Kwangwoon University

Kwangwoon university
Motto Practice diligence and economy, Seek thyself a work
Type Private
Established 1934 (1934)
Chairman Shin, Chul-Sik[1]
President Chun, Jang-ho
Academic staff
331 (full-time Professor)
108 (adjunct Professor)
419 (Lecturer)[2]
Administrative staff
234 (2015)
Students 10,106 (2015)
Undergraduates 8,751 (2015)
Postgraduates 1,355 (2013)
Location Seoul, South Korea
Nickname Pegasus
Korean name
Revised Romanization Gwang-un Daehakgyo
McCune–Reischauer Kwangun Taehakkyo

Kwangwoon University (or Kwang-Woon or KW) is a private research university in Seoul (Wolgye Dong, Nowon Gu), South Korea. Kwangwoon University has been recognized for its academic reputation in engineering and IT fields.[3] Kwangwoon University was ranked 56th in Asia in field of Engineering in the 2014 and 2015 by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS)[4][5] and ranked 16th in Korea in field of Science and Engineering in 2015 by Korea Economic Daily (한국경제신문)[6] Among its alumni are Jongkyun Shin (JK Shin) (Currently Co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and president of Samsung Electronics),[7] Jae Ryung Lee (CEO of Ericsson-LG Enterprise )[8] and Inbee Park (professional golfer).



Kwangwoon started as Chosun Radio Training Center (Global Telecommunication Network Center today) established to promote the advancement of radio technical knowledge and understanding, independent of government and free of Japan. It was renamed in 1940 as the Chosun Institute of Radio Engineering.[9]

Started as Dong-guk Electronics College in 1962, the school became Kwangwoon Institute of Technology in 1964 and a four-year granting Kwangwoon University in 1987.[10]


After Hwado Kwangwoon Cho (Kwangwoon University Founder) died in 1980, with the effort of Musung Cho (the first president Kwangwoon University[11] and currently the 14th Chairman of Kwangwoon Foundation) and many faculties and students, the school became a comprehensive university in 1987. Since then, the Kwangwoon University's reputation and fame heightened as the first educational institution to start wireless communication school and the first school to offer electronics classes to college students in Korean history.[12] Until 1995, the university was ranked top 10 overall and top 3 in the engineering fields in South Korea.

Kwangwoon as a Businessman[13]

Hwado Kwangwoon Cho, Founder of Kwangwoon Institute of Technology

Hwado Cho,Kwangwoon was a gifted businessman. He started out as an employee at a Japanese general merchandise store. Gaining experiences from an attorney's office as a translator & administrator, as a taxi driver, at a rice exchange office, and as a cotton store owner, when Kwangwoon was only 18 years old he obtained so much wealth that he was well known in the Incheon city (he started his businessin Hwado, Incheon) as a rich boy. Having lived during the period of Japanese colony, Hwado (nickname) Cho, Kwangwoon (1899~1980[14]) was also involved in the Korean independent movement in Shanghai, China during his teen age. However, the independent movement leader recognized that Cho, Kwangwoon's talent lay in the academia and suggested to him to study abroad to contribute to the Korean education field so that Korea can be independent from the enforcement of Japanese teachings. Then, the boy was sent to Japan to enroll at Waseda University's department of politics & economics, at the time the only private university in Japan.

However, after much contemplation, he dropped out from Waseda University in his sophomore year; he noticed that South Korea's state of affairs at the time was in chaos and figured that he should do something different for his country instead of just continuing his education in Japan. He first started with obtaining wealth, although he pondered for a moment whether to get into automobile or electronics business, he predicted the lamp reform from increasing electricity usage in the country and decided to get into electronics business. Thereafter, he opened Kwangwoon Electronics Company in Bongnae-dong,[15] Seoul. And from well-known companies such as Matsushita Electric Industrial Company (Now Panasonic[16]) and Toshiba, Kwangwoon received the right to sell their products; Kwangwoon Electronics Company had branch office from entire Korean peninsula and stretching out to Manchuria of today. Although not well published, Hwado Cho, Kwangwoon brought the incandescent light bulbs to Korea for the first time in Korean history since Thomas Edison invented it in 1879; in the early 1900s Korea's main source of light was the lantern.

