Kwangwoon University

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Kwangwoon university
KWU UI.jpg
Motto Practice diligence and economy, Seek thyself a work
Established 1934 (1934)
Type Private
Chairman Kim, Jin-Hong
President Chun, Jang-ho
Academic staff
331 (full-time Professor)
108 (adjunct Professor)
419 (Lecturer)[1]
Administrative staff
234 (2015)
Students 10,106 (2015)
Undergraduates 8,751 (2015)
Postgraduates 1,355 (2013)
Location Seoul, South Korea
Nickname Pegasus
Korean name
Revised Romanization Gwang-un Daehakgyo
McCune–Reischauer Kwangun Taehakkyo

Kwangwoon University (or Kwang-Woon or KW) is a private research university in Seoul (Wolgye Dong, Nowon Gu), South Korea. Kwangwoon University has been recognized for its academic reputation in engineering and IT fields.[2] Kwangwoon University was ranked 56th in Asia in field of Engineering in the 2014 and 2015 by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS)[3][4] and ranked 16th in Korea in field of Science and Engineering in 2015 by Korea Economic Daily (한국경제신문)[5] Among its alumni are Jongkyun Shin (JK Shin) (Currently Co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and president of Samsung Electronics),[6] Jae Ryung Lee (CEO of Ericsson-LG Enterprise )[7] and Inbee Park (professional golfer).



Kwangwoon started as Chosun Radio Training Center (Global Telecommunication Network Center today) established to promote the advancement of radio technical knowledge and understanding, independent of government and free of Japan. It was renamed in 1940 as the Chosun Institute of Radio Engineering.[8]

Started as Dong-guk Electronics College in 1962, the school became Kwangwoon Institute of Technology in 1964 and a four-year granting Kwangwoon University in 1987.[9]


After Hwado Kwangwoon Cho (Kwangwoon University Founder) died in 1980, with the effort of Musung Cho (the first president Kwangwoon University[10] and currently the 14th Chairman of Kwangwoon Foundation) and many faculties and students, the school became a comprehensive university in 1987. Since then, the Kwangwoon University's reputation and fame heightened as the first educational institution to start wireless communication school and the first school to offer electronics classes to college students in Korean history.[11] Until 1995, the university was ranked top 10 overall and top 3 in the engineering fields in South Korea.

Kwangwoon as a Businessman[12]

Hwado Kwangwoon Cho, Founder of Kwangwoon Institute of Technology

Hwado Cho,Kwangwoon was a gifted businessman. He started out as an employee at a Japanese general merchandise store. Gaining experiences from an attorney's office as a translator & administrator, as a taxi driver, at a rice exchange office, and as a cotton store owner, when Kwangwoon was only 18 years old he obtained so much wealth that he was well known in the Incheon city (he started his businessin Hwado, Incheon) as a rich boy. Having lived during the period of Japanese colony, Hwado (nickname) Cho, Kwangwoon (1899~1980[13]) was also involved in the Korean independent movement in Shanghai, China during his teen age. However, the independent movement leader recognized that Cho, Kwangwoon's talent lay in the academia and suggested to him to study abroad to contribute to the Korean education field so that Korea can be independent from the enforcement of Japanese teachings. Then, the boy was sent to Japan to enroll at Waseda University's department of politics & economics, at the time the only private university in Japan.

However, after much contemplation, he dropped out from Waseda University in his sophomore year; he noticed that South Korea's state of affairs at the time was in chaos and figured that he should do something different for his country instead of just continuing his education in Japan. He first started with obtaining wealth, although he pondered for a moment whether to get into automobile or electronics business, he predicted the lamp reform from increasing electricity usage in the country and decided to get into electronics business. Thereafter, he opened Kwangwoon Electronics Company in Bongnae-dong,[14] Seoul. And from well-known companies such as Matsushita Electric Industrial Company (Now Panasonic[15]) and Toshiba, Kwangwoon received the right to sell their products; Kwangwoon Electronics Company had branch office from entire Korean peninsula and stretching out to Manchuria of today. Although not well published, Hwado Cho, Kwangwoon brought the incandescent light bulbs to Korea for the first time in Korean history since Thomas Edison invented it in 1879; in the early 1900s Korea's main source of light was the lantern.

