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Academia embraces K-pop, opens up graduate school

By Kim Arin

  • Published : Nov 21, 2018 - 16:34
  • Updated : Nov 21, 2018 - 16:34

A South Korean university is opening an entire graduate program dedicated to K-pop.

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From left, NCT 127, BTS with President Moon Jae-in, SBS' 2013 series "My Love from the Star" (S.M. Entertainment, Big Hit Entertainment, SBS)
Kyunggi University, a private institution with a student body of over 17,000 and a 71-year history, has set up a graduate program in Korean popular culture, which will admit its first batch of students this coming spring.

The “K-pop graduate school” will be taught by a star faculty lineup, including Ahn Sung-ki, an established figure in Korean cinema; pop music composer Kim Hyeong-seok, who also owns entertainment firm Kiwi Media Group; TV director Na Young-seok, best known for producing the reality show “2 Days & 1 Night”; TV drama director Yoon Seok-ho, behind 2002’s “Winter Sonata,” one of the first Korean series to enjoy overseas popularity; and JYP Entertainment executive Jeong Wook.

K-pop, K-culture management, K-drama, world music, K-beauty and performing arts are among the newly established majors listed on the university’s official website.

With the university’s media and film studies departments having closed down in March 2017, the introduction of the more commercially leaning disciplines indicates a move away from more traditional academics and toward a more marketable line of studies.

A representative of the program said the school intends to “train and produce professionals specializing in relevant fields that will contribute to advancement of Korean popular culture.”

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)