Foundation (1965~1980)

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In 1971, when modernization and industrialization were under way in Korea, Korea and France entered into an agreement for the establishment of Korea-France Technology Junior College in order to exchange technology and culture through education. According to the agreement, Ajou Engineering Junior College, the forerunner of Ajou University, was founded in March 1973 by Yusin Institute established by Park, Chagn-won, the chairman of Yusin Express Tourism Co., Ltd.

Starting as Ajou Engineering Junior College, Ajou College recruited 280 students during its first year from four depart- ments, including Electronics, Precision Mechanical

Engineering, Fermentation Chemical Engineering, and Industrial Management. The school was promoted to Ajou Engineering College a year later and produced its first graduates in 1997. In 1997, Kim, Woo-jung, the chairman of Daewoo International, contributed his personal wealth to establish Daewoo Institute and took over Ajou University.


Mr. Kim established Daewoo Institute to return corporate profit to the society through educational business and to nurture high-quality human resources required by the society. Mr. Kim held on to his principle of support without intervention right from the beginning to guarantee the autonomy of the university. Thanks to the principles of its founder, Ajou University became a model university with its fair and honest management that was uncommon for private schools in Korea.


Ajou set a goal in the late 1970s to become the ‘MIT of Asia’ that would nurture engineers and leaders with language kills. In order to achieve that goal, Ajou newly established humanities and social science departments such as business administration, French language, and English language on top of the existing engineering departments. In addition, it introduced a ‘special scholarship system’ for the first time in Korea to bring promising youth together and educate them. As a result, the number of graduates admitted to Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) marked the second largest to Seoul National University in the year that the scholarship beneficiaries graduated. In 1978, nine scholarship students of Ajou were sent to France as part of the Korea-France Culture Agreement.

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