Friendship with Konosuke Matsushita & Laying the groundwork for Kwangwoon University[17]

Kwangwoon Cho in his 20s and until 1934 was already running multimillion-dollar businesses and the acquaintance with Konosuke Matsushita (founder of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.), probably was a turning point in his life. Through distributing Matsushita Electric Industrial Company's products to Kwangwoon Electronics Company, Matsushita was so moved by Kwangwoon's diligence that he gave the entire right to sell his products to Kwangwoon and their companionship grew. Besides being a business partner, Matsushita and Kwangwoon's close friendship is betrayed through Matsushita sending 10,000 Yen golden plate to Kwangwoon during Korean War in 1950 as a concern for his safety and for further success in his business. In the 1930s when still Korea under Japanese rule, Konosuke Matsushita asked Kwangwoon to remain as his business partner to further enter the Korean market; however, Kwangwoon denied his offer, thinking the only way for Korea to gain true independence from Japan is through our own education; he showed regrets when he had sent his employees to Japan for technical training abroad and the most talented workers would remain in Japan and had never returned. In a search for autonomy and to retain his employees, Hwado Cho, Kwangwoon established the wireless-communication school in 1934 (Chosun Wireless-Communication School) to develop Korean-born technicians. The school later became Dong-Guk Electronics College (January 21, 1964), Kwangwoon Electronics College (1966) and Kwangwoon University (1987) of today.[18]

Birth of Kwangwoon University as a forerunner in Wireless-Communication & Electronics in Korea[19]

In the beginning, Kwangwoon had no plans to expand the school to a university or even a college level; until he made his decision to make advancement to a college and a full-blown university, the school remained as a technical high-school (Kwangwoon Electronic Technical High School of today) that offered wireless-communication and electronics training only. However, constant requests by his second son (Dr. Cho, Musung) to expand the technical high-school to a college to contribute further to the South Korea's Information & Technology (IT) business and education in general moved Hwado Cho, Kwangwoon's heart. And as the first president[20] of Kwangwoon University from 1988~1993,[21] Dr. Cho, Musung, with his contributions (About $470 Million USD until today) to the school in 1988, 1989, 1991,[22] 1992, 2010 respectively, he led Kwangwoon University to one of the top engineering schools in Korea.

Today there are eight colleges in Kwangwoon University: College of Electronics & Information Engineering, College of Engineering, College of Natural Sciences, Division of Korean Language and Literature, College of Social Sciences, College of Law, College of Business, and College of Northeast Asia. Located in Wolgye-dong, Nowon-gu, Seoul, Kwangwoon University carries out international exchanges and cooperation programs with 83 universities worldwide in the areas of education and research.[23]

2014 Kwangwoon's 80th anniversary

This year is Kwangwoon University's 80th Anniversary.[24] In 1934, Kwangwoon Foundation started as Joseon Radio Technical Institute. Now the foundation hold responsible for all levels of education in Seoul, Korea: Kwangwoon Kindergarten, Kwangwoon Elementary School, Namdaemoon Junior High School, Kwangwoon Junior High School, Kwangwoon High School, and Kwangwoon University. 13,928 students, 986 faculties and 142,225 alumni all celebrate the 80th anniversary together and promise bright future of Kwangwoon's 100th and 1,000th anniversaries ahead.[25]

Hwado Building, Main Administration Building


Beginning with the construction of the Bima Building (Electronics & Communication Engineering School) in 1964, Hwado Building (main building) named after the pen name of the founder in 1972 was built. Since then, the amphitheater, student union building (now Okui Building), and central library were completed one after the other.

After the university was upgraded to general university status, the second master plan was established in 1988 to build the Bokji Building (Welfare Building) to extend the Okui Building, and the construct Korea’s first international Olympic size indoor ice rink, and complete the 2,500-seater Donghae Culture & Art Center. Afterwards, other buildings were constructed (Yeongu (research) building, Chambit building, Hanwool Building, Nuri Hall)

Kwangwoon Square & The 80th Anniversary Building

34,550m2 Kwangwoon Square will bring car-free campus to the university with 80th Anniversary building being state-of-the-art class rooms. However, the main function of Kwangwoon Square & 80th Anniversary Building will be the central library, group study-rooms, and student lounges. They are expected to be completed by Fall of 2016.

Subsidiary organizations

Kwangwoon Hanlimwon (Institute for Advanced study)

Kwangwoon Institute for Advanced study was established to enhance academic research at Kwangwoon University. Activities conducted at Kwangwoon Institute for Advanced study include research on interdisciplinary and fusion studies, academic exchanges with domestic and foreign educational and research institutes, collection, organization, and compilation of research materials.

