It has been over 50 years since Inha University was established upon the ideals of leadership and expertise and service to the country. A mainstay in the port city of Incheon, Inha has long produced talented professionals for the science and technology sectors, who exceed the expectations of the nation and its people.
In 1952, in the midst of the Korean War, the first President of Korea, Dr. Syng Man Rhee proposed the foundation of an educational institute that would provide expertise and hope to a lagging industrial sector. The driving force behind the proposal was the will and determination of a group of Koreans who had emigrated to Hawaii 50 years earlier. Financial resources for the foundation came from the proceeds of the sale of the Korea Christian Institute, an organization founded and managed by Dr. Rhee for the purpose of educating the children of the original emigrants, donations from Korean emigrants in Hawaii and domestic supporters, and a government subsidy. Incheon city donated a school site and in February, 1954, construction began in earnest, to finally have the Inha Institute of Technology opened later the same year.
The Inha Institute of Technology, with its unique history and great mission to foster excellent students who would contribute to the development of the nation’s scientific and technological industries, was funded to do so by the help of huge government subsidies and foreign aid from UNESCO and the German government. The original funding, along with additional donations such as the 200 million won donation by the Hanjin Trading Co. in 1968, equipped the institute with modern experiment facilities.
In a move to improve the management of the Inha Institute, the Board of Trustees was reorganized and Dr. Choong-Hoon Jo and Dr. Jwa-Kyung Seong assumed the positions of Chairman of the Board and the Dean, respectively. That change brought more energy to the management, and resulted in the introduction of state-of-the-art experimental and research equipment, construction of new school buildings, research centers, practice factories, experimental tanks, library, and gymnasium, and secured excellent professors, contributing to the development of the Korean industry.
With the rapid development of the Inha Institute of Technology, its size and facilities surpassed those of other colleges. It was inevitable for the institute to be elevated to the status of university, thus in December, 1971, the Ministry of Culture and Education approved the elevation and Dr. Jwa-Kyung Seong took office as the first president. On March 15, 1976, Dr. Jae-Chul Lee assumed the position and on December 29, 1981, Dr. Hee-Chul Kim was inaugurated as the 4th president, solidifying the basis toward one of the prestigious universities in Korea.
Taking office as the fifth president on December 30, 1983, Dr. Tae-Won Park introduced the motto ‘Researching University, University advancing into the world’ and worked to secure exceptional professors, encouraged greater research and established the medical school. He also implemented the computer network system connecting the administration, and including the library, thus maximizing administrative efficiency. He also modernized the language education program in preparation for the global era and built the student center, one of the best student welfare facilities in the nation.
On February 24, 1990, Dr. Young-Moo Won took office as the 7th president. He contributed to the opening of Inha University Hospital in May, 1996. While on March 1, 1994, commemorating the historic 40th anniversary, Sung-ok Cho, the 8th president assumed the position with the ambition of making Inha an internationally-recognized university within 10 years. He focused on the improvement of educational quality and investment in the high-tech sector.
On October 31, 1997, Dr. Yang-Ho Cho, chairman of the Hanjin Group, took the post of Chairman of the Board and ambitiously invested in the development of the school. Dr. Gun-Il Roh became the 9th president on March 1, 1998 and established the system providing practical work experience for students through educational reform. Another step to achieving his goal of becoming one of the most prestigious universities in the 21st century, was to boldly invest educational facilities by building dormitories, the electronic library and the Inha Hi-Tech center. As a result, Inha was selected as the most outstanding university in terms of educational reform in 2001 and maintained its position as an outstanding university for 4 years in a row. The achievements during his term paved the way for the second foundation of Inha.
On March 1, 2002, Dr. Seoung-Yong Hong became the 10th president and presented the Mid and Long term Development Plans to actively prepare for the significant developments happening in Northeast Asia, high-tech science, and globalization. The plan has set five goals: 1) Increase and improve practice-based education to produce professionals who meet the demands of the nation and the times; 2) The establishment of an ‘e-campus’ in preparation for the age without borders; 3) Improvement of the education environment and investment in research capability; 4) The ideal combination of choice and focus in instruction; 5) A significant increase in the university development fund. As a result, Inha ranked 9th in the 2004 university evaluation conducted by JoongAng Daily newspaper, consolidating its reputation as a prestigious university. The top 10 ranking came, as Inha marked its 50th anniversary, on April 24, 2004, celebrating the past, present and future of the university.
