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The University of Aberdeen Faces Legal Action Over South Korea Campus

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The University of Aberdeen has been threatened with legal action over its delayed plans to open a new campus in South Korea.

In 2015 The University of Aberdeen announced it had signed an agreement to establish a campus in the southern city of Hadong. The university was due to open in September last year, but the opening of the campus has been delayed on multiple occasions due to lower than expected demand.

The university will subsequently hold talks later this month, as it looks to resolve the issue with its partners the Gyeongsangnamdo Prefecture, the Gwangyang Bay Area Free Economic Zone Authority and Hadong County.

Under the agreement, the university secured funding from the Korean ministry of trade, and now local authorities have threatened legal action to recoup the money spent on building the campus if it doesn't open by March next year.

The campus had originally intended to offer courses covering oil and gas, but Aberdeen University now wants to move towards courses in renewable energy.

A university spokesman said: "The downturn in the oil and gas industry has led to reduced demand for the types of degrees in offshore engineering originally envisaged for Hadong, which has been clearly demonstrated by low application levels".

"Despite many efforts to adapt to the downturn and change the focus of the campus towards programmes which were more relevant to the new market conditions, we have not yet received the necessary support in Korea to achieve this."

If the site does eventually open, it will make Aberdeen the UK's first university to have a campus in South Korea.