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NO.447 11.05.2018

Department of Sociology Takes the ‘Top’ Percentile Rank in JoongAng Daily’s University Rankings

In the recently released 2018 JoongAng Daily University Department Rankings, the Department of Sociology is named in the ‘top’ percentile rank. The academic performance of Kyung Hee sociology professors received a high praise, taking first place in the number of academic papers published in international journals per professor, and fourth place in the number of citations made in international journal papers.


The academic excellence of its faculty is directly translated into the brilliance of their teaching. One such example is the introduction of pedagogical approaches that help students to seek a better future for themselves by learning to think in the alternative field. The Department of Sociology no longer subscribes to the traditional teaching method, whereby the classroom prescribed for teaching and subsequent assignments are expected to be completed at home. Instead, students are required to learn before coming to class; in the classroom, they engage in discussions and solve problems. This methodology is called Flipped Learning (FL), and, along with Project Based Learning (PBL), the new educational methods are being continually expanded.

“Actual learning took place. I developed a greater interest in my subject major”

Qualitative Research Method (QRM) is a required credit course in Sociology. Project Based Learning (PBL) happens in this course. Students are encouraged to select their own topic of interest, to compose a research plan, and then to embark on team-based projects. The ultimate aim is to write a thesis paper.


Dean Eun Sung Kim expressed pleasant surprise in the unexpectedly wide variety research topics students brought to the table: tangjinjem (compounded acronym of ‘tangjin (deplete)’ and ‘jemi (fun)’) syndrome, solitary eating culture, fair compensation for part-time lecturers, relationship between continuing students and returning students, retaking the college entrance exam after a semester of enrollment, gender, dilemmas of civil servant exam test-takers. Dean Kim felt that “the experience gained in analyzing and researching issues they currently confront will serve as a great tool in living their future lives.”


Student Minkyong Lee (’15), who took the QRM course, shared her positive experience and said, “I looked around to identify research topics. All of a sudden, issues to which I had never given thought came into view. In the process of selecting the topic and exploring its root causes and history, I felt that my horizon widened and my vision became clearer. Moreover, the research project allowed real learning to happen. I developed a greater interest in my subject major.”


Courses, such as Social Survey Analysis, Social Stratification Theory, and QRM, adopted the Flipped Learning method. Classes are not composed of one-sided lectures delivered by the professor; instead, students come prepared to ask questions about parts that they could not understand. Often a class begins with student questions, followed by response from the professor. When they run out of questions, students form teams to find answers to problems.

New Courses, such as Occupational Sociology, introduced to help students design their future
The Department of Sociology is engaged in developing and implementing a variety of education programs and curricula. Recently, it introduced a new course in occupational sociology with the goal of helping students design a better future for themselves.


In occupational sociology, students apply a sociological perspective on social phenomena related to labor and social occupational structure. Hence, they are given an opportunity to reflect on how they may need to plan for their future lives. Special lectures are arranged, primarily by inviting graduates of KHU, which offers students a peek into the reality of labor and occupation.


Owing to these efforts, the Department has a high rate of employment among its graduates. In the most recent university ranking published by JoongAng Daily, Kyung Hee ranked 4th in both new employment and continuing employment (employment that continues after six months).


The JoongAng Daily University Ranking is conducted every year by selecting departments that attract the most interest from students and parents in two main colleges: Science & Engineering and Humanities and Sociology. This year, three departments were chosen from each college. In Science & Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Energy & Nuclear Engineering, and Nursing departments made the list. In Humanities & Sociology, Business Management, Sociology, and Korean Language & Literature departments were assessed. The top percentile receives the ‘top’ mark, while the top quartile is labeled as ‘high.’ The top half is given the ‘mid-high’ rank.

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