For the first time a Korean university, Dankook University, signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) last October with BIFT (Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology), a prestigious university in the field of fashion education in China. The effort was led by DKU’s Department of Fashion Merchandise Design and the Industry-Academia Cooperation Foundation to promote exchanges in fashion education and make inroads into the Chinese market for exports.
BIFT, a university based in Beijing, was founded in 1959 and has over 6,000 undergraduate students and around 400 graduate school students. The six ‘BIFT PARKs,’ a platform that integrates the fashion industry with fashion education set up around China, now serve as a model for industry-academia partnerships in the field of fashion by pursuing international cooperation, hosting fashion design contests, nurturing new designers, and offering tours of China’s fashion industry.
Dankook’s Department of Fashion Merchandise Design has been preparing for student, faculty and educational exchanges with BIFT since 2016. Last October, Soon-cheol An, Dankook’s Executive Vice President for External Affairs, was invited to the ‘International Fashion Education Leaders Forum’ in commemoration of BIFT’s 60th anniversary and delivered a keynote speech where he introduced Dankook’s fashion merchandise program and capabilities in partnering with industries. Following the event, an MOU was signed with BIFT Vice President, Liao Qing, promising close cooperation in areas such as joint studies with DKU’s Department of Fashion Merchandise Design, starting exchange programs for students and faculty beginning in the second semester of 2020 and taking part in the BIFT fashion show.
“The Department of Fashion Merchandise Design, the Industry-Academia Cooperation Foundation, and the Office of International Affairs worked together to create this golden opportunity to share Dankook’s capabilities in K-culture fashion with China,” said Soon-cheol An, who also added that “as student exchanges will begin next year, we look forward to exchanges in education spreading to the industry going forward.”