President Seoung-Yong Hong was reappointed as the 11th president to recognize his contribution to the school through such accomplishments as university reform, the establishment of an improved educational infrastructure, improvement in university evaluation and globalization. Starting the next half century of the university’s history, he declared it ‘the very first year of global Inha’ and encouraged the Inha family to have a pride along with ‘Innovation’ and ‘Harmony’. He is continuing to strive to make Inha a world-class university through the implementation of his vision.
Dr. Bon-Su Lee took over as the 12th President on March 1, 2009. He worked hard to lead Inha into a new era through innovation and communication with the establishment of the Inha Law School and the Songdo Global Campus. Dr. Lee strongly emphasized faculty research and transparency and he worked strenuously on the effective management of the university. He also focused his efforts to provide excellent educational programs for global intellectuals. Under Dr. Lee’s presidency, Inha achieved many things including: ‘A Class Rank’ for 11 consecutive years (‘00~’10) by the Ministry of Education and Science Technology, 6th among Korean universities in the number of SCI-level paper publications, Korean National Quality Award granted by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, and University Assessment Accreditation certified by the Korean Council for University Education. In addition, Inha was also selected for four consecutive years (‘08~’11) to participate in the Educational Capacity Enhancement Project, was ranked as the best university by IT Industries (’11), and stood 5th in graduate employment among all Korean universities (’11).
In order to strengthen the school competitiveness, Dr. Choon-Bae Park, who became the 13th President on March 1, 2012, pushed forward reforms including: improvement of the educational management system, structural adjustments to establish interdisciplinary programs, the foundation of professional management system of colleges, and a performance evaluation system for faculty/administrative staff.
Dr. Park not only started the construction of the 60th Anniversary Memorial Hall on campus in 2014, but also successfully opened IUT (Inha University in Tashkent) in Uzbekistan, securing a bridgehead for advancement into other overseas educational markets.
Dr. Soonja Choe was inaugurated as the 14th President on February 25, 2015. She has presented 3 slogans: ‘Excellence in Education’, ‘Innovative Research’ and ‘Connecting with the Community’. As action plans to achieve these important goals, Dr. Choe has proposed and is working hard on establishing a customized student counseling service system, a frontier college for 1st year undergraduate students as well as 30 world-class research centers and a smart campus. Under her presidency, Inha is also actively working to help public education in the City of Incheon by offering management consulting and educational services.
Today, Inha boasts 11 colleges: Engineering, IT Engineering, Natural Science, Economics and Trade, Business Administration, Education, Law, Social Science, Humanities, Human Ecology, and Medicine, and 54 departments. Inha University’s Graduate school offers master’s degree programs in 51 fields and 45 doctoral programs. The Graduate School of Education has 22 master’s programs and research courses. The Graduate School of Business Administration offers two MBA programs and a business management course for executives in addition to offering a part-time MBA program. The Graduate School of Engineering offers 12 programs and research courses. The Graduate School of Public Administration has five programs and research courses. Founded in September 2006, as the first school of logistics in Korea, the Graduate School of Logistics offers a Global MBA and doctoral programs in logistics, and the Law School offers master’s and doctoral programs in law.
Today, Inha University is making its utmost effort to foster professionals with academic knowledge and skills and a character befitting the school motto of “Truth”. Inha has already produced as many as 160,000 graduates who are now leaders in industry, science and technology. With a student body of 20,000 students, Inha is continuing its efforts to become one of the top universities in the world. Inha is ever doing its best to improve so students can enjoy the college life and have pride in their school. All Inha professors make the greatest effort to provide students with the best lectures and to foster talent by focusing on additional special lectures, internship, e-learning, and overseas exchanges. In addition, we believe in a balanced education that includes the liberal arts, far too often forgotten in an increasingly digitalized world. Inha has a firm belief in that the true purpose of a university, the development of human spirits, lies not in the quantitative and external expansion, but in the realization of human values and the nurturing of creativity. Motivated by our prominent tradition, all at Inha will never stop their efforts to fulfill its mission as a center of comprehensive studies and arts.
April 9, 2015. Ranked as the Best University in Industry-perspective University Evaluation by the Ministry of Education in the areas of energy, environment and biomedicine October 28, 2014. Construction of 60th Anniversary Memorial Hall begins. October 2, 2014. Inha University in Tashkent(IUT), Uzbekistan is opened.