Samsung opens Korean door to British students

A unusual postgraduate scheme is about to begin. By Roger Trapp

The South Korean industrial conglomerate Samsung has pushed its way into the national consciousness by setting up an operation in Britain. Now it is giving postgraduate students the opportunity to study and work in Korea.

The European operation of the company, which has a plant at Billingham in the North-east and is committed to setting up a UK headquarters in Hounslow later this decade, has made available pounds 500,000 to set up the scholarship fund under which one person a year will spend 12 months in Korea, all expenses paid. The three shortlisted candidates for this year's inaugural trip were interviewed in London earlier this week and the winner will be announced in September.

The Samsung Royal British Legion Scholarship was launched last year in association with the British Korean Veterans Association, in memory of the more than 1,000 British armed forces personnel who died in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953. It is hoped that next month's announcement of the winner will spur many other students to apply.

KS Park, chairman of the Samsung Global Assistance Programme, said the fund gave British students "the opportunity of a lifetime to live and study in Korea, helping to generate understanding and build even closer links between our two nations".

The scheme is designed to give students the chance to see one of the world's fastest-growing economies. As well as studying at a South Korean university, the chosen student will have the opportunity to do work experience with Samsung.

Help is given with choosing the university course, but the student must undergo an intensive course to learn Korean before leaving Britain. It is envisaged that the stay in Korea will run from March, when the country's academic year begins. The scholarship will be awarded as a lump sum to cover tuition fees, living expenses, return flight costs and travel insurance.

The student will be required to present a report to representatives of Samsung Europe, the British Korean Veterans Association and the Royal British Legion.

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