiana University, King's College London, Mount Allison University, Nanyang Technological University, The Ohio State University, Peking University, University of Kuala Lumpur, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of British Columbia, University of Edinburgh, University of Hong Kong, University of South Carolina, Uppsala University, Waseda University, and a direct exchange program with Mills College in Oakland, California.


The university now explains its peculiar name by saying that while the lack of an apostrophe in "Womans University" is unconventional, the use of "Woman" rather than "Women" was normal in the past.[8]

It claims the use of "Womans" carries special meaning in that the early founders of the college thought that every woman is to be respected; to promote this idea, they chose the word "woman" to avoid lumping students together under the word "women".[9] The claim has not been substantiated.


Ewha Womans University Museum opened in April 1935. It has a wide range of artifacts, ranging from paintings, ceramics, crafts, doubles and folk items, and its main collection is the Korean National Treasure No. 107 white porcelain, iron and grape jars. The museum consists of a permanent exhibition hall, a planning exhibition hall, a donation exhibition hall and a Damin Goksik art museum.



Graduate schools[edit]


University rankings
QS National[10]General 9
USNWR National[11]General 11
QS Asia
(Asian Ranking version)[12]
General 50
THE Asia[13]General 101
USNWR Asia[14]General 104
THE World[15]General 601–800
QS World[16]General 331
USNWR World[17]General 579
ARWU World[18]Research 501–600

Controversies and criticisms[edit]

Helen Kim[edit]

Helen Kim, the seventh principal and first Korean principal of Ewha, is considered to be pro-Japanese. She is known to have encouraged young men to enlist in the Japanese army. The statue of Helen Kim and the building named after her on campus have both been criticized. Many protests were organized to take down the statue.[19][20]

Women's rights movements[edit]

While Ewha Womans University has been the center of women's rights movements, this feminist feature created controversies in Korea.[21] One example of controversies was men's benefit from military service. Originally, getting extra points on employment and being paid for higher step in the salary class were available to males who had done their mandatory military service. In 1999, a couple of Ewha Womans University students and one male student, who was a disabled student at Yonsei University, claimed that this law was both sexist and discriminatory toward disabled people.[22] This case eventually went to court, and the court ruled in the students' favor.

2016 South Korean political scandal[edit]

Ewha Womans University became embroiled in the 2016 South Korean political scandal, because a former student, Chung Yoo-ra, was admitted under a special rule change by virtue of her mother's close connections to South Korean President Park Geun-hye despite not meeting requirements. Students had already been protesting against some of the university's unilateral changes to the degree system and departments before the political scandal blew up. As a result, the university's president, Choi Kyunghee, was ousted and convicted and Chung Yoo-ra's degree was rescinded.[23]


  • Among the women lawmakers appointed to the 19th National Assembly (2012–2016), 27.6% are Ewha alumnae.
  • The only Korean university participating as a partner in the Harvard College in Asia Program (HCAP) and Ewha-Harvard Summer School Program.
  • Produced the sixth highest number of successful candidates in National Judicial Exam and the seventh highest number in Civil Service Exam in 2013 (ranked fifth in 2012).
  • First among all private Korean universities in the number of citations per research paper in the 2012 Chosun-QS Evaluation of Asian Universities.


  • 321st in the 2013 Leiden Ranking, a qualitative assessment of faculty research in the world's top 500 universities.[24]
  • 299th in the QS World University Rankings in 2018.[25]
  • Ninth among all Korean universities in the Chosun-QS Evaluation of Asian Universities in 2016.[26]

Distinguished Honorary Ewha Fellows[edit]

Distinguished Honorary Ewha Doctorates[edit]

Distinguished Fellows of the Ewha Academy for Advanced Studies[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Politics and government[edit]






Affiliated facilities[edit]

  • Ewha Womans University Museum
  • Ewha Womans University Natural History Museum
  • Ewha Womans University Medical Center
  • Ewha Institute For Leadership Development
  • Ewha Advanced IT Education Center
  • Ewha School Of Continuing Education
  • Ewha Language Center
  • Ewha Archives
  • Ewha Elementary School
  • Ewha Kindergarten
  • Ewha Kumnan High School
  • Ewha Kumnan Middle School
  • Youngran Information Industry High School
  • Youngran Girl's Middle School

Public transportation[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ewha Information". Ewha Womans University Official Website.
  2. ^ Lee Jeong-kyu. (2001). The establishment of modern universities in Korea and their implications for Korean education policies. In Education Policy Analysis Archives 9 (27) Archived 2006-09-02 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ [임철순의 즐거운 세상] 가장 긴 제목. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). January 30, 2014.
  4. ^ "Memorial exhibition to be held for Scranton". Ewha Voice. Ewha Womans University. May 18, 2009.
  5. ^ "Student Statistics". Ewha Womams University. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Minority Report: 10 men among 21,000 women". Korea JoongAng Daily. 10 June 2003. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  7. ^ Schwartzman, Nathan (23 August 2009). "Foreign Male Students are at Ewha Women's University". Asian Correspondent. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  8. ^ Compare Texas Woman's University, named in 1957, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, named in 1893, as well as Mississippi Woman's College and Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, all of which have since changed their names.
  9. ^ 이대학보. Inews.ewha.ac.kr. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  10. ^ "QS University Rankings 2023". Top Universities. 2023. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  11. ^ U.S.News & World Report (2019). "Search Best Global Universities - US News Education". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  12. ^ "QS Asian University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  13. ^ "Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  14. ^ U.S.News & World Report (2019). "Best Global Universities in Asia - US News Education". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  15. ^ "THE World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  16. ^ "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2020. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  17. ^ U.S.News & World Report (2019). "Best Global Universities - US News". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  18. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  19. ^ 이대 학생위 "친일파 김활란 동상 철거하라". 25 March 2005.
  20. ^ 이화여대 김활란 총장 동상...매번 훼손되는 이유는. 31 July 2016.
  21. ^ "An epic battle between feminism and deep-seated misogyny is under way in South Korea". 2016-10-23. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  22. ^ 군가산점제 위헌판결, 불붙은 논쟁의 시작. 여성신문. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  23. ^ "Ex-Ewha Univ. chief faces arrest over Chung Yoo-ra admission". 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  24. ^ (CWTS), Centre for Science and Technology Studies. "CWTS Leiden Ranking". CWTS Leiden Ranking.
  25. ^ "Ewha Womans University". Top Universities. 29 July 2017.
  26. ^ "QS University Rankings: Asia 2016". Top Universities. 8 June 2016.
  27. ^ Ledyard, Gari (2010). "Remembering JaHyun Kim Haboush: An Obituary". Vol. 2, no. 2. Korean Histories. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  28. ^ "In the News – North Korean defectors emerge from periphery | MOU OneKorea". Mouonekorea.wordpress.com. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2016-11-13.

External links[edit]