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Al-Farabi Kazakh University honorary doctorate degree recipient speech

  • SNU PR
  • September 9, 2015
  • Hit 7420
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Event: Al-Farabi Kazakh University honorary doctorate degree recipient speech
Date: September 9 (Wed), 2015
Venue: Al-Farabi Kazakh University

Dear President Galimkair Mutanov,
Professors, alumni, students, ladies and gentlemen,

I am deeply honored to receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from Al-Farabi Kazakh University. It is indeed a great privilege to receive this honorary degree from this esteemed university as I have heard that it is only offered to a scholar with a significant contribution that extends beyond to academic community and the society at large. I feel very humbled.

Ever since I received my doctorate degree in law from Paris 2 University some time ago, I have devoted myself in academic pursuits and education of young students. As the recipient of this honorary degree, however, I now have a greater dream. I hope I can work toward strengthening the ties between Kazakhstan and Korea, as well as promoting the values common to both institutions, Al-Farabi Kazakh University and Seoul National University.

This year is an important one for our country, Republic of Korea, as it marks the 70th year of independence from our colonial period. Although we had to endure much difficulties through the civil war and the industrialization, Koreans managed to achieve a remarkable recovery and economic advancement. Given this, we have much respect for what the people of Kazakhstan have accomplished as well. Many of you are aware that at the official ceremonies celebrating China’s war commemorations last week, President Park Geun-hye and President Nursultan Nazarbayev sat right next to each other throughout the whole time. They made it very clear to the whole world the strong partnership that exists between the two nations.

In Kazakhstan today, there is currently a strong community of about a hundred thousand Korean. They are mostly the second-, third-, and fourth-generation Koreans whose forefathers were forced to move out of Korea in 1937. Despite being a minority in Kazakhstan, however, the community has thrived with high level of education and pride in their Korean roots. I have high hopes for the Korean community to be role models for the Kazakhstan society.

As a life-long scholar and the current president of Seoul National University, I believe that higher education is crucial for societal development. It shapes the minds of the future leaders, allowing them to develop vision for the future and generate solutions to our problems. We universities must provide the platforms on which those dreams are made.

In my inaugural speech as the president of Seoul National University, I had emphasized my vision of the university as a community in which the interests of the greater society are given greater weight to those of the individual members. I truly believe that universities should strive to develop leaders who will do good for the society. The ultimate objective of our scholarly pursuit should also be the betterment of the society as well. In this sense, the two universities, Al-Farabi Kazakh University and Seoul National University, share the common goal --- providing a fertile ground on which such good will can be established.

Over the years, Al-Farabi Kazakh University has made a tremendous progress under the leadership of President Galimkair Mutanov. As the pioneer in Korean educational system, Seoul National University has also contributed to the society by developing leaders and setting the foundation of societal progression.

During the past years, two universities have cooperated together in academic research and education. In particular, the Bundang SNU hospital with its cutting-edge technology and innovation has been a model in the medical system of Kazakhstan. Accomplished scholars such as Professor Sergei Kim played a crucial role in the exchange of medical technology between the two nations. Last June, we also held sessions to recruit excellent Kazakh students into our undergraduate colleges.

They say that to create a better future, we must look back in our history. Since 1992, Korea and Kazakhstan have been working together in many areas including politics, economics, and culture. I hope that we can now work together toward peace in the Korean peninsula and development of the Far East by utilizing our synergy and tapping into our potential for mutual economic growth.

In conclusion, I want to again say how grateful I am to receive this honorary degree and become a part of Al-Farabi Kazakh University community. Through this opportunity, I wish to deepen the friendship already in place between Kazakhstan and Korea. In the future, I am determined to work toward expanding our cooperative efforts between Al-Farabi Kazakh University and Seoul National University.

Thank you all for being here and sharing this memorable moment together.
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