Sogang Holds NEW SOFEX Joint Academic Seminar with Sophia University

- Final presentation and UAP & SDGs Completion Ceremony for UAP & SDGs Global Network-Based PBL conducted successfully -

▲ Group photo of SOFEX100 Final Presentation and Welcoming Ceremony


As part of the course “[SOFEX100]: East Asia and Jesuit Education,” a collaborative global knowledge-sharing initiative conducted by Sogang and Sophia University (led by President Yoshiaki Terumichi) in Japan and Korea, a final presentation and intercultural academic education seminar took place at Sogang University from January 5-7.

The SOFEX program, initially launched in 2010 as a sports exchange between Korea and Japan, evolved into an academic and cultural exchange under the “NEW SOFEX” agreement in March 2018.

Since 2018, the program has been held annually in the second semester, operating as Collaborative Online International Learning, except for in 2020, due to the pandemic. In September 2023, students from Sogang University visited Japan, and in January 2024, students from Sophia University visited Korea to participate in the final presentation and a seminar on Korean-Japanese academic education. Approximately 55 individuals participated in this academic exchange, including 21 Sogang students, 19 students and faculty members from Sophia University, Chairperson Woo Jae-myung of the Sogang University Corporation, Executive Vice President Jeon Seong-hoon of Academic Affairs, and Lee Kyou-sung, head of the Sogang Institute for Whole Person Education, along with other faculty members from Sogang University.

The SOFEX100 course operated Project-Based Learning (PBL) with the theme of UAP (Universal Apostolic Preference) and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) within the context that both schools hold the shared values of East Asian history and being founded as Jesuit colleges. Students identified challenges, selected topics, and worked together to propose solutions and discuss potential projects.

The conference commenced with a campus tour led by Father Kim Min-hoi from the Character Development Center. At the Welcome Ceremony, students exchanged official welcome speeches delivered by Executive Vice President Jeon Seong-hoon of Academic Affairs, Chairperson Woo Jae-myung, and Lee Kyou-sung, head of the Sogang Institute for Whole Person Education.

▲ (From left to right) Sogang Campus Tour, SDG and UAP-related Final Group Presentations


Prior to the final academic presentations, a moment of silence was observed to honor the victims of the strong earthquake in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, in early January 2024. During the presentation itself, students from both institutions shared the outcomes of their group projects, covering various SDG topics, such as ecology, gender equality, homeless care, animal rights, and employment issues (specifically in the delivery industry). Creative ideas and solutions were presented through a comparative analysis of data from Korea and Japan.

After the project presentations, the group visited Yeouido 63 Square, where they explored various pieces of artwork showcasing both Korean and Japanese culture. Following this, the students gathered for feedback sessions with their instructors, reflecting on their journey since September 2023. In group discussions led by student representatives, reflections were shared within the framework of the Ignatian educational philosophy. These discussions facilitated the cultivation of intercultural communication skills, the broadening of academic horizons, and the forming of friendships among participants.

All educators highlighted that the SOFEX course transcended traditional classroom learning, offering a valuable journey of collaboration despite differences and language barriers. The event concluded with the bestowing of SOFEX certificates to all students from both schools, conducted by Lee Kyou-sung, head of the Sogang Institute for Whole Person Education.


▲ Completion Ceremony (Lee Kyou-sung, head of the Sogang Institute for Whole Person Education, Professor Mitsunobu Ichiro of Sophia University)


Looking ahead, the course “[SOFEX100]: East Asia and Jesuit Education” will remain committed to nurturing global leaders capable of collaborative reflection, fostering tolerance, understanding of diverse cultures, and contributing to the advancement of human society and communities based on the Ignatian paradigm.


▲ Group photo of SOFEX100 Final Presentations