Mission and Strategy

Mission Statement

George Mason University Korea draws on an extraordinary combination of people, place and values to create a top institution of global higher education.

Mason Korea

Place

South Korea offers a remarkable testament to the power of education, imagination, and community to harness the energies of globalization. The new city of Songdo, South Korea, home to Mason Korea, is a material expression of these powers.  Here in Songdo, the dynamism of a US-style education—with its emphasis on active learning, high levels of student-faculty interaction and the liberal arts tradition of the well-rounded student—benefits from and contributes to the dynamism of our Korean hosts.

People

At Mason Korea, we make real the promise of a global village by gathering students from all over the world to learn together. These exceptional students challenge themselves by studying in a

culture and very often a language different from their native ones. They gain international perspectives in the classroom and from their interactions with an international faculty and student body. Through this global learning experience these students will become leaders in a world where the most important challenges and opportunities cross national boundaries. 

Values 

While Mason Korea is global in its people and perspectives, it is also firmly rooted in the values that have driven one of the great success stories in modern American education. George Mason University has grown in just over fifty years from a small, regional college campus to one of the top universities in the US with over 38,000 students, research that puts it among only 115 Tier 1 US research universities, and a track record of student success that includes the highest salaries for graduates among any university in Virginia.

These values are reflected in our strategic plan. They include a drive toward innovation and experiment, a powerful belief in the twin virtues of diversity and community, the responsible stewardship of our resources, the cultivation of a collegial and ethical environment for faculty and staff, and an educational environment that challenges and empowers our students, setting them up not only for the fulfillment of their personal goals, but also for a positive impact on the world.  For this reason, one of George Mason University’s strategic goals is “Global Engagement.” Mason Korea helps George Mason University to fulfill that goal.

The values that guide Mason Korea are rooted as well in our special partnership with the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority, the Incheon Global Campus, and the government of Korea.  These values are reflected in the long history of collaboration between the US and Korea, and a shared commitment to innovation, internationalization, and educational achievement. 

The goals below contribute to these values and the overall missions of George Mason University, and George Mason University Korea.

 

Future plan

Three-year Plan

Academic Excellence 

Academic excellence is at the center of everything we do. We are focused on student success. Students entrust us with their educational ambitions, and we promise to provide teaching that is challenging and supportive, and that will help to launch our students on a path to career success, responsible citizenship, and lifelong learning.

Academic programs at Mason Korea are distinguished by the quality of the faculty who teach them, by the student-teacher engagement central to our instruction, and by their incorporation of experiential and service learning. Our academic programs are also distinguished by their subjects. We bring unique and in-demand opportunities for learning to the Korean educational landscape. 

Student Success

Provide excellent support to students to facilitate their best educational performance, graduate successfully and on time, and achieve a strong outcome either in the workforce or in the pursuit of further education.

Initiatives

  • Through faculty development activities and evaluation, maintain and enhance a culture of teaching that focuses on both challenging and engaging students, that emphasizes faculty-student dialogue and that relies on multiple kinds of student assignments.
  • Implement an early warning system for at-risk students and intervene through advising or the provision of other student support services.
  • Devote an entire staff position to career services, in order to increase internship and career opportunities offered to students. 

Distinguished Academic Programs 

Mason Korea will continue to expand its academic offerings, adding new courses and new degree programs, the latter serving in-demand educational interests and needs in Korea and internationally. 

Initiatives 

  • Begin new degree programs that reflect both areas of particular academic strengths of George Mason and high Korean and international student demand.
  • Increase the number of new courses offered each semester.
  • Set and meet targets for an optimal mix of kinds of faculty, including visiting faculty from Mason Fairfax, direct hires to Mason Korea, and experts in practice from the local community. 

Special Learning Opportunities 

Connect classroom instruction to the broader world through learning practices such as research internships, business internships, community service learning and co-curricular or extra-curricular events or activities. 

Initiatives 

  • Inventory current high-impact student learning practices to set a baseline for expansion.
  • Encourage and incentivize the creation of co-curricular experiences for students, as well as academically focused extra-curricular clubs.
  • Devote an entire staff position to career services, in order to increase internship and career opportunities offered to students. 

 

Global Mindset

One of George Mason’s strategic goals is “Global Engagement.”  Mason Korea serves that goal by providing education geared to the modern, globalized world. Through their coursework, through a university community composed of diverse students and faculty from many countries, and through their engagement with globally minded teacher-scholars, our students gain the language and cultural competencies required for success in global business and public service as well as the multiple challenges and opportunities that cross national borders. This global mindset will distinguish our students in their professional and civic lives and contribute to the development of Korea and the global community.

Located within three hours of 60 cities with populations over one million, in a region with many of the fastest growing economies in the world, George Mason’s Korea campus offers ready access to vital cultural, economic and geopolitical spaces. This location makes it an ideal place for globalized education and research. Mason Korea attracts talent from across the world, including students, scholars and supporters. These members of the Mason Korea community find at Mason Korea a location to expand professional and scholarly opportunities on a global scale.  