Teaching & Learning Center The Teaching & Learning Center provides support in teaching learning methods, media, and e-learning.

Kwangwoon University newspaper

Established in 1967 with the motto of "Straight viewpoint and sound argument," Kwangwoon University newspaper is published biweekly with the editing guideline of horizontal writing and all-Korean writing. It is distributed to students, faculty, and staff of the university as well as alumni, all high schools nationwide, universities's press, and companies.

Kwangwoon Image Broadcasting Center

As part of the media in Kwangwoon University, Kwangwoon Image Broadcasting Center was established for the production and airing of broadcasting-related contents. Through "Media Kwangwoon" (, the center broadcasts programs such as "Kwangwoon News," "Our Visible World," and "Visible Radio." Production is done by undergraduate students. The center is used for the training of professional broadcasting manpower such as announcer, anchor, and broadcasting reporter.

Educational Broadcasting Station

A subsidiary organization of Kwangwoon University opened in 1967 for the purpose of announcing notices, reporting events, refining education, and promoting orderly life, the Educational Broadcasting Station involves students in the work as one of their extracurricular activities.

Girls' Generation Concert (Big Hall)

Donghae Arts Center

Named for university supporter Dr. Cho, Musung (The 1st President of KWU and Former Chairman of Kwangwoon Foundation), Donghae Arts Center for the performing arts has recently undergone a 400,000(USD) renovation to benefit the university’s theater and to impact our local community through arts and winter sports. Intended to bring creativity to the university and its surrounding community, the center offers teaching, lecturing, and performance areas that include Small Hall on the 1st floor, Big Hall on the 2nd & 3rd Floors and Ice Rink in the basement for everyone who enjoys the sport of ice skating. As the largest size hall in Northern Seoul and the first university ice rink (3rd in the country), the DAC’s contribution at the local and national level is immeasurable bringing live arts and winter sports to the university and its surrounding community. The center is open all year around except Korean New Year and Thanksgiving days.


Global Capability Reinforcement System

Kwangwoon University introduced the English certification system, and gives lectures in English in 33% of the classes of major subjects as of 2011. Since 2011, freshmen have to achieve a degree of proficiency in a second foreign language (Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, or Russian) before graduation. In addition, exchange agreements have been signed with universities worldwide.

Hanwool Building on Liberal Arts Campus

Rankings and reputation

Graduate schools

Research institutes and centers


Education & Policy Research Centers (IT Convergence Research)

  • Realistic Media center
  • Next-Generation 3D Convergence center
  • RFID/USN center
  • Green '''IT''' Convergence center
  • Telecommunication for Disaster and Relief
  • Next-Generation Ubiquitous Networking center

Institutes of priority research

  • Institute of Basic-Convergence and Science
  • Institute of Green Technology
  • Institute of Robot Design
  • Institute of Defense Programs
  • Institute of Cultures of Global Industries

Institutes and centers of general research

  • Center for Eco-Friendly Nano-Technology
  • Institute of Nano Bio-Sensor
  • Chemical-Sensor center
  • Institute of Response to Climate Change
  • Institute of Green-Growth
  • Institute of Architecture-Design
  • Institute of Space-Management
  • Institute of Urbanology
  • Institute of Comm. & Tech. Lab
  • Institute of Convergence Tech-Management
  • Institute of LED Global New-Light
  • Institute of Robot-Art
  • Center for Technology Evaluation
  • Center for VIA Multi-Media
  • Institute of Next-Generation Memory-Device
  • Institute of Northeast-Asia
  • Institute of Financing for Higher- Education
  • Institute of KW Strategy for New-Industry Development
  • Institute of English-Content
  • Institute of Korea Humanities and Creativity
  • Institute of Humanities and Social Science Conversion
  • Institute of Crime
  • Institute of War-Responsibility

Centers and institutions

  • IDEC(Center for Regional Semi-Conductor Design Education)
  • Nano IP/SoC Design Technological Innovation Institute
  • Center for Small Enterprise Industry-University Collaboration
  • Center for Next-Generation 3D Display
  • Center for HAEDONG IT System
  • Microwave Integrated-Circuit Research Center(RFIC)
  • ITSoC Regional Academy Campus
  • Ubiquitous Home-Network Center
  • Next-Generation 'PDP Joint-Research Support Center
  • Institute of EARTH Research
  • Source of Renewable Energy Center
  • Plasma Bio-Science Research Center
  • Polysaccharides Bio-Medical Institute
  • KW Environmental Technology Development Center
  • Institute of OpenR&D
  • KW-Univ. National Human resources Development Center
  • Smart Sensors Convergence Technology Research Center

