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From dinosaurs to drones: Korean Ambassadors experience life at UCLan

06 July 2015

Chris Theobald

Dignitaries invited to UCLan as part of a sustained strategic initiative by the University to put itself at the forefront of partnerships with Korea

It’s not every day that an ambassadorial delegation experiences a close shave with a dinosaur but that’s exactly what happened when Ambassador Sung-Nam Lim, the South Korean Ambassador to the UK, and British Ambassador Charles Hay, the UK Ambassador to South Korea, paid a recent visit to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The dignitaries and their team were invited to UCLan as part of a sustained strategic initiative by the University to put itself at the forefront of partnerships with Korea – linking UCLan, Preston and the region with Korean universities, businesses and society.

The University’s International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU) is playing a key role in realising these aims and during the visit the ambassadorial team heard how large numbers of UCLan students were learning the Korean language at undergraduate level. IKSU, a multidisciplinary hub of research, teaching and public policy into the study of contemporary Korea, is the first to be located in the North West of England and is only the UK’s third provider of an undergraduate programme in Korean Studies.

The ambassadors’ fact finding mission, which incorporated meetings with the University Board and Directorate, included a visit to the UCLan-organised Lancashire Science Festival.

A tour of the festival show floor enabled the delegation to quiz a group of archaeology students about to commence an intensive dig at the famous Roman settlement in Ribchester, Lancashire.

The ambassadors also discovered how UCLan’s Civic Drone Centre is working with companies, individuals and organisations to help them use remotely operated vehicles across a wide range of humanitarian scenarios.

A trip to the University’s Media Factory saw both ambassadors experience the technology inside the green room as they were pictured in a 65 million year-old forest being stalked by a dinosaur.

"I want to see more British students coming to Korea to learn about the culture and language of this fascinating country and to further the UK’s business, cultural and academic relationships.”

The British Ambassador Charles Hay said: “This was my first visit to UCLan and I was delighted to see the University’s enthusiasm for developing the academic, business and cultural links with South Korea. These exchanges underpin our bilateral relationship. South Korea is the home of Samsung, Hyundai Motors and LG Electronics – it is one of the most dynamic and ultra-modern societies in the world. I want to see more British students coming to Korea to learn about the culture and language of this fascinating country and to further the UK’s business, cultural and academic relationships.”

Professor Hazel Smith, Director of IKSU, added: “This was an extremely important and prestigious visit for us and the feedback we received from both ambassadors was highly complimentary. Our students, many of whom will be visiting South Korea during their academic studies, were very keen to meet both ambassadors and learn about the opportunities available in such an economically dynamic area of the world.

“Building on our collaborative links with South Korea is vital, as part of IKSU’s work focuses on the vibrant culture that characterises contemporary South Korea, as well as the politics and international dynamics of inter-Korean relations.”

View images from the visit on our Flickr gallery.