About Kyung Hee

Home > About Kyung Hee > Media & Press > News



NO.467 01.16.2019

Our Journey to Become “True University of the Future” Must Continue

2019 New Year’s ceremony of the Kyung Hee University System was held in the lobby of the Grand Peace Hall at the Seoul Campus on Wednesday, January 2


The ceremony to usher in the New Year was attended by Kyung Hee University System Chairman Inwon Choue, Acting President Young-Guk Park, and over two hundred notable figures across the University System including the University, Cyber University, medical institutions, and affiliated schools. In his address, Acting President Park said, “This year marks our 70th anniversary, and at this juncture we must consolidate our efforts to make another giant leap toward the centennial of the University. Continuing our journey to the goal of “True University of the Future,” let us proceed toward our 100th year in the belief that we can overcome any adversity by having the kind of resolve that allowed us to overcome crises and achieve spectacular results over the past seven decades and that we can create miracles through cooperation.”


Celebrating the 70th anniversary since the founding of the school, we face the daunting challenge of moving forward into a “better future for humankind and earth” as well as a “greater future for generations to come.” Let us bring together the members of Kyung Hee community and work toward our ultimate dream. At the same time, we will work with other universities and civic societies in the world, both domestic and international, playing a leading role in building a sustainable civilization. This year will mark the Year 1 in our transformation and rapid advancement along a new path toward “True University of the Future.”



“We must reassess reality as we ruminate on the path taken thus far to shape a better future.”
Kyung Hee University System Chairman Inwon Choue then delivered the New Year’s address and said, “The reality and future we now face stems from the entirety of the past. We must carefully examine and reflect upon the path we have trod thus far to bring about a better future, and we must open new prospects within our deep reflection upon reality. Climate change, ecological crises, social inequality, and other difficult issues today have made me realize ever more keenly the urgent need for this reflection.”


Chairman Choue told the story of Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish climate activist, and stressed the urgency of addressing global issues. For three months starting from August 2018, Greta stood alone in front of the Swedish parliament building and demanded reductions in greenhouse gases to mitigate climate change. More recently in last December, she was invited to speak at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24). There she pleaded, “While adults say they love their children, yet they are stealing our future in front of our very eyes.” At other venues, she was heard to say, “Our future is fading away because adults simply chase after money. Politicians are always making excuses, but now no time remains for this any longer.” Chairman Choue said, “Miss Thunberg’s remarks reveal the fundamental problem of the world that has been created by the older generation. They show a cross-section of the deeply-rooted problems that engulf humanity.”


Chairman Choue then delivered a stern warning: “Scientists, anthropologists, and organizations predicting the fate of civilization have also warned that if humans continue to pursue lifestyles in which growth and profit are pursued above all else and intense competition and confrontation remains the top priority, then as little as within a few decades humanity’s fate will be determined to be either ‘evolution’ or ‘extinction.’”


The Doomsday Clock, published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists of the University of Chicago, was conceived to present reflections by the scientists who participated in the Manhattan Project to develop atomic weapons. The clock shows how close humanity has come to a manmade global catastrophe. The authors have analyzed factors threatening the future of humankind each year since 1947, to include military action, diplomatic and political events, and climate change. Then they adjust the hands of the clock accordingly. An intensifying global threat of nuclear conflict coupled with research findings concluding that unprecedented volumes of carbon dioxide emissions were bringing on a “hothouse earth” phenomenon caused the Doomsday Clock to be adjusted to its highest threat level in more than 70 years―two minutes before midnight―in January 2018.


Chairman Choue alluded to recent research by conservation biologists, ecologists, and environmental scientists that shows the world’s Sixth Mass Extinction is now underway. According to these people, plant and animal life have been mostly wiped out on five occasions during the past 450 million years when the global environment changed rapidly. Each time, evolution has brought new species to fill in the vacuum. Now, however, the mass extinction is not a natural occurrence but rather is the result of human activity.


Chairman Choue said, “The problem is that the extinction of species is proceeding very rapidly, and the scale is widespread, so the possibility is very high that human existence itself is endangered. The biodiversity making up the planet, to include vertebrate animals and insects, has dropped to about 60 percent of the level of the 1970s. The onset of the so-called “Anthropocene” geological age has been caused mainly by the pollution and toxic substances released into the ground, oceans and atmosphere as well as the indiscriminate destruction of the environment. It is truly terrifying.”



Let the Kyung Hee community combine their strengths, open up new hope, aspirations, and living prospects for future generations.”
Chairman Choue has often revealed his thoughts on humanity’s historic and monumental transformation, which is bringing on an “unforeseeable future,” as well as the roles the older generation, universities and politicians play in opening up a “a sustainable future for posterity.” He emphasized these points during his New Year’s address as well:


“Our society and world still dream of the paradigm of unlimited growth and wealth, competition and struggle for gain, even as the world has reached its limits. The lifestyles that have brought us to this point no longer work from the perspective of “sustainable world and future.” Day after day throughout the year, humanity consumes the energy and emits carbon dioxide equivalent to 400 times the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. If this continues, the day will come when we have a ‘hothouse earth,’ which can snatch away everything that humanity has. In addition, half the world’s population lives on no more than three dollars a day.


As UN Secretary-General Ant?nio Guterres has pointed out, the combined net worth of the world’s eight richest men amounts to the combined wealth of the poorest half of the world. Amid this situation, establishment politicians and intellectual media treat the environment and ecosystems, climate change, inequality and other such issues as being of secondary concern. Now is time for the advent of a new ‘politics of relevance’ for the sake of the future. ‘What has the planet got to do with me? Isn’t the very talk of a sustainable future something for the future?’ We must get beyond such cynical worldviews. Along with the important decisions we make every day, we must pay greater attention to the difficult problems of historic proportions that are gravely threatening our living conditions and the foundations of our lives.”


Chairman Choue concluded his New Year’s speech as follows: “The great task of our time is to fill education and learning, from preschool to primary school, secondary school and university, as well as civil education programs provided by universities, with content that is deeply concerned about a sustainable future. In times of crisis, we must discuss a stricter and comprehensive awareness of reality as well as of future possibilities. Weaving the new awareness into today’s living standards is one of the key responsibilities of educational and academic institutions. I call upon the Kyung Hee community to pool their strengths and open up prospects for hope, aspirations and life for future generations.”

Facebook 0
Twitter 0

Return to News

News List

Highlight News