Friendship with Konosuke Matsushita & Laying the groundwork for Kwangwoon University[16]

Kwangwoon Cho in his 20s and until 1934 was already running multimillion-dollar businesses and the acquaintance with Konosuke Matsushita (founder of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.), probably was a turning point in his life. Through distributing Matsushita Electric Industrial Company's products to Kwangwoon Electronics Company, Matsushita was so moved by Kwangwoon's diligence that he gave the entire right to sell his products to Kwangwoon and their companionship grew. Besides being a business partner, Matsushita and Kwangwoon's close friendship is betrayed through Matsushita sending 10,000 Yen golden plate to Kwangwoon during Korean War in 1950 as a concern for his safety and for further success in his business. In the 1930s when still Korea under Japanese rule, Konosuke Matsushita asked Kwangwoon to remain as his business partner to further enter the Korean market; however, Kwangwoon denied his offer, thinking the only way for Korea to gain true independence from Japan is through our own education; he showed regrets when he had sent his employees to Japan for technical training abroad and the most talented workers would remain in Japan and had never returned. In a search for autonomy and to retain his employees, Hwado Cho, Kwangwoon established the wireless-communication school in 1934 (Chosun Wireless-Communication School) to develop Korean-born technicians. The school later became Dong-Guk Electronics College (January 21, 1964), Kwangwoon Electronics College (1966) and Kwangwoon University (1987) of today.[17]

Birth of Kwangwoon University as a forerunner in Wireless-Communication & Electronics in Korea[18]

In the beginning, Kwangwoon had no plans to expand the school to a university or even a college level; until he made his decision to make advancement to a college and a full-blown university, the school remained as a technical high-school (Kwangwoon Electronic Technical High School of today) that offered wireless-communication and electronics training only. However, constant requests by his second son (Dr. Cho, Musung) to expand the technical high-school to a college to contribute further to the South Korea's Information & Technology (IT) business and education in general moved Hwado Cho, Kwangwoon's heart. And as the first president[19] of Kwangwoon University from 1988~1993,[20] Dr. Cho, Musung, with his contributions (About $470 Million USD until today) to the school in 1988, 1989, 1991,[21] 1992, 2010 respectively, he led Kwangwoon University to one of the top engineering schools in Korea.

Today there are eight colleges in Kwangwoon University: College of Electronics & Information Engineering, College of Engineering, College of Natural Sciences, Division of Korean Language and Literature, College of Social Sciences, College of Law, College of Business, and College of Northeast Asia. Located in Wolgye-dong, Nowon-gu, Seoul, Kwangwoon University carries out international exchanges and cooperation programs with 83 universities worldwide in the areas of education and research.[22]

2014 Kwangwoon's 80th anniversary[edit]

This year is Kwangwoon University's 80th Anniversary.[23] In 1934, Kwangwoon Foundation started as Joseon Radio Technical Institute. Now the foundation hold responsible for all levels of education in Seoul, Korea: Kwangwoon Kindergarten, Kwangwoon Elementary School, Namdaemoon Junior High School, Kwangwoon Junior High School, Kwangwoon High Shool, and Kwangwoon University. 13,928 students, 986 faculties and 142,225 alumni all celebrate the 80th anniversary together and promise bright future of Kwangwoon's 100th and 1,000th anniversaries ahead.[24]

Hwado Building


Beginning with the construction of the Bima Building (Electronics & Communication Engineering School) in 1964, Hwado Building (main building) named after the pen name of the founder in 1972 was built. Since then, the amphitheater, student union building (now Okui Building), and central library were completed one after the other.

