In a significant collaboration, UNIST and the University of Ulsan College of Medicine (hereinafter ‘U of U College of Medicine’) have successfully developed a joint curriculum aimed at cultivating professionals with interdisciplinary expertise. This unique program seeks to bridge the gap between engineering and medicine, producing graduates who possess both medical knowledge and engineering understanding. The collaboration aims to contribute effectively to advancements in healthcare technology and innovation.
The jointly developed curriculum consists of seven courses, including ‘Introductions to Medical Science AI‘ and ‘Brain and Cognitive Engineering.’ A workshop dedicated to joint curriculum development was held on July 4, during which detailed plans were coordinated for the successful implementation of this unique educational program.
Starting in September, this exciting opportunity will be available for 40 incoming freshmen from the University of Ulsan College of Medicine as well as UNIST students. Through collaborative efforts, these courses will be offered not only to medical students, but also those studying at UNIST, fostering interdisciplinary exchanges between future doctors and scientists. The program includes two compulsory courses specifically designed for medical students from U of U College of Medicine, along with the flexibility to choose five elective courses available at UNIST. This allows students to broaden their knowledge base beyond medicine by exploring diverse fields.
As part of a holistic education approach, students will actively engage in student research projects facilitated by UNIST, while also having access to start-up clubs. This hands-on experience promotes practical problem-solving skills while encouraging collaboration among aspiring healthcare professionals and budding scientists. By combining academic rigor with real-world applications through interdisciplinary interactions, this program aims to nurture well-rounded individuals equipped with valuable skills essential for addressing complex challenges in healthcare and scientific research.
Each subject within the curriculum will be jointly guided by dedicated instructors from both institutions—UNIST faculty members alongside clinical professors from U of U College of Medicine. This approach provides students with valuable insights into how their coursework can be applied in real-world clinical settings.
This academic collaboration between UNIST and the University of Ulsan began with their strategic partnership for cultivating future physician-scientists in July 2022. Their efforts have now culminated in launching the “UNIST-U of U College of Medicine Health Sciences Technology (HST) Program,” integrating this newly developed undergraduate joint medical curriculum.
Dean Jae-Young Sim, representing UNIST’s College of Information and Biotechnology, expressed his commitment to ensuring the smooth operation of the undergraduate joint curriculum. He emphasized that “[T]his endeavor marks the first step in implementing the HST program prepared by both institutions.”
This collaborative model between medical schools and science-technology specialized universities is unprecedented in Korea. Unlike previous graduate-centered programs for training medical scholars, this initiative stands out as a full-time training course that includes undergraduate students.
The cooperative model showcased great potential as a framework for training government-sponsored medical scholars, thereby providing impetus for its implementation. The joint ‘Global High-Tech Industrial Cluster Development Plan‘ between government departments, which was announced on June 1, encompasses several new curricula developed by both institutions, including joint undergraduate programs with medical schools and the Institute of Science and Technology.
Dean Seong Who Kim from U of U College of Medicine expressed optimism about their model playing a significant role in fostering national-level medical scientists considering extensive support measures initiated by the government. These measures include numerous collaborative curricula between UNIST and University of Ulsan.
During the workshop, Director Chong Jai Kim from Asan Institute for Life Sciences (AILS) at Asan Medical Center attended and presented ways to collaborate between these two institutions along with collaboration opportunities involving Asan Life Sciences Research Institute. The joint HST program encompasses a curriculum where students from both UNIST and University of Ulsan College actively participate in advanced biomedical research conducted by Asan Life Sciences Research Institute at Asan Medical Center in Seoul.
Director Kim expressed high expectations that this tripartite collaboration will serve as an exemplary solution to overcome previous challenges encountered during convergence research in medicine.
The workshop on joint curriculum development was attended by Dean Seong Who Kim from the University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Director Chong Jai Kim from Asan Life Sciences, Dean Jae-Young Sim representing UNIST’s College of Information and Biotechnology, Dean Sung Youb Kim from UNIST’s College of Engineering, Dean Sung Chul Bae from UNIST Graduate School of Health Science and Technology, Department Chair Hyung Joon Cho from Biomedical Engineering at UNIST, along with faculty members responsible for course development.