Ewha Womans University

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Ewha Womans University
Ehwa badge.png
Motto 진·선·미
Motto in English
Type Private
Established 1886
President Kim Hei-sook[1]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 19,503[2]
Undergraduates 16,166
Postgraduates 6,102
Location South KoreaSeodaemun, Seoul, South Korea
Campus Urban
Colors Green     
Nickname Idae (이대·梨大)
Website www.ewha.ac.kr
Korean name
Hangul 여자대학교
Hanja 女子大學校
Revised Romanization Ihwa Yeoja Daehakgyo
McCune–Reischauer Ihwa Yŏja Taehakkyo
Main entrance
Ewha campus complex

Coordinates: 37°33′42.72″N 126°56′48.60″E / 37.5618667°N 126.9468333°E / 37.5618667; 126.9468333

Street near Ewha

Ewha Womans University (Hangul이화여자대학교; Hanja梨花女子大學校) is a private women's university in Seoul, South Korea founded in 1886 by Mary F. Scranton under Emperor Gojong. It is currently the world's largest female educational institute and is one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea.

While the lack of an apostrophe in "Womans University" is unconventional, the use of "Woman's" rather than "Women's" was normal in the past.[3]

Τhe use of "Womans" carries special meaning. The early founders of the college thought that every woman is to be respected; to promote this idea, they chose the word "woman" to avoid lumping students together under the word "women."[4]


Ewha Womans University traces its roots back to Mary F. Scranton's Ewha Haktang (Hangul이화학당; Hanja梨花學堂) mission school for girls, which opened with one student on May 31, 1886 (Lee, 2001).[5] The name Ewha, which means “Pear Blossoms”, was bestowed by the Emperor Gojong the following year. The campus was covered with them, and historians speculate that a grove of pear trees near Scranton home's inspired the name. The image of the pear blossom is incorporated in the school's logo.

The school began providing college courses in 1910, and professional courses for women in 1925. The high school section, now known as Ewha Girls' High School (not to be confused with the coeducational Ewha Womans University High School, the university's demonstration school, founded in 1958)[6], separated from the college section and is currently located in Jung-gu, Seoul.[7] Both institutions share the same motto and the "pear blossoms" image in their logos.

Immediately following liberation of Korea on August 15, 1945, the college received government permission to become a university. It was the first South Korean university to be officially organized.


  • 1886: First modern educational institute for Korean women, American missionary Mary F. Scranton began classes for women at her home in Jeong-dong, Seoul.
  • 1887: Boguyeogwan offers medical service for women. As Korea’s first hospital exclusively for women, it laid the groundwork for Ewha’s Colleges of Nursing and Medicine, which became the current Ewha Womans University Medical Center.
  • 1910: College courses launched in September The college opened at Ewha Haktang with 15 students; its inaugural class graduated in 1914.
  • 1925: Founding of Ewha College. The college was elevated to Ewha College, making it the first institute of higher education for Korean women.
  • 1946: First Korean university to receive government accreditation. Ewha was accredited by the Ministry of Education, becoming the first accredited four-year university in Korea.
  • 1951: Temporary wartime campus in Busan. Following the outbreak of the Korean War, Ewha opened an evacuee campus in the southern city of Busan on Sept. 1, 1951, with 30 temporary wooden structures and tents.
  • 1977: Korea’s first women’s studies course and established the Korean Women’s Institute to seek development in the discipline.
  • 1986: Ewha’s 100th anniversary of its foundation.
  • 1995: Top marks in national accreditation, named top-ranked school in Comprehensive University Accreditation System conducted by Korean Council for University Education.
  • 1996: Established the world's first engineering college for women.
  • 2001: Korea’s first International Studies Division opened, offering all courses in English.
  • 2006: Ewha Global Partnership program
    • Korea’s first degree program for women from developing countries was established.
  • 2007: Ewha-KOICA program started, an MA program for female researchers and public servants from developing countries.
  • 2007: Scranton College self-designed major (undergraduate program) started.
  • 2008: Construction of ECC, Korea’s largest environmentally friendly underground campus facility.
  • 2011: Established an Ewha-Solvay collaboration with multinational chemical corporation Solvay, to build the global headquarters of its R&D center at Ewha.
  • 2012: Center of women’s global education by launching the Ewha Global Empowerment Program to foster female leaders in public and non-government sectors in developing countries.
  • Selected to receive KRW 100 billion over the next 10 years from the Institute for Basic Research.
  • 2016: Center of women’s global education by launching the Ewha Global Empowerment Program to foster female leaders in public and non-government sectors in developing countries.
  • Selected to receive KRW 100 billion over the next 10 years from the Institute for Basic Research.
  • 2017: In collaboration with the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), the Center for Quantum Nanoscience was established under director Andreas J. Heinrich. Groundbreaking occurred in 2018 on the tentatively named Research Collaboration Building set to open in 2019.[8][9]

Student population[edit]

According to figures provided by the university in April 2018, there are 21,596 enrolled students at the university.[10]

While figures on the student body's gender breakdown are not available, Korea JoongAng Daily reported in 2003 there were 10 male students enrolled at the time.[11] In 2009, Asian Correspondent reported that male students make up 30% of all foreign international students at the university.[12]


The university collaborates with around 830 partners in 64 countries including Australian National University, Cornell University, Freie University of Berlin, Ghent University, Harvard University, Indiana University, King’s College London, Nanyang Technological University, Peking University, University of Kuala Lumpur, University of California, Irvine, University of British Columbia, University of Edinburgh, University of Hong Kong, University of South Carolina, Uppsala University, and Waseda University.



