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Posts tagged Pyongyang University of Science and Technology
Will Scott, the American that spent a semester teaching computer science at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, spoke about his experiences this week at the Chaos Computer Club’s annual conference in Hamburg.
Scott, who has just returned from the second trip to PUST, went into detail on the IT environment at the university, availability of the Internet, access to computers and cell phones, and his observations on Red Star Desktop 3.0, the latest version of North Korea’s home-grown Linux operating system.
The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology turned out its first round of undergraduates last week, marking a significant achievement for North Korea’s first privately-funded university.
The 100 students received their Bachelors degrees in a ceremony in Pyongyang that was attended by the co-presidents of the university and members of the local diplomatic community.
After graduation, some of the students will stay on at PUST to pursue graduate degrees while some others will leave for other state universities in North Korea. PUST said it also actively sends students overseas to universities in Europe and Asia to pursue short- and long-term study.
The program, broadcast on BBC One on February 3, begins summarizing the Kim’s control over the country and its people and reminds us that Kim Jong Un recently had his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, put to death.
“Remarkably, weeks before his death, we gained access to North Korea to film a pioneering experiment,” said reporter Chris Rogers during the introduction. More >
Will Scott, a computer scientist from Washington state, just returned from several months as a guest lecturer at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST).
In an interview with North Korea Tech and in posts on Reddit, Scott spoke about what it’s like to be at PUST.
This is part two of a three-part series. Part one published yesterday covered life at PUST and part three looks at North Korea’s Red Star Linux.
Almost ten years in planning, PUST is the country’s first privately-run university and backed with funds from evangelical Christian organizations in the U.S. and overseas.
It currently has several hundred students and guest lecturers make semester-long commitments to PUST and travel from overseas to teach students.
One such lecturer, Will Scott from Washington state, has just returned from the university. More >
One of the revelations from a recent interview conducted by Reuters with Park Chan-mo, co-founder of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), is that the entire university connects to the Internet through a single IP address.
IP (Internet Protocol) addresses are the numeric addresses that computers use to route data traffic on the Internet. There are several billion addresses available but North Korea has 1,024 for the entire country — a product of its late arrival on the global computer network.
PUST’s single address doesn’t necessarily mean there is only one computer with Internet access.
Sharing addresses is commonplace worldwide. Most small offices and homes networks have a single address and a router manages the traffic flow between local computers and the Internet. However, universities typically have anywhere from several addresses to thousands of them.
At PUST it appears to mean a restriction on the amount of access available to students.
“We have only one IP address, so students can’t spend a long time for the internet. They only use it for their study,” said Park. — Reuters, August 6, 2012.
There are few details about the degree to which PUST students can access the Internet, but The Korea Times got some details from Park in March this year:
“The Internet at PUST has been implemented since the spring semester of 2011 for the faculty members but graduate students have been using it since the fall semester of 2011,” he told The Korea Times via email. “The students are allowed to use the Internet for their classwork and research.” — Korea Times, March 11, 2012.
Park went on to say the Internet connection would help the university achieve its goal of becoming a global university.
The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology enrolled an additional 100 students at the start of the current academic semester, according to a foundation that supports the school.
The first classes at PUST began in October 2010 with 160 students enrolled, said reports at the time. The latest intake will take the student body to 260 members, assuming none of the initial students has dropped out.
That’s pretty small for a university, but PUST isn’t interesting for the number of students. The school has raised heads because of its unusual backing and plans.
The university is a sister establishment of the Yanbian University of Science and Technology in China and was founded by a group of evangelical Christians based in South Korea and the U.S.
Perhaps even more radical is the curriculum and teaching plans.
After beginning with English classes in October, March was supposed to see a fuller course of information technology, business management and agriculture. Some of the lecturers at the school come from overseas, the language of instruction is English, and students will have accessed to the Internet, albeit a censored version, according to claims from the university’s backers.
The university is looking for faculty volunteers to help out of one month of more. If you’re interested in getting involved with the university, check the YUST/PUST Foundation website.
Here are some pictures of the classrooms at PUST, a 2003 artist’s image of the site, and some pictures of current campus buildings. All images are courtesy of the Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture (NAFEC).
Long-time North Korea watchers will be familiar with the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST).
The project has been planned and talked about for years and always seemed ready to start “next year.” Well, that time has finally come, according to a report in the New York Times.
The first classes, in technical English, began this week and will be followed by a fuller curriculum in March.
Yonhap earlier reported on some of the details of the opening. It said 17 foreign professors would be traveling to Pyongyang for the opening and that 160 students have been selected for the undergraduate and master’s degree courses. They cover agriculture, information and communication technology, and industry and management.
Classes are taught in English and students will have Internet access.
Internet access was something that had always been promised at the university, which was first planned in 2001 by South Korean and North Korean groups. The NY Times report goes more into the interesting history of the project.
The PUST Web site hasn’t been updated since 2009 in Korean and 2008 in English.