Schools and divisions

College of Electronics and Information Engineering

Donghae Arts Center
  • Department of Electronics Engineering
  • Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering
  • Department of Electronic Convergence Engineering
  • Department of Computer Engineering
  • Department of Computer Science and Engineering
  • Department of Electrical Engineering
  • Department of Electronic Materials Engineering
  • School of Robotics

College of Engineering

  • Department of Architecture (5 Years)
  • Department of Architectural Engineering (4 Years)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Department of Environmental Engineering

College of Natural Sciences

  • Department of Mathematics
  • Department of Electrical and Biological Physics
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Sport and Leisure Studies
  • Department of Cyber Security

College of Social Sciences

  • Department of Public Administration
  • Department of Industrial Psychology
  • School of Communication

College of Law

  • Department of Science and Technology Law
  • Department of General Law
  • Department of International Law

College of Business Administration

  • Division of Business Administration
    • Business administration

College of Northeast Asia

  • NorthEast Asia Commerce Division
    • Korea-Japan Commerce
    • Korea-China Commerce
  • NorthEast Asia Cultural Industries Division
    • Cultural Exchange
    • Cultural Content Development
  • International Cooperation Division
    • International Relations

College of Humanities

  • Department of Korean Language and Literature
  • Department of English Language and Literature

School of Liberal Arts

  • Varieties of choices including 9 different musical instruments
Pegasus, Kwangwoon University Mascot

Student activities and awards


Student activities

  • Kwangwoon University Global Challengers
  • Kwangwoon University Global Volunteers in countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Lao, Mongolia and Nepal.
  • Kwangwoon University Robot Camp for youth since 2008




  • Robot team won championship at the 1st Robo-1 University League, 2005
  • ROBOT Team (ROBIT)won the championship of the Super Robot Grand Prix (SRGP) sponsored KT Corporation (Korea Telecom), 2007
  • ROBIT won the championship of the 3rd Asia Robo-one in Korea, 2007.
  • ROBIT won 6 gold medals and ranked 2nd of 2008 RoboGames in United States of America
  • ROBIT won championship in humanoid in 2008 International Robot contest, Korea
  • ROBIT won the championship of the 15th Robo-One in Japan, 2009
  • ROBIT won the presidential award for 2009 International Robot Constest, Busan, Korea [37]


  • The team HOMERUN won the 1st prize in Imagine Cup 2011 for Window Phone held by Microsoft, United States of America
  • Kwangwoon University team won the champion of the Korean Shakespeare Festival for two consecutive years 2012 and 2013
  • Robot Team (BARAM) won the grand prize in 2013 Korea Intelligent Robot Contest, Korea[38]
  • Robot Team (BARAM) won the Chairman's Award in Texas Instruments Innovation Challenge: Korean MCU Design Contest 2013.[39]
  • Robot Team (ROBIT) won the 1st prize in Humanoid in 2013 and 2014 International Robot Contest (IRC), Korea,[40][41][42][43]
  • Robot Team (ROBIT) won the presidential awards in 2015 and 2016 International Robot Contest and R-BIZ challenge among 3000 participated teams,[44][45]
  • The Students from Department of Computer Engineering won the 1st prize in the first Hyundai Hackathon: Connect the Unconected in 2016 held by Hyundai Motor Group [46]


  • Kwangwoon University soccer team won the championship of the 2007 Fall Season of KBSN University Soccer Match
  • Kwangwoon University soccer team won the second prize of the 2009 Fall Season of the National University Soccer Games
  • Kwangwoon University soccer team won the champion of the 2014 Cafe Bene U-Leage championship for University Soccer teams[47]

Alumni and faculty


There are more than 50,000 Kwangwoon alumni worldwide. Notable alumni include:

Business, technology, and finance

Politics and law

Broadcasting, entertainment, and sport


  2. Kwangwoon University homepage
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  17. "Kwangwoon Foundation 80th Anniversary". Media Kwangwoon.
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  26. 2014-2015 Kwangwoon University Booklet (광운대학교 대학요람) PG111
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Coordinates: 37°37′12″N 127°03′22″E / 37.6201°N 127.056°E / 37.6201; 127.056

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