Graduate schools[edit]

Controversies and criticisms[edit]

Helen Kim, the seventh principal and first Korean principal of Ewha, is considered to be pro-Japanese. She is known to have encouraged young men to enlist in the Japanese army. The statue of Helen Kim and the building named after her on campus has been criticized. Students have protested many times to take down the statue.[13][14] While Ewha Womans University has been the center of women's rights movements that had positive impacts on Korean society, this feminist feature created controversies in Korea, where misogyny is deep-seated.[15] One example of controversies was men's benefit from military service. Originally, getting extra points on employment and being paid for higher step in the salary class were available to males who had done their mandatory military service. Yet, in 1999, Ewha Womans University students and one male student, who was a disabled student of Yonsei University, protested that this is a sexism problem and discrimination toward disabled people.[16] This case eventually went to court, and the court ruled that this was, indeed, sexism and discrimination toward the disabled. Ewha Womans University was at the center of the 2016 South Korean political scandal, where its former student, Chung Yoo-ra, was enrolled through bribery. The students had been protesting against university's unilateral change in degree system and departments before the political scandal has been discovered. Later, the protest included the illegal enrollment of Chung Yoo-ra. As a result, Ewha Womans University's president, Choi Kyunghee, has been arrested and resigned and Chung Yoo-ra's degree was rescinded.[17]


  • Among the women lawmakers appointed to the 19th National Assembly (2012-2016), 27.6% are Ewha alumnae.
  • The only Korean university participating as a partner in the Harvard College in Asia Program (HCAP) and Ewha-Harvard Summer School Program.
  • Produced the 6th highest number of successful candidates in National Judicial Exam and the 7th highest number in Civil Service Exam in 2013(ranked 5th in 2012).
  • First among all private Korean universities in the number of citations per research paper in the 2012 Chosun-QS Evaluation of Asian Universities.


  • 321st in the 2013 Leiden Ranking, a qualitative assessment of faculty research in the world’s top 500 universities.[18]
  • 299th in the QS World University Rankings in 2018.[19]
  • Ninth among all Korean universities in the Chosun-QS Evaluation of Asian Universities in 2016. [20]

Distinguished Honorary Ewha Fellows[edit]

Distinguished Fellows of the Ewha Academy for Advanced Studies[edit]

Notable alumnae[edit]

Politics and government[edit]






Affiliated facilities[edit]

  • Ewha Womans University Museum
  • Ewha Womans University Natural History Museum
  • Ewha Womans University Medical Center
  • Ewha Institute For Leadership Development
  • Ewha Advanced IT Education Center
  • Ewha School Of Continuing Education
  • Ewha Language Center
  • Ewha Archives
  • Ewha Elementary School
  • Ewha Kindergarten
  • Ewha Kumnan High School
  • Ewha Kumnan Middle School
  • Youngran Information Industry High School
  • Youngran Girl's Middle School


Public transportation[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ock Hyun-ju (2017-05-26). "Ewha gets first directly elected president". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  2. ^ "Ewha Information". Ewha Womans University Official Website.
  3. ^ Compare Texas Woman's University, named in 1957, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, named in 1893, as well as Mississippi Woman's College and Woman's College of the University of North Carolina which have since changed their names.
  4. ^ "이대학보". Inews.ewha.ac.kr. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  5. ^ Lee Jeong-kyu. (2001). The establishment of modern universities in Korea and their implications for Korean education policies. In Education Policy Analysis Archives 9 (27) Archived 2006-09-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "[임철순의 즐거운 세상] 가장 긴 제목". Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). January 30, 2014.
  7. ^ "Memorial exhibition to be held for Scranton". Ewha Voice. Ewha Womans University. May 18, 2009.
  8. ^ "Center for Quantum Nanoscience Groundbreaking Ceremony at Ewha Womans University". Institute for Basic Science. 25 April 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018. The Center for Quantum Nanoscience at the Institute for Basic Science (Director Andreas Heinrich) will have a revolutionary new research space. The Research Collaboration Building (tentatively named) to be constructed by February 2019 at Ewha Womans University will be the new home of the Center.
  9. ^ "QNS State-of-the-Art Research Facility". Center for Quantum Nanoscience. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Student Statistics". Ewha Womams University. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Minority Report: 10 men among 21,000 women". Korea JoongAng Daily. 10 June 2003. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  12. ^ Schwartzman, Nathan (23 August 2009). "Foreign Male Students are at Ewha Women's University". Asian Correspondent. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  13. ^ "이대 학생위 "친일파 김활란 동상 철거하라"".
  14. ^ "이화여대 김활란 총장 동상...매번 훼손되는 이유는".
  15. ^ "An epic battle between feminism and deep-seated misogyny is under way in South Korea". 2016-10-23. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  16. ^ "군가산점제 위헌판결, 불붙은 논쟁의 시작". 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  17. ^ "Ex-Ewha Univ. chief faces arrest over Chung Yoo-ra admission". 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  18. ^ (CWTS), Centre for Science and Technology Studies. "CWTS Leiden Ranking". CWTS Leiden Ranking.
  19. ^ "Ewha Womans University". Top Universities. 29 July 2017.
  20. ^ "QS University Rankings: Asia 2016". Top Universities. 8 June 2016.
  21. ^ Ledyard, Gari (2010). "Remembering JaHyun Kim Haboush: An Obituary". 2.2. Korean Histories. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  22. ^ "In the News – North Korean defectors emerge from periphery | MOU OneKorea". Mouonekorea.wordpress.com. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2016-11-13.

External links[edit]