SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Here, the Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU) and Hanyang University (HYU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 27 September 2019, to formalize their already existing relations, and explore further multi-level cooperation.
Dr. Woo-Seung Kim, president of HYU affirmed the MoU, with Yingzin Shin and Jieun Lee, managers of HYU’s Social Innovation Center as witnesses.
For ADNU, University President Roberto Exequiel Rivera, S.J. was represented by Rodolfo Virtus Jr., director of the Office of Student Affairs; and Dr. Referendo Soriano, dean of the College of Science and Engineering as witnesses. Fr. Rivera signed the document in his office on 3 October 2019.
Aside from the MoU signing, Virtus and Dr. Soriano met with HYU’s officials and visited facilities related to engineering and student affairs, for benchmarking purposes. They also took part in the activities of the Seventeen Hearts Festival (referring to the 17 sustainable goals of the United Nations) on campus, among them the Ashoka Forum which featured international renowned education experts.
During the visit in HYU, both universities explored mutually beneficial undertakings, like joint service learning programs, research and student volunteering opportunities, among others, as an output of the MoU. These are desired additions to the already existing provisions, thereby creating more venues for interactions, especially between the two parties’ students.
How ADNU-HYU Relations Began
The engagements of the two Asian universities began in July 2017, when ADNU served as host to HYU’s Social Venture Youth Exchange (SVYE), upon the request of the Office of Philippine Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo. Similarly, in January 2019, ADNU facilitated the local immersion component of the Asia Pacific Youth Exchange (APYE) in Naga City. Around the same time, ADNU supported Hanyang Volunteer Corps’(HVC) project at Maogma Village, Barangay Balatas, Naga City.
Both SVYE and APYE are capacity-building programs aimed at empowering the youth to drive the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals into action through experiential learning platforms.
One output of these programs is KAINA, a Korean food service run by HYU and ADNU students at ADNU and, recently, St. Joseph School. Since 2018, KAINA has provided employment and training to low-income mothers at Maogma Village, Barangay Balatas, Naga City.
So far, HYU has dispatched three batches of its students and staff in Naga City to help oversee KAINA and attend special classes in English and Social Entrepreneurship.
Before the signing of the MoU this year, Fr. Rivera had met with officials of HYU. In January 2019, former foreign affairs minister of South Korea Sung-hwan Kim paid a visit to his office for the HVC project. Officials from HYU’s Social Innovation Center had series of meetings with Fr. Rivera, discussing the two universities’ common line of action.