Global Student Community

Draw students from across the world, and ensure that our student and community life and our academics reflect and enhance Mason Korea’s international population.

Initiatives

  • Expand recruitment activities particularly in the US, Canada, China and Southeast Asia.
  • Focus on the creation of engaging student events that foster global community and that ask students to reflect on their experiences in a multicultural community.
  • Increase the number of courses or assignments that foster global perspectives. 

Prime Destination for Mason Study Abroad 

Each year, George Mason US study abroad students or students from other universities will join the Mason Korea community for a semester or year and enrich our global student community.

Initiatives

  • Increase the number of study abroad students from George Mason in the US by raising the visibility of Mason Korea to Mason US students, creating pipelines with particularly relevant majors, and creating new cohort or other special programs for Mason Korea students.
  • Establish partnership agreements with other universities to serve as a location for their students to study abroad in Korea.
  • Create and administer a new student survey, provided at the end of each semester, to measure the satisfaction of our study abroad students. 

Research with a Global Mindset 

Because of the emphases of Mason Korea’s degree programs and the particular research interests of our faculty, most faculty research takes international perspectives.

Initiatives

  • Establish a separate research foundation that will enable Mason Korea faculty to apply for Korean government research support.
  • Increase the annual number of international scholarly or creative events.
  • Found one new research center at Mason Korea, in partnership with faculty from the Mason US campus

 

Community Value

Mason Korea creates value in the communities that support it. We develop talent, cultivate minds, and improve lives. Since education is a public as well as a private good, our impact extends beyond individual students. Mason Korea fosters a new generation of global-minded leaders who will drive economic growth, address key challenges, and serve their communities in myriad ways. 
 
Our institutional activities also serve local, regional and global stakeholders through economic development, partnerships with government and NGOs, community enrichment, transcultural communication and interaction, and the furthering of the growth and internationalization goals of our key supporters: George Mason University, the Incheon Free Economic Zone, and the Republic of Korea. As Mason creates value in these communities, they in turn invest in George Mason Korea. 

Direct Economic Impact

Mason Korea generates economic activity that supports our communities both in Korea and the US; as Mason Korea continues to grow, so too will the impact of this activity.

Initiatives

  • Through robust enrollment strategies and the provision of high-quality education, substantially increase the number of students over the next three years studying both at Mason Korea and Mason in the US.
  • Provide regular reporting to stakeholders in the US and Korea on Mason Korea’s budget and the value these stakeholders receive from the growth of Mason Korea.

Community Enrichment

Support, engage and help to educate not only of our students, but also members of our local communities in Songdo and Korea more broadly.

Initiatives

  • Increase the number of local high-school participants in mentorship and university experiences for local students.
  • Increase the number of community participants in Mason Korea events.
  • Create and execute an engagement plan to build stronger relationships with both Mason Korea alumni and George Mason alumni living in Korea.

Continuing Education

Support the lifelong learning goals not just of our students, but also of our local community. 

Initiatives  

  • Advocate for and support the establishment of a Yeonsu-gu office of continuing education that will use Incheon Global Campus Faculty, including from Mason, to teach non-credit courses of interest for the Incheon community.  
  • Upon the establishment of the Yeonsu-gu office of continuing education, provide at least two new courses per year, for three years.

 

Foundation for the Future 

Mason Korea operates in a manner consistent with key George Mason University values, including innovation, integrity, community, diversity and good stewardship. We believe that these values drive the remarkable success of George Mason University and are a key to driving the success of George Mason University, Korea. 
 
We will seek to ensure that George Mason Korea is well on the way to its 10-year enrollment goal of 1200 students through continued enrollment growth and the development of new academic programs. We will also ensure that this growth is built on the strong foundations of an engaged and satisfied faculty and staff, a responsible budget, and a growing number of alumni and friends who support the campus. 

Financial Sustainability

Grow consistent with the expectations set by Korean Ministry of Education quotas and sufficient to ensure long-term stability and strategic investment in new programs and initiatives.

Initiatives

  • Through robust enrollment strategies and the provision of high-quality education, substantially increase the number of students over the next three years studying both at Mason Korea and Mason in the US.
  • Exploit economies of scale to maximize the budget gains of increased student enrollment.
  • Conduct an analysis to determine Mason Korea’s optimal amount of cash reserves.

Employee Satisfaction

Promoting a strong workplace culture is essential to the continued success of Mason Korea—and the right thing to do.

Initiatives

  • Administer yearly Mason’s Quality of Worklife survey and respond to results, with the goal of continuous improvement in our workplace culture.
  • For faculty, document contract, evaluation and promotion procedures and create faculty bylaws.
  • Sponsor staff development events to increase community and well-being among Mason Korea staff.

Development

Great universities have great supporters.  Mason Korea will seek to expand its network of supporters in Korea and the US.

Initiatives

  • Establish a Mason Korea advisory board, composed of members from both Korea and the US, by the end of 2020.
  • With the advice and support of the members of these boards, identify the shared goals of Mason Korea and Mason Korea’s various constituencies.
  • Begin giving campaigns around these shared goals.