After the university was upgraded to general university status, the second master plan was established in 1988 to build the Bokji Building (Welfare Building) to extend the Okui Building, and the construct Korea’s first international Olympic size indoor ice rink, and complete the 2,500-seater Donghae Culture & Art Center. Afterwards, other buildings were constructed (Yeongu (research) building, Chambit building, Hanwool Building, Nuri Hall)

Kwangwoon Square & The 80th Anniversary Building

34,550m2 Kwangwoon Square will bring car-free campus to the university with 80th Anniversary building being state-of-the-art class rooms. However, the main function of Kwangwoon Square & 80th Anniversary Building will be the central library, group study-rooms, and student lounges. They are expected to be completed by Fall of 2016.

Subsidiary organizations[edit]

Kwangwoon Hanlimwon (Institute for Advanced study)

Kwangwoon Institute for Advanced study was established to enhance academic research at Kwangwoon University. Activities conducted at Kwangwoon Institute for Advanced study include research on interdisciplinary and fusion studies, academic exchanges with domestic and foreign educational and research institutes, collection, organization, and compilation of research materials.

Teaching & Learning Center The Teaching & Learning Center provides support in teaching learning methods, media, and e-learning.

Kwangwoon University newspaper

Established in 1967 with the motto of "Straight viewpoint and sound argument," Kwangwoon University newspaper is published biweekly with the editing guideline of horizontal writing and all-Korean writing. It is distributed to students, faculty, and staff of the university as well as alumni, all high schools nationwide, universities's press, and companies.

Kwangwoon Image Broadcasting Center

As part of the media in Kwangwoon University, Kwangwoon Image Broadcasting Center was established for the production and airing of broadcasting-related contents. Through "Media Kwangwoon" (, the center broadcasts programs such as "Kwangwoon News," "Our Visible World," and "Visible Radio." Production is done by undergraduate students. The center is used for the training of professional broadcasting manpower such as announcer, anchor, and broadcasting reporter.

Educational Broadcasting Station

A subsidiary organization of Kwangwoon University opened in 1967 for the purpose of announcing notices, reporting events, refining education, and promoting orderly life, the Educational Broadcasting Station involves students in the work as one of their extracurricular activities.

Global Capability Reinforcement System[edit]

Kwangwoon University introduced the English certification system, and gives lectures in English in 33% of the classes of major subjects as of 2011. Since 2011, freshmen have to achieve a degree of proficiency in a second foreign language (Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, or Russian) before graduation. In addition, exchange agreements have been signed with universities worldwide.

  • Operating student exchange programs with 83 universities and 2 education consortia in 15 nations including the US, Japan, and China.
  • Signed an agreement with University of Arkansas in the US for unlimited student exchanges.
  • Established a joint course with Qingdao Science & Technology University, China, to train in architecture.

Rankings and reputation[edit]

  • Kwangwoon University ranked 56th out of Universities of Asia in field of Engineering in the 2014 and 2015 by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS),[25][26]
  • Kwangwoon University ranked in the top 10 universities of Korea in 2013 and 2015 by Dong-A Ilbo,[27][28][29]
  • Kwangwoon University ranked 16th out of the nation’s universities in field of Science and Engineering in 2015 by Korea Economic Daily (한국경제신문)[30]
  • Kwangwoon University ranked 28th out of the nation’s universities in the 2011 by JoongAng Ilbo. Remarkly,
    • 1.Research sector ranked 14th (2011)
    • 2.Number of SCI papers per professors in science and technology field ranked 15th (2011)
    • 3.Employment rate of graduates ranked 15th (2011)
    • 4.Affiliated average of individual research funds per professor ranked 4th (2011)
    • 5.Average of outside research fund per professor ranked 6th (2011)
    • 6.Rate of English lectures ranked 10th (2011)
  • Kwangwoon University has shown its power in research. The number of publications in international journals (SCI papers) and domestic papers per professors ranked 2nd among universities in Korea for three consecutive years (2010-2012).,.[31][32]

