▲ From left, JDC Chairman and CEO Byon Jung Il, Honorary Mayor Jung Woon Chan, Jeju Governor Woo Keun Min, and POE Superintendent Yang Sung Un. Photo Jeju Sori.
On March 27, former Korean prime minister and president of Seoul National University (SNU) Jung Woon Chan was awarded a year-long honorary mayorship of Jeju Global Education City.
He will take the lead in the establishment of international schools and colleges in the city along with recruiting support from outside sources, promoting English education. Mayor Jung has been a professor emeritus at SNU since March 2011, and currently is the first chairperson of the “Win Win Growth Committee,” established in December, 2010.
The Jeju English Education City Preparation Project is a part of national policy project — the Jeju English-Only Town establishment plan. In the Daejung area of Seogwipo City, 3.7 million square meters were set aside for international schools, an English Education Center, residences and commercial facilities, costing an estimated 178 billion won (US$158 million). Last September, NLCS Jeju and KIS Jeju opened in Jeju English Education City and construction on Branksome Hall Asia is expected to be completed this October.
The Jeju English Education City project was proposed in 2006 as a way to stem the outflow of students and money overseas. The government hopes the number of students thinking of going abroad to instead consider Jeju. Also, the project was thought to be a measure to help improve English education in Korea and strengthen the nation’s competitiveness. Despite government efforts, in 2007 Korea’s overall TOEFL iBT score for speaking ranked 111 out of 134.
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