Founded in 2007, the Department of Korean Language and Literature at the School of Foreign Languages of Soochow University began to offer four-year undergraduate degree in September 2007 and full-time master’s degree in 2019. Despite its short history, the Department has made considerable progress in faculty development, curriculum reform, and student development. At present, it maintains close cooperative relations with a number of reputed institutions in Korean. These include Ewha Womans University (???????), Konkuk University (?????), Inha University (?????), Chonbuk National University (???????) and authoritative research institutes including the Central Research Institute of Korean Studies and the Korean Literature Translation Institute. Serving as platforms for gaining professional knowledge and hands-on practice, these collaborative ties also provide students with a full range of opportunities for cross-cultural exchange experiences and further study.
The Department has developed a strong faculty base. The current teaching faculty is made up of 7 full-time teachers: 1 full professor, 4 associate professors and 2 lecturers, among whom 5 also work as master tutors. The teachers have appropriate expertise to conduct the programs, with 6 doctorate holders and 1 on-job doctoral candidate. All have more than one year of overseas experience of study or visiting fellowship. The teachers have extensive expertise and research interests spanning across Korean literature, comparison between Chinese and Korean literature, Korean linguistics, translation studies, and Korean sociology. With advantages in academic qualifications, research directions, and age structures, they make a dedicated and competitive team. Apart from excellent teaching, the teachers have also actively engaged in research work which has led to fruitful results. Over recent years, the team has published over 30 academic papers in core journals at home and abroad and have completed more than 10 research projects at all levels (including 1 funded by the National Social Science Foundation, 1 funded by the Social Science Project of the Ministry of Education, 4 funded by the Department of Education of Jiangsu Province, 2 funded by the Excellent Projects of Applied Research of Social Sciences of Jiangsu Province, 2 funded by the Project of Social Science Planning of Suzhou, 2 funded by the Korean classics translation and promotion project operated by the Korean Literature Translation Institute) in addition to 13 university-based teaching projects as well as over 10 other publications including monographs, translations, and teaching materials. With a dual emphasis on teaching and research, the Department has also been striving to facilitate students’ learning and faculty’s research work by building a specialized collection of over 3,500 original Korean books in the School library.
Empowered by the Belt and Road Initiative and the Yangtze River Economic Belt development, there has been a rising demand for compound and all-round talents. With thousands of Korean companies in the region, the Yangtze River Delta has remained a popular place for foreign investors, and the inner City of Suzhou alone is home to 1,200 of them. This has created a promising job market for the department’s Korean major graduates. Adhering to the emphasis of “professional skills, hard practice, and an international profile” and with the dedication of the competitive faculty team, the Korean language programs have produced graduates who excel in the job market. The leading employment rate of the graduates also speaks for the programs that continue to attract students from across the country.