Graduate schools[edit]

  • Graduate School
  • Graduate School of Business Administration
  • Graduate School of Information Contents
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Graduate School of Environment Studies
  • Graduate School of Counseling, Welfare and Policy
  • Graduate School of information and Communication

Research institutes and centers[edit]


Education & Policy Research Centers (IT Convergence Research)[edit]

Institutes of priority research[edit]

  • Institute of Basic-Convergence and Science
  • Institute of Green Technology
  • Institute of Robot Design
  • Institute of Defense Programs
  • Institute of Cultures of Global Industries

Institutes and centers of general research[edit]

Centers and institutions[edit]

  • IDEC(Center for Regional Semi-Conductor Design Education)
  • Nano IP/SoC Design Technological Innovation Institute
  • Center for Small Enterprise Industry-University Collaboration
  • Center for Next-Generation 3D Display
  • Center for HAEDONG IT System
  • Microwave Integrated-Circuit Research Center(RFIC)
  • ITSoC Regional Academy Campus
  • Ubiquitous Home-Network Center
  • Next-Generation 'PDP[disambiguation needed] Joint-Research Support Center
  • Institute of EARTH Research
  • Source of Renewable Energy Center
  • Plasma Bio-Science Research Center
  • Polysaccharides Bio-Medical Institute
  • KW Environmental Technology Development Center
  • Institute of OpenR&D
  • KW-Univ. National Human resources Development Center

Schools and divisions[edit]

College of Electronics and Information Engineering[edit]

Kwangwoon campus
  • Department of Electronics Engineering
  • Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering
  • Department of Electronic Convergence Engineering
  • Department of Computer Engineering
  • Department of Computer Science and Engineering
  • Department of Electrical Engineering
  • Department of Electronic Materials Engineering
  • School of Robotics

College of Engineering[edit]

  • Department of Architecture (5 Years)
  • Department of Architectural Engineering (4 Years)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Department of Environmental Engineering

College of Natural Sciences[edit]

  • Department of Mathematics
  • Department of Electrical and Biological Physics
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Sport and Leisure Studies
  • Department of Cyber Security

College of Social Sciences[edit]

  • Department of Public Administration
  • Department of Industrial Psychology
  • School of Communication

College of Law[edit]

  • Department of Science and Technology Law
  • Department of General Law
  • Department of International Law

College of Business Administration[edit]

  • Division of Business Administration
    • Business administration

College of Northeast Asia[edit]

  • NorthEast Asia Commerce Division
    • Korea-Japan Commerce
    • Korea-China Commerce
  • NorthEast Asia Cultural Industries Division
    • Cultural Exchange
    • Cultural Content Development
  • International Cooperation Division
    • International Relations

College of Humanities[edit]

  • Department of Korean Language and Literature
  • Department of English Language and Literature

School of Liberal Arts[edit]

  • Varieties of choices including 9 different musical instruments
Pegasus, Kwangwoon University Mascot

Student activities and awards[edit]


Student activities[edit]

  • Kwangwoon University Global Challengers
  • Kwangwoon University Global Volunteers in countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Lao, Mongolia and Nepal.
  • Kwangwoon University Robot Camp for youth since 2008




  • Kwangwoon University soccer team won the championship of the 2007 Fall Season of KBSN University Soccer Match
  • Kwangwoon University soccer team won the second prize of the 2009 Fall Season of the National University Soccer Games
  • Kwangwoon University soccer team won the champion of the 2014 Cafe Bene U-Leage championship for University Soccer teams [39]

Alumni and faculty[edit]


There are more than 50,000 Kwangwoon alumni worldwide. Notable alumni include

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Kwangwoon University homepage
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  16. ^ "Kwangwoon Foundation 80th Anniversary". Media Kwangwoon. 
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Coordinates: 37°37′12″N 127°03′22″E / 37.6201°N 127.056°E / 37.6201; 127.056