The Seoul Metropolitan Government is running the “SMG Master’s Degree Program” to educate civil servants from developing countries on Seoul’s excellent strategy and know-how, and to help foreign cities implement urban administration policies.
The course, which has been offered since 2008 as part of Korea’s Official Development Assistance Program, is aimed at improving practical, cooperative relationships between cities and at elevating Seoul’s stature as a leading international city.
Foreign civil servants who are participating in the SMG Master’s Degree Program will receive lectures on theory and practical education on citizen welfare, tourism, electronic government, rental housing, and transportation at a university in Seoul for thirteen months, and, during the subsequent twelve months, write dissertations that compare the city administration in Seoul with that of their home cities to acquire a master’s degree.
The program is all the more significant in that the participating civil servants are not only awarded a degree, but also receive an opportunity to apply the know-how acquired on the program to urban development models in their home countries, thereby giving practical assistance to the development of foreign cities.
So far, out of the 71 civil servants from 25 countries who have conducted studies on Seoul’s urban development models, 34 have won master’s degrees, while 20 others are preparing theses in their countries and 17 are taking classes at Korea University (Graduate School of Policy Studies).
Currently, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is running “Seoul type” ODA programs, including the master’s degree programs for civil servants from developing countries, a training program for civil servants invited from Asia, and a program for assisting education at youth centers in developing countries, all of which are helping Seoul to promote its city administration model, while contributing to urban development in developing countries. In this way, the City Government is taking the lead in international relations with various cities worldwide.
Meanwhile, the City Government is recruiting a university in Seoul to run the fifth SMG Master’s Degree Program for civil servants from developing country cities in a sisterhood relationship with Seoul through February 2.
The City Government will place a “bid invitation” in January, and select a preferred negotiating partner and sign a contract in February. For more information, please visit the Korea Online E-Procurement System website( http://www.g2b.go.kr/) of the Public Procurement Service, or the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s website (www.seoul.go.kr), or dial +82-2-6321-4487.