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Kim Shinil, Ph.D.

Hall of Fame Class of 2008

Kim Shinil, Ph.D.Kim Shinil, Ph.D. has been well recognized as one of the leading advocates and architects of adult and lifelong education in Korea, East Asia and internationally. As a renowned scholar and policy maker in the field of education, Shinil has made extensive contributions to build a lifelong learning society in his nation, while also leading the charge in adult and continuing education.

Since the 1970s, Shinil has been enthusiastically involved in the Korean Association of Adult Education, being elected its president in 1992-94. In 1994-2000, He has intensively taken part in national policy making as a member of the Presidential Commission on Education Reform. In 2006 Shinil was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education. As Deputy Prime Minister, he remarkably enhanced the visibility and stature of adult and continuing education in the country and internationally.

The most notable achievement of Shinil is the establishment of the graduate program of lifelong education for master and doctoral degree at Seoul National University, the most prestigious university in Korea. This program has been functioning as an incubator for the Korean adult and continuing education, producing numerous scholars and practitioners in the field. Many universities in Korea adopted the SNU graduate program of lifelong education as a model.

In the early 1990s Shinil established a non-government organization for education reform, advocating and pressing for change in the nation’s education system. Shinil’s endeavor with other civil activists widely affected Korean government’s educational reform. His major contribution was to propose a new Basic Act on Education as well as Lifelong Education Act, which were landmark legislations in the field of education. Shinil also has a long record of working with media. He has been a frequent opinion writer of the national newspapers and also an opinion speaker on radio and television.

Shinil worked for many years with the Education Broadcasting System, a nation-wide principal education broadcasting, as a chairperson of the viewer’s panel that periodically monitored and evaluated all programs. He was elected president of the Korean Society for the Studies of Education in 2004, which is a nation-wide umbrella organization of researchers and professionals in education. Other crowning achievements for Kim as Minister of Education were his massive contribution in laying the foundation for a learning society in Korea, especially by establishing the National Institute for Lifelong Education (NILE). Still another achievement made by Shinil was his contribution to the expansion and strengthening of international networking among adult educators and professionals in the East Asia region.

By being a leading figure in adult and lifelong education in his nation, Shinil has given opportunity to countless individuals to continue to receive education at the highest level. He has greatly influenced the lives of many students through not only the graduate program but also through his outstanding leadership, service and undying devotion to the development of lifelong education.


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