The University of Bath is excited to announce the renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding with Yonsei University for a further three years.

Yonsei University is one of the three most prestigious universities in South Korea and has been one of Bath's partners since 2013. Under this long-established agreement there has been lots of activity taking place across the university, including research collaboration in the subject areas of Material Science, Chemistry, Energy, Physics and Astronomy, and Engineering and Design. Alongside this, the Faculty of Science and the Department of Economics have an active student mobility agreement that sits under the MoU and has proven very popular with students since it's initiation.

One of the University of Bath's key collaborators with Yonsei University is the Institute for Policy Research (IPR). In 2018, IRO funding was awarded to the IPR to host a joint conference with Yonsei's Institute of Welfare State Research (IWSR) on the topic of social security. The conference, which was held in Seoul in November 2018, covered topics ranging from social investment politics and policies, universal basic income, in-work and tax benefits, ageing and welfare preferences, the political economy of new welfare states, and future scenarios for welfare states. During this joint conference the IPR agreed an MoU with the Ministry of Employment and Labour (MOEL) in the Republic of Korea. It is from this MoU that the IPR hosts MOEL civil servants on year-long fellowships.

The second major collaboration between the IPR and Yonsei University were two academic conferences held in 2022, enabled by funding from the UKRI Fund for International Collaboration. The conferences, one at the University of Bath and the other at Yonsei University, explored transformations of post-pandemic welfare states, new growth regimes and new social policies. These in-person events helped to strengthen the two institute's academic partnership and share their research findings with government departments and think-tanks, as well as expand the networks of Early Career Researchers (ECRs). The IPR subsequently hosted two ECRs from Yonsei University in 2022/23 to work on research collaborations, of which there are plans for academic papers to be published.

The IPR and the IWSR were awarded funding by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for a new collaborative project. This collaboration, which also includes Dongguk University and the Gyeonggi Research Institute, seeks to explore social security, the labour market and public health in the UK and South Korea, and lessons for post-pandemic recovery and reform.

On the renewal of this MoU agreement, the Director of the IPR, Professor Nick Pearce adds:

Our collaboration with colleagues at Yonsei University has been very valuable in expanding our comparative social and economic policy research, developing our intellectual networks, and cementing our policy research partnerships with government departments in the Republic of Korea. It has been very fruitful.

Professor Timo Kivimäki in the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies hosted Prof. Chung-In Moon, a Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Yonsei University, as a Bath Global Chair in 2018. In the academic year 2023/24 Professor Kivimäki will be hosting another Global Chair from Yonsei, Professor Jong-Kun Choi, Professor of International Relations and former 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary For Peace Planning/Peace and Arms Control.

The University of Bath is pleased to be renewing this long-standing agreement and looks forward to the continued success of the partnership.