An Inaugural Reception for the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Croatia was held at the University of Rijeka Rectorate on Tuesday, December 6th, 2016. H.E. Park Won-sup and Mr. Donghwan Che, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission, were received at the Rectorate by Rector Lučin and his associates, where a meeting with the University of Rijeka Rector, Professor Pero Lučin, M.D., Ph.D., and his associates was held. Along with Rector Lučin, the Vice Rector for Studies and Students, Professor Snježana Prijić Samaržija, Ph.D., the Vice-Rector for Investments and Development, Professor Nevenka Ožanić, Ph.D., and International Relations representative, Ms. Iva Tijan, were also in attendance. The guest of the reception was Professor Dalibor Krpan, M.D., Ph.D., the President of the recently established Taekwondo Academy - Regional Training Center in Rijeka, opened in collaboration with the World Taekwondo Federation. H.E. Park has already been on an informal visit to the University of Rijeka in June 2016 when he attended the opening ceremony of the Taekwondo Academy in Rijeka which was also held at the Rectorate.
Experiences and opinions were exchanged at the meeting, numerous topics of possible avenues of collaboration were discussed, regarding the current and future cooperation between Korean and Croatian higher education institutions, about the Taekwondo Academy, but also about the wide range of opportunites in terms of establishing new, and strengthening existent cultural, sports and economic connections. Rector Lučin noted that the Port of Rijeka gained accession to the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor which is one of the most important trans-European road and railway axes. It connects the Baltic with the Adriatic Sea, through industrialized areas between Southern Poland, Vienna and Bratislava, the Eastern Alpine region and Northern Italy, thus making Rijeka an even more vital city and port, along with it being the European Capital of Culture 2020, all of which is highly conductive to opening space for starting new collaborative initiatives in the business along with the academic sector.
So far, the University of Rijeka has signed Agreements of Cooperation with the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (2007) and Kyung Hee University Medical Center (2016), where two doctors from the Rijeka Clinical Hospital Center Department of Otorhinolaryngology are doing research under the mentorship of Dr. Joong Saeng Cho, general director of the Kyung Hee East-West Medical Center, and an otorhinolaryngology specialist himself. H. E. expressed interesti in the study programme in English which will be initiated at the UNIRI Faculty of Medicine from the following academic year, which led to further discussions regarding student exchanges between higher education institutions in Korea and the University of Rijeka, which is in the process of starting through the International Credit Mobility KA107 - Lifelong Learning Programme ERASMUS+. A possibility of opening a Korean Lectorate within the University of Rijeka Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences was mentioned by Vice Rector for Studies and Students as a way of bringing the Korean language and culture closer to all UNIRI students as well as the Rijeka community. Furthermore, an Agreement of Cooperation is underway between the University of Rijeka Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Opatija and related Korean higher education institutions in the field of tourism and hospitality management, set to be finalized in May 2017 during the Korean Week in Croatia.
After H.E. Park signed an entry in the University of Rijeka guestbook, the Korean Embassy delegation set out on a tour of the Campus, accompanied by the Vice Rectors Prijić Samaržija and Ožanić. They paid a visit to the Center for Advanced Computing and Modelling where the Vice Rector for ICT, Professor Zlatan Car, Ph.D., introduced the work of the Center and the supercomputer “Bura”. The visit to the Center was followed by a tour of the newly built student accommodation pavilions, known for its abbreviated name TRIS, and the University Department of Biotechnology as well as the Centre for High Resistance Technology with the guidance of Associate Professor Miranda Mladinić Pejatović, Ph.D. H.E. Park Won-sup and Mr. Donghwan Che, Deputy Head of Mission, also had the opportunity to visit the building and offices of the recently established Taekwondo Academy - RTC Rijeka which are also located on the University of Rijeka Campus.
The visit was concluded with lunch at the Restaurant Campus, allowing the esteemed Korean delegation to experience all the Campus Dining Facility has to offer, where they were joined by Mr. Dinko Jurjević, Director of the Student Center who gave them a brief tour of the dining facilities. The visit ended on a high note with the Korean delegation cordially extending invitations to the University of Rijeka Rector and his associates for attending the Korean Week set to be held in May 2017 - an invitation that the entire University of Rijeka team, both Rector Lučin and all Vice-Rectors, accepted with great honour and pleasure.